Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nothing but the truth

Yesterday, I was going through an online message board on an opinion piece that had been published in a newspaper. Actually, I read several. The threads all pretty much came to this exchange at some point:

"You need to listen to something besides Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck once in a while."

"Oh, like Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow or all the mainstream networks?"

What both sides are alleging, obviously, is that the other follows marching orders from their respective representative pundits. Moderates and libertarians fed up with both sides often conflate liberals and conservatives as two sides of the same demagogic coin, and on the surface that makes sense. But as the above exchange repeated itself for the umpteenth time yesterday, something occurred to me — it's not the same at all. Not by a long shot.

"But Ian," you say, "Everybody knows you're a hardcore liberal. Of COURSE you're going to defend your ilk at the expense of conservatives! That's what your type is ordered to do at all the meetings where you get your talking points each morning."

And that's exactly where you would be wrong. When you compare what liberals and conservatives rehash, there's definitely a difference. They're the same only in the sense that both sides repeat things ad nauseam. Can that be annoying? Yes. But for the most part, they're not equivalent. And the comparison does not favor the right.

Liberals will say things like:

"George W. Bush received a briefing memo on Aug. 6, 2001, titled, 'Bin Laden determined to strike U.S.' He was on vacation at the time, and ignored the warning."

"Dick Cheney held meetings as vice president to determine energy policy, and refused to release the minutes or disclose who was invited to attend those meetings."

"The Bush administration invaded Iraq on false pretenses, despite no evidence of a connection to 9/11, diverting valuable military resources from Afghanistan in the process."

"Barack Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay swiftly as president, but still hasn't done so."

By and large, most mainstream liberal refrains run along these lines. Whatever your stance on the issues, it's hard to argue with time or place. Bush really did receive that memo. The only debate should be, would it have mattered at that point? Cheney did hold secret meetings. Was that for the public good? Maybe or maybe not, but everyone agrees that he did. The point being, statements such as these are springboards for wider discussion and debate. And while there's plenty of fringe liberal kookiness to go around, it is exactly that, kookiness.

Now let's see what conservatives are saying:

"Bill Clinton was offered Osama bin Laden on a silver platter, and he refused."

"Saddam Hussein was a vicious tyrant who used weapons of mass destruction on his own people."

"Barack Obama is a dangerous socialist who uses a teleprompter and was voted into office by idiots who are coming to regret their decision."

"Sarah Palin is a viable presidential candidate and is a refreshing alternative to the elites in power now."

"We need to free up our soldiers to finish the job on the battlefield."

"Health care reform is nothing but a massive Marxist redistribution of wealth."

"The tea party is simply a grass-roots group of people fed up with big government."

"We need to take our country back."

While all of these statements have their individual flaws, they share a common thread: they assume facts not in evidence. Clinton was not president during 9/11. Saddam was not involved in 9/11, which was the stated reason for the Iraq invasion. Though cherry-picking polls on specific issues might sometimes suggest it, there is no mass exodus of Obama supporters. The timing of the tea party and its demographics suggest an ulterior motive that its practitioners doth protest too much. And so on. Believing any of these things requires an adherence to a reality that doesn't actually exist. As the saying so aptly goes, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts."

And that's where the pundits come in.

Liberals and conservatives absorb pundits in different ways. It's probably no accident that liberals dominate the Internet and Comedy Central, while conservatives have the lock on talk radio and cable news. The Internet is expansive and requires mental exertion on part of the user, both to find content and to filter out the wheat from the BS. That is the consequence of such a democratic medium. Comedy Central is an obvious one, because programs like The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are subversive in ways that button-down Republicans cannot be, even though neither show shies away from attacking Democrats as well.

By contrast, talk radio and cable news shows are passive outlets. They have a self-reflexive authority by virtue of being on the air, and they tell people what they want to hear. Their hosts tend to be alpha-male authoritarian types, though with enough blue-collar nods to come off as the little guy looking out for you. It's no surprise, then, that Rush, Beck and Hannity thrive in this environment, and that they push what would otherwise be fringe positions. Hey, they're just entertainers, right?

Of course, there are exceptions on both sides - Michelle Malkin and Matt Drudge are huge online, for example, and Olbermann and Maddow thrive on MSNBC. But these exceptions prove the rule, because they prove my point: right-wing bloggers and aggregators have fervent niche followings and MSNBC usually nets soft ratings compared to Fox News. And again, Jon Stewart's and Colbert's successes are a function of their equal-opportunity jabs rather than any partisan agenda.

So, yes, liberals and conservatives alike have their chosen sources of red meat. The difference is that conservatives employ them more, because their notion of truth is more flexible. For example, you might see a moderate Republican agree with a liberal Democrat that Bush made bad moves as president. But no liberal will agree that Obama is a racist radical. That's precisely why supposedly liberal talking points are nothing of the sort: truth is truth. But when Glenn Beck screams that we need to take our country back and newspapers are subsequently flooded with letters giving shout-outs to the 9/12 Project, well, that's pretty traceable. 

If it's obvious whose version of the facts you're using, than it's safe to say you're a victim of talking points. And today's frothing right wing does that better than anybody. As Colbert once said, "The truth has a liberal bias." And with his support from both liberals and conservatives who think he's serious, he might be the most trusted man in America right now. Which pretty much proves my entire point.

42 comments:

venessalewis said...

You must have been missing Alday. I hear him thundering through the Internet right now. Five, four, three, two....

NOLA Progressive said...

I considered a very minor subpoint of exactly what you're saying the other day while watching Meet the Press or it may have been Face the Nation. I'm honeslty not 100% sure. Which show is irrelevant though, really. One of the panel members was Rachel Maddow, and something significant struck me.

Maddow sat in there with moderate to conservative panelists alike and didn't become a lightning rod at all. She expressed views and factual information and carried on with the discourse. Can you conversely, even for a minute, imagine Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck being able to pull that off?

It really does boil down to the facts at some point.

NOLA Progressive said...

LOL venessa...I was thinking the exact thing when I typed out my last comment. Something tells me I will come back from a day at my family's house on the Northshore this evening to a screed of ad hominem comments.

venessalewis said...

I love watching Maddow as a panelist or guest. She is very well informed and a class act. All facts, checked emotion. Although Olbermann is entertaining, he sometimes fuels the liberal "kook" fire at times.

Ian McGibboney said...

I think you can make a case that Olbermann is the left's blowhard. I like him a lot, but some of the things he says makes me cringe, even if I agree, because of the way he says them.

Maddow is a credit to her profession, period. Smart, funny, factual, grounded...she seems like someone I wouldn't mind hanging around at a party, or would like to have her as a teacher. She knows her stuff and never skips a beat.

And what puts both of them light years above the likes of Beck, Rush, et al. is that Keith and Rachel would and have made light of themselves. Rachel's disarming when guesting on other shows and Keith once listed himself as "worst person in the world" on ESPN for something he did wrong on a previous segment. Can you imagine any of the Rush/Fox crew ever doing that?

Tom Alday said...

I love when you reinforce your own bias and then act like you've made some enlightened commentary.

NOLA Progressive said...

Tom, doesn't that assume that there really is a bias? The point of what is being discussed is that there is a difference between the pundits. Admittedly they all lean in a certain direction, but I think we were discussing how they do it and also how much facts and truth are distorted to make that lean.

What I am saying, and i presume to think Venessa and Ian agree with is that those on the left specifically Olberman and Maddow as per the conversation do a lot less propaganda style commentary and focus more on the facts at hand. Yes certainly they are proponents of a liberal/progressive/democrat ideaology, but hold up to a fact check much better than many of their counterparts.

I'm not arguing that this is absolute. For instance, I'd submit that while I really don't care for him at all, Bill O'Reilly is very similar to Olberman in my mind. Obviously with a different political bent, but it's not all about twisting everything to meet his agenda. Obvisously that isn't the case with Hannity, Beck, Rush, et al.

I think people would change their listening and viewing habits considerably if they took the time to consider this stuff and fact check the personalities.

Tom Alday said...

No they wouldn't. People watch these pundits to reinforce their own biases. Olbermann and Maddow both are just as full of shit and present just as much false info as anyone on Fox News, a simple Youtube search will even give you video proof.

But Ian's biases get in the way of doing something as simple as that, so he runs with the "HURR WE RIGHT THEY LIE HURR HURR" line and brushes his hands off as if he's written something meaningful or fully researched.

This whole post is pap and content free, and it's glaringly obvious why people only hire him to write 3 paragraph stories that appear on page 12 of the Metro section

venessalewis said...

Tom, why can't you ever make a point without berating Ian or his career? I'll admit that sometimes you might make a valid point, but your credibility is shot when you start to attack. STAY CLASSY TOM.

Tom Alday said...

Wow, the chick whose first interaction with me was calling me an unstable psychotic admonishing me for not being classy.

fucking lol.

venessalewis said...

Yeah....I was waiting for an opportunity to throw that line back on you to illustrate your hypocrisy. You insult relentlessly, yet when insulted you curl up into a big ball of victim.

Tom Alday said...

Actually I don't care what you call you me you twit, I just find it funny that the dumb cunt that attacked me and my wife out of nowhere has the fucking gall to comment on the class of someone else, and then when called on it tried to turn it around as a lame kind of gotcha.

Keep sucking Ian's cock Nessie, he's going places!

Ian McGibboney said...

I have to say, Tom's comments here and the ones from the righties on Facebook are exactly what I expected. Cracks at Venessa and I, accusations of alleged straw men while employing straw men, changing the subject...

The correct dissent response to this would be to offer examples of when the right's leading pundits use empirical facts to back up their assertions. I think this is especially critical for that side of the aisle because their pundits drive the debate much more than their counterparts on the left. This is due to message discipline, inclination toward conformity and sheer market penetration. Rush and Fox News are everywhere and get the highest ratings in their respective media. So between those hosts' obligations and their popularity, I think it should be easy to disprove my point. But somehow it isn't. And you only have to listen to Beck or Hannity et al. and figure out why. Facts and perspective are nowhere to be found.

Tom Alday said...

MSNBC RIGHT! FOX WRONG!

- Enlightened commentary from Ian McGibboney

Ian McGibboney, bringing you fresh liberal opinions straight from 2004!

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom, even though Venessa's comment on your wife wasn't appropriate, she at no point called her a "cunt" or any other epithet. In fact, all V did was mock her penchant for FarmVille. Just because it was wrong and you didn't like it doesn't give you a license to demean others.

Do you get off on this?

Tom Alday said...

Lol, standing up for your little pet, how cute.

Fuck her, I tried to place nice with her and never got personal with her even though she did with me several times. I've decided sometimes a puppy needs a smack on the nose so it knows it's done something wrong.

You should be asking her if she gets off on it.

Ian McGibboney said...

OK, Tom, so because you're offended by some mild comment she made a couple of months ago, which you rightfully feel she shouldn't have made, you think it's all right to repeatedly overreact? Especially when her comment on this thread that got you started wasn't that bad either (and was true)?

Venessa is my friend. You are not. She is generally civilized. You are not. And considering how you wave the pet/fangirl banner every time a woman expresses a supportive comment here, you're not clever either. But let's not get into that.

venessalewis said...

This actually made me laugh out loud...so thanks for that Tom. I was feeling alittle down today. Quit being so jealous of Ian. If your blog had any substance to it, maybe I'd be on your cock too! I've obviously gotten to you, based on the force of your response. Play nice? Yes, you are always a stellar example for playing nice.

Thanks for the "generally civilized" Ian. ;P LOL

Tom Alday said...

Overreact? You think this is me overreacting?

lol

Overreacting is calling someone who has never said an disparaging word about you an unstable psychotic, and then when he fails to take the bait and still doesn't give you the attack you're craving, you go after his wife who to bait him even further, yet he still bites his tongue and doesn't retort so you wait a while then attack him again as soon as he posts.

I believe I have sufficient justification to call her all the names I want. Lord knows she needed much less to attack me.

Tom Alday said...

Really, the chick with a horrible GlamorShots photo on her business webpage commenting about ANYONE else's website is the height of LOL.

Tom Alday said...

Although I find it funny you admit to being a whore that will suck the cock of anyone with substance on their blog.

No thanks, not looking for a herpes infection anytime soon.

Ian McGibboney said...

Tom, I'd tell you to be better than the people you hate, but I already have like 20 times. The only reason I can imagine someone holding such a pointless grudge for so long is because they enjoy holding it. I mean, why else intrude upon someone else's blog strictly out of choice and introduce such an irrelevant element into the conversation? And in the meanest, overreactive way possible, no less?

But by all means go ahead and do it if it makes you feel better. You're only speaking for yourself.

Tom Alday said...

Are you talking to me or Nessie?

Ian McGibboney said...

When Venessa starts calling other people cunts, talks about herpes and obsesses over strangers' professional websites when it's completely irrelevant to the conversation we started out having, and when she turns into a hypocritical, whiny little shit,
then I'll be talking to her.

Tom Alday said...

She actually derailed the conversation. I was starting a meaningful discussion with NOLA, she shit all over it.

We can get back on it and ignore the cunt, how about we do that. I'd very like to discuss your biased and flawed reporting in this story without having to parry blows (lol!) from your pet poodle.

Ian McGibboney said...

If you're that easily set off, Tom, I think the problem is you, not her. She contributes plenty to the blog when you aren't around. You don't even when you're here.

I will give you credit for almost writing a passable comment with that response to NOLA. I mean, you insulted me only twice in it. That's restrained for you.

Tom Alday said...

Unlike her, I can reel it in. While she's off scheduling a new GlamorShots pic since I made fun of her grandma pic I can continue having what passes for conversation on a blog full of liberal idiots with no opinions of their own.

So tell me, have you ever thought to peruse Youtube to see examples of your demigod MSNBC hosts telling lies and half truths? No, of course you haven't. Because you have biases which make a post like this pointless, your biases already precipitated the outcome and through a lack of research you've produced something that perfectly matched your preconceived bias.

Congrats, you've done nothing of merit with this post.

Ian McGibboney said...

Your use of the phrase "demigod MSNBC hosts" is exactly why I'm right on this one. My point is not that Rachel and Keith don't cross the line - in fact, I'm pretty sure I said they do - but that 1) they stick closer to established facts and 2) their net effect on liberals is less than Rush/Fox are on conservatives. Their ratings are lower and liberals are more likely not to be robotic dittoheads. Also, I admitted my bias and even anticipated a criticism similar to yours. I don't know what else you expect me to conclude here. Perhaps you should make your own case on the same subject on your blog? I'd love to consider it.

Speaking of...is there a reason your blog is suddenly inaccessible, Tom? Or is that just a coincidence?

Tom Alday said...

How can they both "stick to the facts" and still "cross the line" sometimes?

It's not limited to just Olby and Maddow. Matthews and Schultz are stuck in a constant state of idiotic projection and lies. And thank god Shuster is gone, I don't think he ever uttered even a simple truth. At least MSNBC had the foresight to can him.

I don't even understand your second point, Fox is bad because it has more viewers? That seems more like a jealousy thing every time you liberals bring it up. You ever think MSNBC can't get viewers because people find their slant detestable? Of course you haven't. I'm sure you think liberals have more important things to do like sit around coffee shops and discuss Che Guvera, therefore they just happen to miss the MSNBC's craptacular prime time schedule. Every night. For the last 4 years.

Thanks for your faux concern about my site btw, it's in the middle of a server move.

Ian McGibboney said...

I figured if there was something we could all agree on, it's that conservatives are more organized than their liberal brethren. Isn't that why we have the old saying, "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line?"

When I talk to a liberal, moderate or libertarian (and even some conservatives), even if we disagree, we usually find some common ground. But when I talk to a hard-right person, depending on what they say, I can trace it to a particular pundit. Is Obama evil and leading this nation to Marxism, so stock up on gold and seeds? That's Beck. Are the liberals out to crush capitalism, aided by the "drive-by media"? That's Rush! Do Democrats hate the Constitution? Hannity. And so on. And it's not that they say these things so much as they're the basis for everything else they say. And when these high-rated pundits start from this point, it poisons the discourse before it can even start.

At my job, I receive dozens upon dozens of letters a day. So many of them are so alike that it's not hard to imagine a common muse. And when Glenn Beck urges people to call their newspapers over ACORN or whatever, you damn well bet they do it. I've never known Olbermann or Maddow to inspire that response. And that isn't my bias showing. That's a fact. And it worries me.

Tom Alday said...

So your big beef is that conservative commentators have more pull than their weak ass liberal counterparts. Got it.

It's human nature for a group of like minded people to coalesce around a strong personality that shares the same views they do. It happens with in tribes, conservative pundits, preachers and even Presidential candidates like Obama. It's no fault of conservatives that the liberal stable is bereft of strong individuals. Maybe if that last strong personality you had (Obama) didn't turn into such an unmitigated disaster you wouldn't be left with cold fish like Maddow and Olbermann to carry your banner.

The problem with the discipline of "liberal message" is that the "message" is so undesirable to the general public that they have to obfuscate it and layer it within smoke and mirrors to make it palatable. Raising taxes becomes "eliminating tax cuts!" and redistribution of wealth becomes "free healthcare!" and obstructing justice and jury tampering become "impeached for a blowjob!". The problem is your message sucks, not that the Republican message is THAT much better.

NOLA Progressive said...

Sweet Jesus. I knew I would come back to this thread to this crap eventually. I'm not even going to get into the name calling and childishness. It's not worth it.

Tom, I'd like to explore your claim about Olberman and Maddow lying and/or distorting the facts. Is there a particular topic I should search for on youtube that would demonstrate? Do you have a link you would like me to peruse? The only times I recall any glaring misteps on Olberman's parthe has actually made retractions or addressed them on his show, so I would like to peruse those which you are referring to.

As for the liberal message there isn't one. At least to say there isn't a cohesive message, and that it truly our problem. Repubs are very good and rallying behind particular messages and staying on point. I personally think that is why they have been so successful in elections. The problem is a message doesn't have to have any worth or positive effect to be successful.

venessalewis said...

Well, sorry to derail the thread again but I'm just getting a chance to sit down and address Mel Gibson's rant above.

First Tom...you are so right about that picture! And LMAO by the way. I freaking hate that picture and was hoping to get some more done soon, when I have a break in my schedule. It wasn't Glamour Shots, but close, and a few years old. My hubby and I were laughing at it the other day as well! So thanks for giving me a incentive to invest in some new ones. Now, if you want to go down that road however, boy, have you left yourself wide open. As NO amount of Photoshopping would make your homely, 2 ton ass look any better. Try not to jack off to my picture....conversing with me on this blog is the closest you'll ever get to a hot blonde.

Now....you are the one that threw in the sexual reference, and when I responded in kind, I'm the whore with herpes! Oh that is rich. No, I know Tom, you aren't used to women taking your sexist remarks and turning them on you. It's called women's lib. I don't cower from sexual references, unlike the women I'm guessing in your immediate circle, which is why you suffer from so much pent up sexual frustration. Let it out Tom! Most Republicans do! Are there no brothels nearby? I'm sure David Vitter could recommend one to you. You are such a stereotype that if you were as famous in real life as you are in your mind, SNL would actually do a parody of you. As much as I'd love to give you herpes, you are gonna have to keep trolling match.com for that opportunity. I've been with the same man since I was 17.

And Ian is right, the only "attack" I made on your wife was about a game she played and music she listened to. I also apologized. But, I suspect I've hit several nerves tih you, which is why you continue to come back more and more forcefully each time. Bring it on big boy, I like it rough.

Tom Alday said...

Ugh, I saw you responded before I went to bed last night and hoped the BEST OVERALL COMMUNICATOR of Upper Cuntville 2004-2006 would add something of substance to the conversation, sadly I was wrong. Fat jokes and sexual frustration is the best you could come up with after a few hours stewing?

Mel Gibson rant? I think it's more akin to the first 40 seconds of this great opening scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnfhMaBKlnQ

I do love how you bring up your husband in a lame attempt to get me to attack him. Not going to happen. I may be an asshole, but I'm not an utter scumbag like you that I'll attack someones family for no reason.

@NOLA

Here are a few: http://dailycaller.com/2010/07/16/countdown-olbermanns-finest-moments-video/

You can find further instances of Olbermann and other MSNBC hosts struggling with facts here: http://www.youtube.com/olbywatch

Also, how can you say liberals don't have a message? The message is threefold:

Rich people are evil
Bush is to blame for everything wrong
Everyone is a racist

I hear this repeated on every left wing blog and out of the mouth of every liberal talking head on the air. To say they don't have a "message" is flat out wrong, they have one it just stinks and is doing nothing but driving away all the independents that voted for Obama in 2008.

NOLA Progressive said...

I've watch the olybwatch clips...well some of them..so I"m not very encouraged that you offered me anything of substance there, but I'll dig some more into them. I will also look at the other recommended links.

Your confusing a general countrywide disenchantment with a liberal message. If this were indeed our message party-wide it would be being pushed by candidates and elected leaders. I get you think its bad, but basically I wish that elected officials would hold that line. Everything except for Bush is to blame for everything. I mean there's plenty to go around to his dad and Reagan too. Sarcasm. Plenty to go around to Clinton and many Dems as well. Just not as much.

Tom Alday said...

It is the message, Obama's radio address this week was essentially a long whine about how mean Republicans are and how much Bush is to blame for everything. You watch Chris Matthews and he's always going on about "white tribalism" being the reason behind the attacks against Obama, as if one side attacking a president is TOTALLY outside the norm. Ian thinks everyone that has bought ammo since January 21st 2009 is an evil racist. It is the message, and it's failing.

NOLA Progressive said...

It is not the message. It's correct and it should be the message, but unfortunately it is not adhered to. You are misunderstading me. While mock it or at least highly disapprove of it, I applaud that message because it is by and far true. You don't start and anti-tax party full of predominantly white people at a time when taxes have been placed at their lowest in a generation or so without racial impetus.

I digress though. My point is that while you are correct in saying that some pundits push this. The Pres does at times as well. It is not universal. The Dems do not march with it in lockstep like the Repubs do with stuff like tax cuts equal revenue etc... If the Dems did this they would be more successful.

NOLA Progressive said...

I'm sorry Tom. I mean no disrepect, but those video clips are ridiculous. They feature instances of taking something Olbermann said and then showing him saying something different, but after his initial staement. That's not a clear explanation, but they are time-cut. Like the one with the Hilary statement. He hadn't said that, when he said he hadn't said that. It wasn't until later when things had escalated that he urged her to drop out in that other special comment. There is more than one instance of this in those clips. The rest don't actually say anything. Well except for the chicken and waffles one. That was just stupid of Olbermann. That's why I said he can be a pain in the ass. That's also why I took your links seriously and checked them out, because I certainly held it plausible he had really done some serious misrepresentation, but these are not good.

Tom Alday said...

"You don't start and anti-tax party full of predominantly white people at a time when taxes have been placed at their lowest in a generation or so without racial impetus."

Surveys have shown that the Tea Party, percentage wise, has nearly the exact same racial makeup as the country overall.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/Tea-Partiers-Fairly-Mainstream-Demographics.aspx

But hey, why look at facts when OMGRACISTS!! sounds better on TV?

NOLA Progressive said...

Unless I'm missing something here, this poll does not support your argument. This poll does show that the overall percentages of tea party supporters are similar to the U.S. population at large in quite a few different areas, but certainly not in the one that matters the most, race.

According to this poll white folks make up 79 percent of the base, while black folks make up 6 percent. My statement was this was a predominantly white movement. Also the acronym for T.E.A. is "taxed enough already". This was the impetus for beginning the movement, while the election brought tax decreases. In addition people as a whole are paying the lowest tax rates in 60 years. A fair statement would be that the majority of these folks were taxed more under a white President and then started protesting taxes only when a black President was elected. The irony is the black President reduced taxes.

I also understand that the libertarian movement began this Tea Party deal prior to all of this, but for the sake of this conversation I'm referencing the current Tea Party manifestation.

Your poll simply doesn't bear to much on this conversation, and where is does it doesn't favor your thesis.

Tom Alday said...

I think this graphic backs me up regarding the Tea Party demographic being pretty similar to the overall US population, in fact it's embedded in the very same article I linked to

http://sas-origin.onstreammedia.com/origin/gallupinc/GallupSpaces/Production/Cms/POLL/uesnctifn0gwizq_z7zmzq.gif

Did you just gloss over it?

NOLA Progressive said...

No I perused it pretty thoroughly. The snip you provided last is the most relevant piece for sure. It states that 6 percent of tea party supporters are non-hispanic black as compared to 11 percent of the country at large. I'm not disputing the similarity in the percentages as compared to the country (the 5 percent difference is not significant) at large. In fact, I'm embracing them in my justification for my opinion.

My opinion is simply that the Tea Party movement has a very small amount of black adherents/members. It is a movement developed following the election of a black president. It was founded on the premise of being overtaxed (I understand that it has grown into a protest of government excess etc... in general but that is where it started), but these folks by and large haven't been taxed less than this in about 60 years. Therefore, I view race as an issue and a motivator.

I'm not trying to be a cook or absolutist. I'm not suggesting that simply because you are a Tea Party member you are a racist. I also don't think that it is organized top down as a racial organization either overtly or covertly. I simply believe that a significant portion of the individuals who are drawn to the movement are drawn because of intrinsic racial issues. They don't trust Obama because he is black, believe he has some black power agenda, want to give all they have away to minorities, etc...

Also I'm not suggesting that the Tea Party should be booted out of town. They have just as much right to organize as a political caucus as any other. Even if they were admittedly the militant wing of the Klu Klux Klan (which obviously they are not; just exaggeration for emphasis)they should be allowed to organize and petition the government and populace for their cause. I just don't care for them because I view much of what they are protesting to be hypocritical and ill-informed.