The shouting, the overrunning of the Capitol, the sneaking in of Tea Party participants into the basement of the Capitol, the name-calling, the spitting, all of that.... The Tea Party emerges as not only outrageous, but they have turned up the volume in ways that even Code Pink have not been able to do.
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.
The only tactic liberals have is to try to intimidate people into thinking that the Tea Party is racist. The Tea Party is not a racist movement, period! If it were, why would the straw polls keep showing that the black guy is winning? That's a rhetorical question. Let me state it: The black guy keeps winning.
America's new tea lovers are the people who have forced the tea trade to wake up. Elsewhere, tea has meant a certain way, a certain tradition, for centuries, but this is America! The American tea lover is heir to all the world's tea drinking traditions, from Japanese tea ceremonies to Russian samovars to English scones in the afternoon. India chai, China green, you name it and we can claim it and make it ours. And that's just what we are doing. In this respect, ours is the most innovative and exciting tea scene anywhere.
I think my message goes out to the entire spectrum of political parties. I'm supported by the Tea Party, the Conservative Party and the Republican Party. I come from a Democratic world. My world is moderate Democrats, Reagan-type Democrats if you want, the blues or whatever you call them, the Blue Dogs. That's been my world, historically.
You can't just have slogans, you can't just have catchy phrases. You have to have an agenda. And I think what the Republican Party has to do, if it's going to incorporate the tea party efforts in it, is to come up with an agenda that the American people can see, touch, and actually believe in, and something they believe in.
Republicans know well that a change of rhetorical pace is necessary. But efforts by their leaders to damp down the bellicosity of newly elected Tea Party types is running into the fact that the Tea Partiers have only the high volume setting on their amplifiers, just like Palin. They're like a couple having a fight at a funeral; politely sotto voce, then suddenly bursting out fortissimo with their plaints and accusations.
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