Too many reporters have described the Tea Party movement as some kind of populist uprising at “elites” channeling economic anxiety about the recession. Sadly (because he should know better), the New York Times’ Matt Bai is typical, writing just last month: “The only potent grass-roots movement to emerge from this moment of dissatisfaction with America’s economic elite exists … in the form of the so-called Tea Party rebellions that are injecting new energy into the Republican cause.”
[ ]…The Tea Party is strongly affiliated with the GOP: 86 percent of movement supporters and activists either identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, and 82 percent say they will vote for the GOP candidate in the November 2010 midterms; only 9 percent say they won’t. That margin is actually higher than it is among self-described “conservatives,” where it’s 72 to 18 percent.
Appallingly, the movement is united by the false belief that Barack Obama is a socialist: 90 percent of Tea Partiers polled call our centrist corporate-Democratic president a socialist.
A liberal blogger who was a Hillary Clinton supporter recently wrote a post about how the Right’s shrill screams of that ‘socialist Obama’ are distracting from the truth, as the blogger saw it, that Obama is actually governing Right of center. Whether I agree or not important for the sake of this post, but I can see where the argument can be made that Obama is a very conservative Democrat. Health-care reform could hardly be considered socialist with the millions in benefits going towards health insurers and health care corporations. Financial reform leaves room for some of the same shenanigans the derivative traders and bank holding companies have been up to for the past 25 years – the era of oh so glorious deregulation. Government has obviously not cracked heads trying to stop dissent – conservatives are every where every day whining and lying as usual. Right-wing conservative blogs have picture after picture in addition to video of all their tea nut rallies. Far right-wing conservative candidates in Florida and Nevada are spending millions on television ads yet not a member of Obama’s secret socialist police in sight.
Today’s honest conservative – Finally, the NBPP case offers an allegation worth investigating
Commission on Civil Rights vice-chairwoman Abigail Thernstrom has delivered what should be a lethal blow to the Fox News-hyped “scandal” regarding the Department of Justice and the New Black Panther Party. And she’s also turned the New Black Panther case into something the media would be justified in investigating.
In the course of an interview with Politico’s Ben Smith, Thernstrom, a conservative who was appointed by George W. Bush, alleged that the conservatives she serves with on the commission seized on the New Black Panther case not out of concern for civil rights and the law, but rather to wield it as a cudgel against the Obama administration and Attorney General Eric Holder. In stark language, Thernstrom claimed that her colleagues held “fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration,” and that they “had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president.”
Thernstrom has effectively confirmed what most of us already assumed to be true — that the New Black Panther Party allegations are nothing more than invidious political hackery. And it should be noted that Thernstrom’s claims carry more credibility than anything J. Christian Adams, the GOP activist and former DOJ attorney whose allegations of institutional racial bias at DOJ form the spine of the NBPP non-scandal, has thus far brought to bear; she clearly isn’t grinding any political axes, and she boasts first-hand knowledge of the events she says transpired.
Will the Washington Post cover how Bush appointees on the Commission on Civil Rights have allegedly conspired to use the DOJ yet once again as a political tool of the Republican party.