But the laughs evaporated soon enough. There’s nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families.
How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far.
Just how crazy are the Obama haters?
An irresistible set of numbers began rocketing around the Web last week suggesting that foes of President Barack Obama had not just gone around the bend, they'd spun out of control, smashed through the guardrail of reason and plunged into the depths of derangement.
Perhaps you saw:
A recent Harris Interactive poll found that 57 percent of Republicans think Obama is a Muslim, 45 percent think he's foreign-born, 51 percent think he wants to cede control of the U.S. to a one-world government, 24 percent think he may be the Antichrist and 22 percent believe he wants the terrorists to win.
Opponents of the Tea Party movement only treat them in one of three ways: ignore them, mock them, or marginalize them. Usually they ignore them. After all, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
Yet, both in the run up to the vote and after it was unmistakable that the protests against were larger and more intense than the ones in support. So, suddenly, the protesters were a combination of racists, lunatics, and psychopaths.
It was to be expected and obvious. The first national Tea Party happened last February. About 20000 people protested nationwide and almost no one took notice. President Obama was overwhelmingly popular and the numbers weren't that large.
By April 15th, there were about one million people protesting. Suddenly, the same people that ignored the Tea Parties before that day were openly mocking them using a derogatory sexual phrase to describe them and also suggesting they were racist.
Let's dispense with the obvious. Out of the millions of people that consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement there are those that are racists. I know this since I took a few statistics classes in my life. It's virtually impossible to put a group of a million plus and not include some that are racists. That doesn't, however, mean that the general tenor of the group is racist. All those that claim it is use as the basis of this argument the equivalent of "because I said so".
Their evidence currently is a few unverified reports of racial slurs. All should condemn racial slurs except 1) it's unclear they actually happened and 2) and much more importantly, if they did, it means those saying them are racists and not the entire group.
The tactic is obvious. The Tea Parties are a growing force. If they aren't marginalized, they begin to speak for millions. If they aren't racists, then millions simply disagree with Obama on policy. That's why they must be racists, because if they weren't then the president they worship and the policy they adore was in fact pushed down everyone's throat despite open and intense opposition of people that represent the masses.