Remember when Tea Party members were racist, homophobic haters who opposed President Barack Obama for the color of his skin, not his policies?
That’s yesterday’s news. Turns out, the Tea Party is a violent militia aimed at hurting anyone who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with its warped worldview. And Republicans are guilty by association.
Just ask Democrats like Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn or read reports in the mainstream media.
Rep. Hoyer (D-Md.), the House majority leader, recently demanded Republicans speak out against the violence, which so far is seemingly non-existent. It’s as absurd as someone being told to denounce murder or other egregious acts. But in political circles such requests can be profoundly effective.
“The bottom line is we need to be very careful in public life that our rhetoric does not turn into incitement," Hoyer told CBS’ "The Early Show" on March 25. Hoyer didn’t seem so worked up during President George W. Bush’s two terms in office, a time when the rhetoric couldn’t have been nastier.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also called for the GOP to reject such behavior, a great way to prolong the story and help voters forget about the Obamacare bill bullied into law. And, sure enough, several Republicans did just that.
Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) went one step further than his Democratic colleagues, saying Republicans were “aiding and abetting this kind of terrorism.”
Such accusations are commonplace in liberal circles, but some don’t pass the smell test.
Take Rep. John Lewis, who recently accused Tea Party members of using the “N” word 15 times when he and members of the Congressional Black Caucus walked through a Tea Party protest.
No video or audio currently exists to back him up. And in today’s media saturated world, every other person is wielding some sort of video camera. Even members of the Caucus’s entourage had cameras in hand to capture the event.
Where’s the proof?
Such unfair accusations against both the Tea Party and the GOP work on a number of levels. First and foremost, they help stifle dissent, and that’s crucial at a time when polling figures show a majority of Americans want to keep fighting Obamacare.
The attacks also serve as a great fundraising item, an effort already underway by lusty Democrats eager to pounce on a few random incidents as proof that their opponents care more about violence than sound fiscal policy.
The politicians get away with such flim-flam rhetoric, in part, because they have the mainstream media on their side. It’s one thing for a politician to make an outrageous claim. It’s quite another for said claim to spark a media meme.
Or, in the case of conservatives, dig up the old playbook and riff through the most dog-eared pages. The Tea Party equals violence stories have lit up the media in recent days, and only the return of Tiger Woods to the Masters threatens to dislodge it from the front pages.
CNN covered Palin’s Tea Party appearances over the weekend, complete with the banner “Inciting violence?”
Sometimes, a Tea Party member can simply exercise his 1st Amendment rights and still get tarred and feathered by biased reporters. Consider this Washington Post story lead paragraph about one Tea Party protester standing up to Obamacare:
“He had no plans to throw bricks, issue death threats, spit in faces or scream racial slurs. But Randy Millam, 52, intended to make a scene, so he woke up early Thursday morning to prepare for President Obama’s visit.”
How lucky for the newspaper to find the one Tea Party member not wielding a brick, stone or racial epithet.
The mainstream media also does its level best to play down assaults at GOP members.
When Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) led the firm opposition against Obamacare, he told the press he had to unplug his phones to avoid the barrage of obscene calls directed at him. That didn’t make headlines, but when he switched his vote and sparked similar calls from those against the healthcare bill it sure did.
Back in 2008, anti-GOP protestors at the party’s convention in Minneapolis hurled bricks at store windows and dropped sand bags off of highway overpasses. Former Gov. Sarah Palin has been the target of Tweet threats. More recently, bricks crashed through the GOP headquarters near Charlottesville, Va., and shots were fired through the window of Virginia GOP Rep. Eric Cantor’s office. A Philadelphia man was arrested March 29 on charges he threatened to kill the GOP minority whip.
Did any of the above transform into a running theme the media teased for all it was worth?
Perhaps the best example of how the MSM only covers the violence it deems important came last year when a black Tea Party protestor named Kenneth Gladney was allegedly assaulted by union thugs.
Reporters avoided the story, as did black civil rights leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton. No protest marches were sparked by the incident. And when charges were formally filed in the assault case, the story still couldn’t sneak through the MSM filters.
As long as the Democrats and MSM continue to tag team against the Tea Party movement and conservative Americans, voters will struggle to remember just what the deeply flawed Obamacare legislation is all about.
Cartoon courtesy of Brett Noel
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