A Modest Rebuttal, Tea Party Style


The headline of the article in my local newspaper says it all:
Tea Party a stammering, stuttering ruse“.

In a “Guest Commentary” by one Thomas P. Johnson, sandwiched in with ignorant, incorrect notions about debt under President Bush vs. massively increased debt under President Obama and the not-so-subtle accusation of racism inherent in the author’s statement that “Republican leadership responded viscerally to a new Black president…” we find the typical uninformed jeremiad about the Tea Party movement, in which Mr. Johnson repeats all the tired talking points he picked up from MSNBC and mainstream news outlets: we are a “sub text [sic] of the Republican Party”, we carry “racist signs”, we are “a creation of Dick Armey and Tom DeLay”, “a shadow of the RNC!!1!” and the like.

In short, in Mr. Johnson’s view, Tea Partiers are racist, dumb as a post, and being manipulated by shadowy politicians and lobbyists for nefarious purposes.

To begin with, Mr. Johnson, if you’re relying on the mainstream media to prove any of your points, you might want to reconsider.

For example, if you’re looking for stupid: Is it someone like Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who insisted that the phrase “separation of church and state” is contained nowhere in the First Amendment (it’s not)? Or is it her opponent, candidate Chris Coons, who sniggered at her perceived stupidity, while not being able himself to enumerate the five rights protected by that same amendment.

 Or perhaps it’s someone like Sarah Palin, who admonished a gathering of Tea Partiers in Nevada not to get overconfident, suggesting that they not “party like it’s 1773”, only to be mocked by the usual lefty blogs, as well as more mainstream types like Gwen Ifil of PBS, who subsequently tweeted to her eager followers: “Sarah Palin: party like it’s 1773! Ummm,” proving who the stupid one really is. (In case you’re a bit hazy on American history, the first Boston Tea Party took place in… that’s right, 1773.)

So let’s leave off with the “stupid”, shall we? Now, on to “racist!”

Just last week, the Washington Post wrote about a study done at the 9/12 rally:

“A new analysis of political signs displayed at a tea party rally in Washington last month reveals that the vast majority of activists expressed narrow concerns about the government’s economic and spending policies and steered clear of the racially charged anti-Obama messages that have helped define some media coverage of such events.”

I have attended the two Boston Tea Parties in the past two years, and found no evidence of racism at all, and before you try to make the point that the groups are made up of all white people, I will refer you to my blog posts on the subject, which are complete with photos and video of a racially diverse crowd.

Why, even our esteemed Vice President, Joe Biden, concurs that we are not a racist group, and says that President Obama agrees. And that little tidbit was reported by none other than the all-white guys at MSNBC back in July.

That takes care of “racist.”

What’s next?” Oh, right, all the rest of that stuff. Did you know that a study done just six months ago reported that 40% of Tea Partiers are either Democrats or Independents? So much for “shadow of the RNC.”

In short, we’re Americans. It’s a safe bet that you know quite a few of us, but due to your disdain of and antipathy toward us, we probably don’t feel comfortable sharing our views with you.

On average, we’re pretty bright. We’re a diverse, loosely organized group, with lots of differing ideas, and no specific platform other than a desire for limited government and fiscal responsibility, support of free enterprise, and a love of the Constitution.

And when we disagree with someone, we bring facts to the discussion, not thinly-veiled innuendo, vague denunciations, and unsubstantiated accusations.

Also: we can see November from our house.


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