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Understanding the Tea Parties

It's worth reading this crazy Chris Muir comic, if only to understand the narrative that hardcore conservatives have created for themselves.


To be fair, there's definitely a political party willing to represent that guy.

By Ezra Klein  |  October 16, 2009; 2:44 PM ET
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i especially enjoy the thought that this guy is too pure for the republican party!

Posted by: howard16 | October 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how you can make anything non-racist by putting it in the mouth of a cartoon black man. If the speaker were a cartoon white guy, the bits about Obama would sound awful. But from a cartoon black guy, it's just truth-telling.

Neat how that works.

Posted by: LizardB | October 16, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, now that the Republican Party has become the Fox News Party, what's the problem?

Posted by: starfleet_dude | October 16, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me who Obama's "child-rapist mentor" is supposed to be? I get the others, but not that one.

Also, how can Obama be a racist communist terrorist dictator and a "cipher" at the same time?

Posted by: tomemos | October 16, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Ezra are you going to have to have your cable news taken away? you're rolling into the MSNBC obsessed with the right kind of stuff here.

Posted by: zeppelin003 | October 16, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse


near as I can tell Ken Jennings once gave a speech where he praised a guy, and that guy once gave a speech where he said NAMBLA should get to walk in a Pride parade; therefore, in Beck world, Ken Jennings=NAMBLA.

Posted by: ThomasEN | October 16, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

That guy sure does keep Sadly,No! in business...

Posted by: Jenn2 | October 16, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The Scoliosis and Ranting party.

"It's amazing how you can make anything non-racist by putting it in the mouth of a cartoon black man."

As Scott Eric Kaufman noted, it's really no different from blackface.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | October 16, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, there is a political party to represent that guy- they just don't want him in it!

Double ha ha- Chris Muir thinks he's one of the few who "do produce".

Posted by: serialcatowner | October 16, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

So if he loves America so much, why does he use the foreign spelling of "naturalized"? Suspicious.

Posted by: DaraL | October 16, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love it when some pasty-faced cartoonist uses a black character to be the mouthpiece for his rant&rave.

I really don't understand why we can't have funny conservative comics. Instead we get Prickly City, this trash, BC....

Posted by: DonWhiteside | October 16, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The kicker: oh that is not fair! :-)

Posted by: CorkExaminer | October 16, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The child-rapist mentor was his grandfather's poker playing buddy, and African-American intellectual in his 60s who had been in the CPUSA and had a long sexual history spanning genders and ages. He is mentioned in "Dreams from my Father" as a guy who spoke politics with teenage Barry. Some other sources quote him about having slept with children in a sort of Roman Polaski creepy 70s sort of way, so its not inaccurate, except the idea that you discredit someone by saying they had conversations as a teenager with someone who did bad things..

Some of the birther/deather conspiracy types claim he is Barack's actual father.

The cute thing about the comic is having one of Barack's key constituencies - post racial hip urbanites - mouthing the nutty ideas of the Beck types. Kinda like putting Noam Chomsky lyrics in a country song (actually, maybe Steve Earle has already done that).

Posted by: danocny | October 16, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

ya this is cute isn't it. Can we share one for liberals too? I'm sure its out there Ezra if you looked?

And the point is that when the african american man says:

"looks like Americans will sleepwalk into servility . . ."

and the woman says:

"no its a state that will care for them, its the American dream"

he should have responded:

"No, the American dream is to work hard to achieve your goals, not to expect someone else to and then take the fruits of his or her labor. The ones who should be helped are the ones who can't help themselves, not the ones too lazy to help themselves of which that is becoming an ever growing majority"

But I'm guessing that doesn't play into your liberal mentality now does it?

Posted by: visionbrkr | October 17, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

visionbrkr: tell me you meant that as a parody of a comment. please tell me that.

because otherwise your comment makes absolutely no sense at all: the words do not add up to a thought, although presumably somewhere in there you think that people don't have jobs because they are lazy rather than that there are no jobs to be had, but admittedly, i'm just guessing.

danocny: because that claim was a new one to me, too, we aren't talking about bayard rustin, are we?

Posted by: howard16 | October 17, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse


I wish it was.

Those who don't have jobs because there are no jobs would fall under "those who can't help themselves".

I'm speaking of those who don't even try or who aren't trying hard enough.

two examples to make my point.

Example 1- employee who is 24 and who works at a commission based job with a small stipend salary (18k a year) and has rent payments and an 8 month pregnant wife on the way. He doesn't make his commission goals by missing it by less than 5% of total goal and loses his entire salary in the process. Now he's 100% commission in a difficult industry at the time and has next to no money coming in. He could leave his job, probably get unemployment until whenever or he could stick it out and get a second, third job to make ends meet for his family. He gets a newspaper route, early AM and ends up driving it for 4 years taking his cholicy (sp) baby along for the "ride" all while he's stuffing newspapers in bags for people making as I said $600 a month to put food on the table.

Example 2-alcoholic truck driver that loses his license to drunk driving so he loses his "union" job and then sits on unemployment and plays (WOW) all day long and takes the token interview (and even doesn't accept job offers because they don't SUIT him. He feels like he can sponge off family when he has to because they'll always bail him out.

i'm example 1, my brother in law is example 2. Sense my frustration? Sure it doesn't apply to all and many need to be helped but they also want to help themselves. My sister in law was early acceptance to Georgetown, partial scholarship, great future ahead of herself, but she was lazy, never finished school. Now my brother in law has a WOW partner to play with. You know how they're spending their unemployment checks? A newer computer. Again sense my frustration??

As I said, its not all but if you think some don't sponge off the system because they can then you're fooling yourself.

Posted by: visionbrkr | October 17, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

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