Let’s try a little thought experiment.
Pretend you’re the Democratic Party. You’ve controlled both houses of Congress since 2007 and the White House since 2009. You came to power during a recession which, most voters agree, you only made worse. You also inherited a budget with a huge deficit, and you made that worse, too. You rammed through an unpopular stimulus package that paid off your political supporters but did nothing to improve the economy, and an even more unpopular health care package that will make us all pay more for health care while giving us less of it. Despite overwhelming voter demand to do something about illegal immigration, you refuse to secure the border, and when a state acted to do what the Federal government won’t do, you sued.
You can’t run on this record. Six in ten Americans no longer trust you to govern, and an even larger number think you’re taking the country in the wrong direction.
So what do you do? You change the subject, that’s what you do.
This is the only way to understand why the Left and their media allies have been heaping so much abuse on the Tea Party movement. When citizens gather in huge rallies around the country to protest out-of-control government spending, then just accuse them of RACISM!
Unfortunately, this tactic seems to be working.
The Left and its media allies have maintained a drumbeat of slanderous accusations of racism against the Tea Party movement almost since it started more than a year ago. This drumbeat reached a crescendo in March following a Tea Party demonstration on the Capitol grounds against Obamacare when a member of the Congressional Black Caucus claimed he heard racial epithets shouted at members of the caucus as they made their way through the crowd, and another member supposedly was spit on.
No video or audio evidence has been presented to prove these alleged incidents actually happened, despite a standing offer by libertarian blogger Andrew Breitbart to donate $100,000 to the United Negro College Fund on behalf of anyone who is able to produce such evidence. This didn’t stop the establishment media from reporting these unproven allegations as fact. (Says Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center: “let’s stop calling them ‘unproven allegations.’ Let’s call them what they are: lies.”)
It also didn’t stop the NAACP last week from citing these made-up incidents in their “unanimous” resolution condemning the Tea Party for not confronting the “racist elements” in its ranks.
According to Mary Frances Berry, former chair of the U. S. Civil Rights Commission,
Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.
And this is precisely the effect the bogus racism charges have had. Late last week, Mark Williams, a talk radio host who serves as a spokesman for Tea Party Express, took the NAACP’s bait and posted a racially offensive letter on his web site. The “letter” was actually intended to be satire. It was addressed to President Abraham Lincoln from “Colored” people, and accused him of racism for setting them free and making them responsible for their own lives. Critics have called the letter “racist”, but I think “racially insensitive” is a better description.
I understand the point Williams was trying to make — that the Democratic Party and its NAACP allies support a bloated welfare state that has kept many African Americans in a dependent class as slavery once did. But the “letter” was stupid and in extremely poor taste. Williams quickly took it down, but the damage had been done.
The result of this is that Tea Partiers are now fighting among themselves, and some candidates have rejected Tea Party endorsements. The National Tea Party Federation, a sort-of umbrella group of 61 Tea Party organizations across the country, expelled Williams and the Tea Party Express. Even this, however, was not enough for MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “Reach over, grab the [racist] sign and tear it out of the guy’s hands, then I’ll believe you,” said Matthews. Oh, so the only way Tea Partiers can satisfy Chris Matthews is to commit assault and battery.
So, now the Left has the Tea Party arranged in a circular firing squad shooting at each other and arguing about racism instead of focusing on getting the big taxers and spenders out of Congress.
The demand that the Tea Party purge its alleged “racist fringe” is disingenuous, anyway. It is not an organized movement. Tea Party rallies are big, public affairs held in big, public spaces. Anybody can come, and anybody can carry any kind of sign he wants. That’s their First Amendment right. The demand that the Tea Party purge its ranks is just a way of changing the subject so that, instead of protesting the uncontrolled growth of government, its members waste their time trying to prove they’re not racists.