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A scary Tea Party

Republicans looking to harness the grassroots energy of the Tea Party movement are playing with a raging fire. And after reading yesterday's exhaustive New York Times story on the "loose alliances of protesters" gathered under the Tea Party umbrella, I'm urging Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele and anyone else who claims leadership in the GOP to denounce the radical elements of the Tea Party movement. If not, they better be ready to explain their troubling embrace if (pray not when) these paranoid, self-appointed protectors of the constitution turn their considerable anger into deadly action.

We've been down this road before. In the 1990s, there was lots of talk about the excesses of government power, a U.N.-run New World Order and black helicopters on which the federal government would swoop in to take away Americans' freedom and money. Two deadly confrontations with federal authorities -- in Ruby Ridge, Idaho (1992) with white supremacist Randy Weaver and in Waco, Texas (1993) -- stoked the conspiracy theories that fueled the animus within the militia movement. The distrust and seething hatred of the federal government took murderous form on April 19, 1995, when Timothy McVeigh with an assist from Terry Nichols used the Waco anniversary to detonate a 4,800-pound truck bomb, destroying the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and killing 168 people and injuring 500 others.

That anger is back.

The Times story shows how those in the Tea Party movement concerned about runaway deficits and bailouts of banks and automakers are attracting the likes of the Oath Keepers. These "Guardians of the Republic" are members of the military and law enforcement officials who fear a dictatorship and proclaim that their "oath is to the Constitution, not to the politicians...." In "The Second Wave: Return of the Militias," the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) brands the group "a particularly worrisome example of the Patriot revival." Oh, when was Oath Keepers formed? April 19, 2009. The same day the Revolutionary War began in 1775. The same day the Branch Davidian compound burned to the ground in 1993. The same day as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

"What we're seeing is tremendously similar to what we saw in the 1990's," said Mark Potok of the SPLC when I spoke with him yesterday. "The movement is shot through with the conspiracy theories and fears of the militia movement." He was quick to note that not everyone in the Tea Party movement subscribed to the radical and extremist views espoused by some of the groups in that decentralized coalition. But, Potok said, "There is no question that ideas from the Patriot movement have been adopted by the Tea Party movement."

According to Potok, a report from SPLC due out this month will show "a record number of hate groups" and "a true explosion of anti-government and Patriot groups." A Department of Homeland Security report last year warned, "Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years." It went on to say, "In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for right-wing extremist recruitment and radicalization."

William Kostic
William Kostic at the health-care forum hosted by President Obama last August in New Hampshire.

Thomas Jefferson once said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." A provocative statement, to be sure. That's why there was great concern when William Kostic appeared outside a health-care forum hosted by President Obama last August in New Hampshire with a gun strapped to his leg and carrying a sign that read, "It Is Time to Water the Tree of Liberty." That makes for great political theater. But Jefferson's words adorned the back of McVeigh's t-shirt the day he committed the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil (before Sept. 11, 2001).

Republican leaders winked and nodded at the anti-government paranoia of the militia movement back then. They must not repeat that mistake this time. There are legitimate concerns being expressed by many in the Tea Party movement. But the GOP should not let its quest for returning to the majority stop them from forcefully condemning the radical forces taking hold on its right flank.

By Jonathan Capehart  | February 16, 2010; 7:33 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

The growth of the Tea Party has much to do with the sad state of education in the USA. The only article in the US Constitution that most of these people know is the right to bear arms. Few of these people including Ms. Palin know anything about the rest of the USA and the world outside their counties. Most are not aware that the deficit we have has to do with one thing only, the massive military spending, more the the rest of the world combined. Most are not aware that virtually all "western" countries and many others spend on its people what the the USA spends on military. Most are not aware that our economy is based almost solely on consumerism not production of goods. Germany has a $275 billion trade surplus and USA has an $800 billion trade deficit. The Tea Party thinks that Obama is the problem. The problem is Congress, the sad state of education and mess we are in due to Vietnam war, first and second Iraq war, and $600 billion per year defense spending.

Posted by: sbrady1 | February 17, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Capehart refers to Randy Weaver as a "white supremacist." Actually, Weaver was a white SEPARATIST. Subtle, I know, but there is a difference. As for the "teapartiers", if some are able to go beyond wimpy, pointless tactics like waving tea bags around, and take things to the "next level", and really punch the federal bully in the nose, then so much the better. After all, none of you libs seem to mind the fact that Bill Ayers took it to the next level back in the day.

Posted by: rop2 | February 17, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you, Mr. Capehart -- 100 percent. These people don't know exactly what it is they are angry about in many cases, but they do know it feels good to be in an angry crowd. They can freely display hate signs and not feel like they are lone nuts. Along with the untruth that Norquist and Armey are feeding them (that they are being taxed to death) now they have former congressman Tom Tancredo feeding them bigotry and making it look okay. These people ARE scary. They think it is okay to pack heat outside where indoors something as innocuous as a health care debate is going on. That the president is inside makes it particularly troubling. They are frustrated by bad economic times (tho many found enough money to go to Nashville) and looking for scapegoats. It doesn't help that the Republican Party nods and winks at them hoping for political gain. Tim McVeigh found a way to water the tree with blood. Who can say that won't happen again by folks with unchecked anger fueled by the lies of opportunistic politicians?

Posted by: creatia52 | February 17, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

[[After all, none of you libs seem to mind the fact that Bill Ayers took it to the next level back in the day.]]

How do you know how "libs" felt about groups such as the Weathermen who used violence to make a point? I saw them as nothing more than criminals. I certainly don't think all conservatives are right wing radicals who approve of abortion clinic bombings and the blowing up of federal buildings.

Posted by: creatia52 | February 17, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding jonathan - the republicans will hang with them until something happens, and then they'll scatter like cockroaches exposed to sunlight. They don't have any true principles or convictions to align themselves with the tea baggers, they're just looking for what they think is a quick trip to regaining power. I don't see the republicans taking a stand to quell anything.

Posted by: NotFooledTX | February 17, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The Tea Party people are real scary to snooty, liberal elitists. Just as the patriot rabble was scary to the royalists and British in 1776.

The original patriots were looked on as primitive rustics and cutthroat criminals. They made America happen.

The U.S. government is corrupt, too big and unresponsive to its citizens today.

Just like the British empire of 1776 was to its American colony.

Posted by: battleground51 | February 17, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

What a PUNK, this Capehart idiot is. He wants the TEA PARTY to be denounced. This is a guy who I'M SURE, thinks that FELONS should vote. How do you think he feels about ACORN, or SEIU, or ANY of OBAMS' BROWNSHIRTS? The DEMOCRAT PARTY is nothing BUT RADICALS. Oath Keepers are radical? Is it RADICAL to expect REPRESENTATIVES to KEEP THEIR OATHS? Is it RADICAL to demand that CONGRESS, and our BOY KING, in the White House, OBEY THE CONSTITUTION?
Hey Capehart. Ya mind telling us WHY the BLACK PANTHERS, convicted of brandishing weapons, and intimidating VOTERS, outside of a Philly Polling Place, got a GET OUTTA JAIL FREE CARD?
You want DANGEROUS RADICALS? I'll get you a list of Obamss' CZARS.
Idiot.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | February 17, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

In your dreams Buba, in your dreams.
The Teaparty is viable because so many American taxpayers are disgusted with politicians who would, for their own self-aggrandizement, make every non-taxpaying American an additional undeclared dependent on their tax return. Is it, or is it not self-evident that economic freedom is the sine qua non of political freedom?

Posted by: funu50401 | February 17, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"The original patriots were looked on as primitive rustics and cutthroat criminals. "

Who writes this? Do you know anything about the Revolution? You can say what you want about men like Jefferson, Madison and Franklin, but nobody in Europe thought they were primitive rustics.

Posted by: simpleton1 | February 17, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Only a LEFT WING KOOK would consider some one in a Tea Party to be feared.

Posted by: jbrandt0001 | February 17, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

[The Teaparty is viable because so many American taxpayers are disgusted with politicians who would, for their own self-aggrandizement, make every non-taxpaying American an additional undeclared dependent on their tax return.]

Really? That's what makes the tea party viable? The fact is most of the people at the tea party rallies don't know why they are mad. They can't articulate a single reason they hate Obama. It's always these general terms like "he's a socialist" or "he's a Marxist" or "keep the government out of my Medicare". These people are just being used by big corporations so that they can keep the government from passing any type of reform. Either way they are a small percentage of the American public and I wish the media would treat them that way.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | February 17, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

the SPLC? hilarious. they also said Ron Paul supporters were domestic terrorists.

thanks for wasting my precious lunchtime with this dribble.

Posted by: millionea7 | February 17, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

yes, the violent extremists are back. they have seen their opportunity in the "tea partiers" and are jumping all over it. no one in the GOP will denounce this development. or the fact that CPAC this week is officially sponsored by the john birchers. not a chance.

the "tea parties" are about one thing and one thing only: Barack Obama. they are not about fiscal responsibility, the 10th amendment, budget deficits, big government, or any of the things they scream about. everybody just suddenly woke up to the need to oppose big government just as soon as Obama was sworn in? really?

to the "tea partiers", i have one question:

WHERE WERE YOU?

where were you for the past 8 years - out of control republican spending, TARP, wars of choice, expansion of medicare through the prescription drug benefit, tax cuts for the only the wealthy, etc., etc. where were you?

i have posed this question endlessly on blogs, forums, etc. and no one, not one person, not a single "tea partier" has answered it. i'm still waiting.

Posted by: ebproducer | February 17, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

This is scary stuff, and likely true. When the Southern Poverty Law Center investigates hateful and divisive activity, they publish what they find. We are welcoming disaster if we don't pay attention and act to prevent uprising in our own communities.

First, notice which of our local law enforcement are not taking seriously their pledge to protect us. Hold the elected official who oversees them accountable.

Woe to us if we do not fear the acts of the angry and igorant.


Posted by: goodgovernment | February 17, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The Times story was a joke. As is this Capehart column.

I don't belong to the Tea Party, nor do I want to. I knew some Tea Party members, and they are not the violence-prone people that the Times and Capehart want to portray them as. Quite the opposite. They are kind people who would give you the shirt off their backs; they are just concerned about government getting out of control. And I suspect a majority of Americans share that concern, to some degree.

You could tell the Times had to go out of its way to find people who might, possibly, maybe, have "violent" thoughts. And then they didn't have any actual evidence of violence to back up their weak theory.

What is particularly hilarious is that, when you look at incidents of actual violence in recent years, it has been taken place in the name of left-wing causes. The union thugs who beat up a tea party guy in Missouri, or the Democrat who bit the tea party protester in California. There were all those violent anti-capitalism protests in Seattle, etc. There were some violent protests against Bush & Co.

Capehart needs to get his own house in order before he calls on conservatives to get control of violence that doesn't exist. What a putz.

Posted by: dakotadoug83 | February 17, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

With respect, I do not believe our law enforcement officials should take an oath to a person, but should take oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Is this anti-Obama? I hope not. I do know Hitler's Wehrmacht took oaths to Adolph Hitler personally and not to Germany. I rather hope our President does not want anyone to declare loyalty to him, except perhaps the redoubtable Michelle Obama.

Posted by: sailhardy | February 17, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

When are going to face up to the fact: Our education system has failed our nation.

This has left a space for something that is very American: The Fear Industry.
There is a lot of money in scaring people.
My gosh! they have their own national TV channel, Fox "News"

It works this way: Create a good fear, then write a book on it, get a radio program, organize a movement and one can make a fortune giving interviews, writing magazine articles, giving speeches, buttering up to the lobby of those who are making money with tat particular fear.

I have travelled and worked in many countries. Nowhere is the fear and hate industry so developed and so much of a money maker as in the USA.

Posted by: marketeck | February 17, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Paranoia does seem a definite marker in the Tea Party. The guns, the signage, the confusion about socialism and communism and nazis (opposite ends of the political spectrum, but all scary somehow, and the scariness is what the Tea Party seems to react to). No question there's a fringey, creepy element there. Why are the supposed "good Americans" so easily frightened? If we could just reassure them, and calm them down a bit . . . they would breathe easier and be less threatening to themselves and others.

Posted by: cturtle1 | February 17, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow - up until a few weeks ago, the Democrats laughed at and ridiculed the Tea Party movement....they don't any longer as now after Scott Brown's victory and the poll numbers showing a Democratic party meltdown in November 2010. Now that the liberals see how effective the so-called "teabaggers" are at defeating them, they want the GOP to dicard them and label them dangerous......they won't. The GOP will let the Democrats to continue villifying the Tea Party Movement and write their own obituary.

Posted by: Realist20 | February 17, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with this previous comment.
The growth of the Tea Party has much to do with the sad state of education in the USA. The only article in the US Constitution that most of these people know is the right to bear arms. Few of these people including Ms. Palin know anything about the rest of the USA and the world outside their counties. Most are not aware that the deficit we have has to do with one thing only, the massive military spending, more the the rest of the world combined. Most are not aware that virtually all "western" countries and many others spend on its people what the the USA spends on military. Most are not aware that our economy is based almost solely on consumerism not production of goods. Germany has a $275 billion trade surplus and USA has an $800 billion trade deficit. The Tea Party thinks that Obama is the problem. The problem is Congress, the sad state of education and mess we are in due to Vietnam war, first and second Iraq war, and $600 billion per year defense spending.

Posted by: ThelmaMcCoy | February 17, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

battleground51,

The Revolutionary War was started by highly educated men, who negotiated with one another for the best route to help their states and their new nation.

The Tea Baggers think education is a negative quality in a person, makes for a great future.

Posted by: pathfinder12 | February 17, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Capehart - agree with you.
But hopefully Teabaggers will nominate someone to run for prez in 2012.
It worked FOR Clinton in 1992....

Obama - 44%
Romney - 40%
Teabagger - 16%

Posted by: angie12106 | February 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"People should not be afraid of their governments. The Government should be afraid of their people." - from the movie "V for Vendetta".

Posted by: kotchg2074 | February 17, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Pretty extreme words for someone denouncing extremism

The Obama Administration is out of tune with the American temper, voters are worried about jobs, financial security, growing government spending

The Obama administration is worried about a health care plan and the weather. They are worried whether the courtroom for KSM will have padded seats for the defendants, whether their "rights" are protected and whether we look good in French salons.

Populism is never pretty, those who call themselves progressives today came from the Granger and labor union movements, usually filled with angry people who wanted economic change. Politicians who snarl at populism do so at their own risk in November.

Posted by: stunninglycommonsense | February 17, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. Capehart evokes unfounded visions of Tea Partier violence through the memories Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City, and it's the Tea Partiers who are paranoid?

Posted by: NNevada | February 17, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

i hope they dont blow me up! i work for the gov't and these people are shadowy people. and the GOP is getting into bed with them! i was hoping someone would eventually make this connection. these are anti-gov't militias that are controlling some of these tea party groups. whats kind of funny is some of them are no doubt collecting or enrolled in socsec, medicare, workers comp, or unemployment! these people are the definition of future domestic terrorists.

Posted by: rmk1122 | February 17, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Considering that 71% of Americans disapprove of the Queen of the Tea Party Sarah Palin, I would say that the only entity completely out of touch with the American people is the Tea party itself.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | February 17, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Realist20,

Your name claims you're a realist, but your comment doesn't seem so realistic.

The New York Congressional race is the true indicator for how the Tea Baggers will affect the coming elections: The Republican party split between the moderate Republican and the the right-wing Tea Bagger, giving the victory to the Democrat, a seat they hadn't held in 100 years.

The Tea Baggers do have some legit gripes - the size of government - but their solutions are too fringe - kill social security. If they want to be taken seriously, they need to get rid of the fringe element and focus on the concepts that attract a larger base.

If they don't do this and they put their support behind candidates, it will be very easy for other Republicans and Democrats to lock them in the crazy corner. But this is more of a concern for Republicans than Democrats because Democrats will catch the split.

Posted by: pathfinder12 | February 17, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...siding with the forefathers...I suppose that Tea Partiests don't realize that in order to claim more of their own money, continue to enslave others, and create rules of their own, our ForeFathers were the bank barons, industrialists and large corporate executives of their day. They managed to remove an Imperialist only to put one of their own.

Posted by: pv2bdrco | February 17, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The nutcase Tea Baggers are just as likely a covert GOP band of rabble and not a grassroots movement. In any case these loonies might as well be wearing sheets and hoods. They are anti-Black, anti-Hispanic, anti-Asian, anti-Gay, anti-Catholic, anti-Intellectual. Sound familiar? Does KKK ring a bell?

Posted by: EdSantaFe | February 17, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The tea partiers for the most part older white people. They complain about government while collecting their government pensions and government-run insurance. Sort of like IL Cong. Schock and Shimkus voting against the omnibus bill and going to ceremonies taking credit for their district getting the money.

We need leaders. Obama said he'd be one but has failed so far. Apparently he hasn't learned one can't lead from the rear.

Posted by: tbartlett2 | February 17, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The only country where being uneducated, white, angry and paranoid makes you a legitimate political movement. Oh, I guess carrying signs helps too. (cue eyeroll)

Posted by: LABC | February 17, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Good column! As a Democrat, I urge you to write a companion piece urging Democrats to provide an opportunity for these people to be heard. They need an outlet for expressing their concerns - some of which, as you say, are legitimate. Our Democratic leaders need to show these people that their concerns are taken seriously. If we can respond to them in a serious and respectful manner, we may be able to head off the threat of violence voiced by some of their leaders. (Unfortunately, I'm not hopeful - neither party's leaders have shown the kind of maturity required for such an effort.)

Posted by: bjones20 | February 17, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party people are real scary to snooty, liberal elitists. Just as the patriot rabble was scary to the royalists and British in 1776.

The original patriots were looked on as primitive rustics and cutthroat criminals. They made America happen.

The U.S. government is corrupt, too big and unresponsive to its citizens today.

Just like the British empire of 1776 was to its American colony.

Posted by: battleground51

Oh, please. The current tea psrty is to the original patriots as BB guns are to bazookas. The original patriots risked life, liberty, and sacred honor. The current bunch risks nothing.

I also hold little respect for the reverse elitism afoot that says only only Joe the plumber types are "real Americans" and the rest are liberal elitists. If Joe 6-packs feel threatened, then they need to lift themselves up by the bootstrap, get a better education, better their lives, and secure their futures. I've lost patiennce with people who are too lazy to adapt to change. The fault is theirs, and no one else's, that they perceive themselves to be "mere underlings."

And that, my friends, is genuine conservatism.

Posted by: BaltimoreCotls59 | February 17, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Capeheart, do you really believe more than a handful of people on the right would care if a Tea Partier managed to get to you? Face it, in a country where the Second Amendment is sacred you're on the wrong side of a gun fight.

Posted by: pcannady | February 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The professor in Alabam who shot up her co-workers was a big Obama fan.

I guess that means all pro-Obama people are dangerous, if I use Capehart logic.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/method_madness_JTsu2G5Oct3L6ASvYXhL6I

Posted by: grunk | February 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Ok, everyone calm down and lets put aside partisan differences and analyze the tea party movement like Capehart actually seems to have done. To start with, lets all condemn everyone who has ever sent a pipe bomb as part of the political debate. Ok?

The tea party movement is not close to a unified force and and encompasses a wide range of oppinions. Most participants are nothing more than grass roots conservatives worried about the fiscal state of our country and the role of government. I disagree with many of their assertions, but that is beside the point.

However, if you spend some time on local tea party websites (and given how rapidly tea party groups split there are a lot of them), you can't help but notice that there are similarities to the patriot movement. These include links to sites advocating what most legal and historical authorities consider radical conspiracy theories. They include the right to secceed, that Atzlan conspiracy, objections to the 16th ammendment and others. These sorts of links are more prevalent in the older, original tea party sites.

The fact that the creation of the tea party coincided with a resurgence in the militia movement and that both espoused similar principles tells me that they are harnessing the same anti-statist concepts. The fact that the movement was founded before many policies had been proposed is indicative that in its birth, the movement was a knee jerk reaction to liberalism. This sort of reaction is pretty normal as almost everyone, no matter how radical, believes themselves to be centrist.

Finally, lets again step back. You (all of you) do not represent the center. To find your place on any issue decide the farthest left position and the farthest right position and place yourself. For instance, the second ammendment states "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" Note that it says regulation, militia and not be infringed. The farthest left interpretation is that the right to bear arms is only in militias and the farthest right is that everyone can buy a gun whenever they want. Place yourself somewhere on that spectrum and see how many interpretations are to the right of you and how many are to the left.

Oh, and if you believe the SPLC is some sort of radical institution, you are willfully ignorant and self deluded. Period. The SPLC monitors and writes about all hate groups weather they be the black seperatist, christian fundamentalist or neo nazi.

Posted by: ELA5 | February 17, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"And after reading yesterday's exhaustive New York Times story on the "loose alliances of protesters"

......Hard to believe in today's world that anyone believe a 'word" that the liberal/progressives "make up" when they produce their fictional stories.

Like the Washington POST the majority of Ameicans view these corrupt left-wing policiatl outlets as just that, total left-wing propaganda.......sad.

But our Free left-wing press continues to try.........got to give these corrupt liberal/progressives credit for trying to Lie and Mislead the Amercian people...

Posted by: allenridge | February 17, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The professor in Alabam who shot up her co-workers was a big Obama fan.

I guess that means all pro-Obama people are dangerous, if I use Capehart logic.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/method_madness_JTsu2G5Oct3L6ASvYXhL6I

Posted by: grunk | February 17, 2010 12:57 PM |
===================================

Yeah......the liberal/progressive fascists that own, manage, and report for the POST has completely censored that information and those facts.

Welcome to Nazi America everyone......

POST = still a dirty dishonest liberal/progressive propaganda outlet for the Democrat Party........

Posted by: allenridge | February 17, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"Republican leaders winked and nodded at the anti-government paranoia of the militia movement back then." And Republican leaders are winking and nodding at the right-wing nutcases again. Its what they do....like their Southern Strategy of aligning themselves with the segregationists when the Northern Democrats did the right thing and abolished segregation. Republican political strategy is always a divide and conquer strategy, a fear-mongering, hatred-based strategy. The tea baggers are perfect for them. Just like the evangelicals, they will use them to regain power, then go on their merry way, enriching themselves, pandering to the multi-national corporations, and letting the country slide into third-world status.

Most Americans are as dumb as rocks. The tea baggers are living proof. They say they want fiscal responsibility, but they support the Republicans despite the ruinous deficits the Republicans have run up for the last 30 years. They say they want smaller government but they support Republicans, who have never done anything but expand the role of government. Fools, one and all.

Posted by: Chagasman | February 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"The professor in Alabam who shot up her co-workers was a big Obama fan.

I guess that means all pro-Obama people are dangerous, if I use Capehart logic."

Capehart's logic is fine, your's is poor. The woman in Alabama shot up her co-workers because (1) she was seriously ill, and (2) she was denied tenure, which pushed her over the edge. Simple and very personal.

The Republicans in Congress are anti-Obama, but Capehart doesn't claim they are violent nutbags.

The professor might have been a fan of the Red Sox too, and maybe Chinese food and tulips. Should we look at those groups too?

Try again, Cletus.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 17, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I see allenridge couldn't help but display that he is as moronic as grunk.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 17, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

OKLAHOMA CITY has receded from popular consciousness. BOB DOLE (prepping for a White House bid) immediately renounced the hate mongering that had reached a fevered pitch among right wing extremists that had been whipped up by the Gingrich/Limbaugh alliance (prior to that he had been trying to surf it). Oklahoma City was DOMESTIC TERRORISM perpetuated by CAUCASIANS (I am one myself) not MUSLIMS. Thank you for reminding us that history is poised to repeat itself. I suspect that Oklahoma City may have inspired Osama BinLaden to attack us. "If Americans can do it to themselves," I imagined he thought, "what am I waiting for?" Violence always breeds violence. The senseless, horrfic tragedy of Oklahoma City SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!

Posted by: LongMemory1 | February 17, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

First, as far as the so-called liberal or conservative media goes, I believe I can read an article and see a news report and decipher the information for myself. I do not leave it up to the media to tell me how to think. This I should do on my own. Based on my education and the willingness to look at both sides (e.g. Post or Fox).

I have been alarmed by the tea party movement. Now I might be off a little, so don't hold me all the way to it. But we do have the Supreme Court, the keeper of our constitution. They are the ones who keep our executive and legislative branches in check. Sure they sometimes make bad decisions, but the beauty of our democracy is that they can be listened to and made again. If someone really feels that their constitutional rights (liberty) are being threatened, I challenge them to hire a lawyer and see what path they would have to take to make a real change. Standing around screaming how angry you are is not going to get you anywhere. Neither is violence.

Posted by: jgirl1377 | February 17, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

allenridge = ranting idiot

Posted by: AIPACiswar | February 17, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Capehart is saying that all "tea party" participants are dangerous nuts. Obviously, the majority are people with legitimate complaints to make and are more than happy to make them peacefully and through their vote. The point is that there is growing evidence that this movement is being used by some very dangerous zealots who are willing to go too far. This should not be a surprise to anyone. All movements have their crazies. To the extent that the GOP can disassociate itself from the crazies, and influence the more responsible members of the Tea Party to purge these people from their midst, they should do so. Very publicly. The GOP has more to lose if something terrible happens.

Posted by: allknowingguy | February 17, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Capehart and his fellow far-left cohorts are what is commonly called "useful idiots".

He and they completely omit the fact that the Tea Party is made up of disaffected left and centrist Democrats, Independents and Republicans.

Also omitted is the message: stop the stampede of legislation to take over and squelch private industry.

As for Capehart's picture of an armed man attending an Obama event,
here is a short video of another man who disagrees with Obama's policies. He has some *serious* firepower.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7syx26QtQIM

Posted by: spamsux1 | February 17, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The tea=birthers need a users manual. It could be called, "Lee Atwater for Dummies."

Atwater got brain cancer as his reward. Of course he had a brain to begin with....

Posted by: AIPACiswar | February 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow Jonathon!!

The left is so wild eyed fearful of the Tea Party movement! Every left wing writer is off their rocker over this!

Meanwhile the movement is electing rational smart representatives like Scott Brown.

Posted by: jjcrocket2 | February 17, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

THE "TEA PARTY" IS JUST A ANGER BUNCH OF WHITE SUPREMACISTS!!!! PERIOD!!!


Posted by: demtse | February 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse


THE "TEA PARTY" IS JUST A ANGER BUNCH OF WHITE SUPREMACISTS!!!! PERIOD!!!


Posted by: demtse | February 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile the movement is electing rational smart representatives like Scott Brown.

Posted by: jjcrocket2

--------------------

Scott Brown disagrees with you. He said the tea party had nothing to do with it. Look at the NY congressional race where you had an actual tea party candidate. The tea party is batting 0 so far. And the fear is not that the tea party will win elections, the fear is what will these fringe elements do when they fail to win elections.

Posted by: leftcoaster | February 17, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse


In a university, when you take political philosophy classes and stand up and make a mockery of facts and history, there's a bright guy called the instructor who stops you BEFORE you start a tea-birther rally.

This missing element in 'birther clamoring, along with it's minority status, both gives it life and renders it a non serious but very American carnival.

Tea-birthers have no leadership who is both willing, and knowledgeable enough, to correct their tawdry partisan propaganda and raise it to respectability. They are closer to UFO fanciers in that respect, than a political party. (Yes UFOs do well on late night cable tv, but not so well in politics.)

A Palin both lacks knowledge and is unwilling. She rides the 'birthers for her own gain. Gingrich is knowledgeable enough, but unwilling. He does not want, to in the end, share power with fools.

So an implosion is imminent. Look for upcoming columns on just how dumb Sarah Palin really is to start the embarrassing, painful process. And look for cable TV to eventually devote a whole late night channel.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | February 17, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Baggers are the new KKK minus the horses and linens.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | February 17, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The tea-simpletons can be lured off their internet connections and away from the polls with lottery scratch tickets and tractor pulls. Just plan nationwide wife-carrying races greased pig wrestling for election day. None of them will show up to vote.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | February 17, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

You can always tell how much power you have by who is afraid of you.

Right WaPo?

The Tea Parties have shaken the heck out of the status quo. Both Dummycrats and Repugnicans looking to either kill it in it's crib, or co-opt it out of existence.

Both of which may happen - eventually.

But, in the meantime, lets get the 4th Estate Elite to to throw up flack to malign, misinform, and obfuscate to protect those in which it has such a large investment.

Posted by: mdsinc | February 17, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Please correct me if I'm wrong but how many people attended the Tea Party 'convention' in Nashville? If I recall correctly, it was around 500 paid attendants. This is a 'movement'?

Posted by: meinschaft | February 17, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

If I recall correctly, it was around 500 paid attendants. This is a 'movement'?

YA a bowel movement....

Posted by: EdSantaFe | February 17, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

AllenRidge:
"POST = still a dirty dishonest liberal/progressive propaganda outlet for the Democrat Party........"

Sounds like Allen is still bitter about Nixon and Watergate......

Let me see, who is on the Post Editorial Staff these days:
Liberal/Progressives?
Charles Krauthammer
George Will
Fred Hiatt
Michael Gerson
William Kristol
Kathleen Parker
David Brooks?

Posted by: vigor | February 17, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

One of the troubling things that didn't get any coverage was the people walking around with the KILL OBAMACARE signs. From what I heard, someone said the word CARE was just put in to cover up the real intention of these folks. I'm not going to be surprised when these folks cross the line. The Republicans will need to account for hanging with these folks.

Posted by: ATLGuy | February 17, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

A gun-toting pseudo-macho sociopath is a merely a very dangerous sociopath, do not be confused by political rationalizations. Every drive-by murderer also has his "reasons" -- arrest and imprisonment is the sadly appropriate public response to those who threaten others with watering some metaphoric tree with blood

Posted by: LWittgenstein2 | February 17, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Please correct me if I'm wrong but how many people attended the Tea Party 'convention' in Nashville? If I recall correctly, it was around 500 paid attendants. This is a 'movement'?"

Americans bought over 14,000,000 guns in 2009. That might be a better gauge than the attendance at some lame centralized command/control conference.

Posted by: millionea7 | February 17, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"millionea7:Americans bought over 14,000,000 guns in 2009. That might be a better gauge than the attendance at some lame centralized command/control conference. "

So does that also translate to (your choice)14 million free cans of snuff or Red Man and a rifle rack for the pick up? Mouth breathers.

You remember the Banjo-playing kid on the porch in Deliverance? He grew up and joined the Tea Baggers.

Posted by: meinschaft | February 17, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

It's fun to watch how much the tea party movement has MSNBC'rs like Capeheart and the New York Times wimps shake in their high heels.

If we are playing guilt by association lets not forget the Harvard Educated, ferverent Obama supporter that shot 6 people killing three of them in Alabama this week. You know who else went to Harvard? Barack Obama. Oh by the way, she was released from murdering her brother with the help of Democratic Congressmen Delahunt so she was able to murder more people.

Posted by: robtr | February 17, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The tea party group is only scary to GOP leaders who wish to become a majority party. All Capehart is doing is throwing gasoline on the media attack.

His inflammatory accusations are an effort to make President Obama the lesser of two evils. Right now, an personal Obama endorsement is a political kiss of death for congressional candidates up for re-election.

Posted by: alance | February 17, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The only thing this movement has going for it is cool hats - I LOVE the Paul Revere tricorn thing they have goin' on, although it IS difficult to work it into an ensemble that doesn't include a swallowtail coat and tight breeches. Seriously, the first time I heard or saw Glenn Beck's name come up, I'd be walking away. I remember seeing him work himself into a lather - complete with hoarse barks and screams - when he was still a commentator for CNN, and a relative moderate. Now that he's a mover and shaker on Fox, he can turn his head completely around on his shoulders and spew green bile without worry that he might offend some viewers. If there's a crazier personality on TV or radio, I don't know about it, and neither do the mental health authorities.

The Tea Party Movement might be able to run a small town with a compliant population of like-minded fanatics; say, Stepford, or Wasilla, but the notion of them achieving national leadership status is just comical.

Posted by: marknesop | February 17, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"So does that also translate to (your choice)14 million free cans of snuff or Red Man and a rifle rack for the pick up? Mouth breathers."

probably not 14,000,000 single gun purchases. how bout a nice round 10,000,000. there's only ~2,900,000 active and reserve US military personnel, to give it some perspective.

Posted by: millionea7 | February 17, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Liberal. To be Liberal actually
means to advocate maximum Individual
Liberty and curtail big government.
Did you know that? Can you tell me how
my party was converted into a mouth
piece for ethnocentric special interest
groups, racial politics, an entitlement
gravy train, big government boondoggle
and Group Rights trumping Individual
Rights? Back in 2006 in Portland Oregon
when my Fellow Democrats rioted in the
streets of Portland Oregon, attacking
police, vandalizing cars and businesses
and assaulting pedestrians; Chris Mathews,
Katie Couric and Keith Olberman called
them Patriotic Protestors. Capehart is
playing devisive partisanship games and
trying to use fear tactics into scaring
people into a backlash against folks
who are sick of big government, high taxes,
phoney global warming, cap & tax, Illegal
Alien Squatters and Muslim Cranks who
have come here expecting to be treated
with kid gloves when they treat everybody
else back in their countries who isn't a
Muslim, like scum. I may be a Democrat,
but those Tea Party People are looking
more and more like Real Americans to me.

Posted by: iamredwolf | February 17, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

How well I remember the Waco types at the last Gun Show I attended in Houston, TX.
No cameras allowed. Red flags with "Clinton" and a hammer and sickle emblazoned in yellow, a flour sac dressed red neck woman trying to sell crude pamphlets on "How to Extract Information" (drawing of man hanging by thumbs from a tree limb), David - the Waco Nut at a seller's table, brass knuckles being sold as "paperweights" - to anyone with cash, and worst of all, a paramilitary type with beret and camouflage outfit showing a video tape on HOW TO CONVERT A 12 GAUGE SEMI-AUTOMATIC SHOTGUN INTO A BELT FED, BIPOD-STEADIED WEAPON OF MASS

Posted by: lufrank1 | February 17, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Where is the dog that didn't bark?

A year ago, the Washington Post was gaga over how the Obama Machine, full of community organizers and internet-linked energetic fans, was going to take over politics.

How did that work out? A completely unanticipated Tea Party movement, and the community organizers are AWOL.

Posted by: Delongl | February 17, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Not much more needs to be said. Great Acticle.

Posted by: greenmachine1 | February 17, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

As on OKC survivor, I can tell you that I consider the members of the tea-bagger movement and the militias to be dangerous criminals, advocating and participating in the violent attack of our government. They are, in fact, domestic terrorists.

Posted by: insider9909 | February 17, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

WHOOPS -Meant to end comment with "BIPOD-STEADIED WEAPON OF MASS MURDER"

Posted by: lufrank1 | February 17, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Breaking news! Tea Party queen Sarah Palin is advising teabaggers to join the Repubs or the Dems. Did she even have to bother to mention the Dems? She wants you 'baggers to go back to the GOP so she can take it over.

So much for your dream of a viable third party, 'baggers. Your queen is nothing but a GOP hack. You've been used. Again.

"Thank you sir, may I have another"? -- the teabagger motto.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 17, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Yep, ordinary citizens concerned about our huge national debt, and returning the government to the limits of our Constitution. Sure Jonathan, that's what we have to worry about.

Posted by: allamer1 | February 17, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting and troubling that Mr. Capehart is using very transparent scare tactics to characterize Tea Party organizers and others. It was a mere generation ago that African Americans were justifiably demonstrating in force for racial equality. Rearrange the words and the anti-equality rhetoric looked very similar at the time.

I wonder why when liberals disagree with contrary positions, they immediately flee to the race, intellect, selfishness, or in this case, the threat of violence brushes to broadly paint opponents. It's tiresome and condescending and really does not convince any but those already convinced.

Mr. Capehart's low-grade piece here is actually quite boring in it's paucity of new ideas.

Posted by: bencher23 | February 17, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Fear the teabaggers? HA!

They are daily entertainment. Sort of like a circus without a ringleader. Or talent.

Posted by: trident420 | February 17, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

You want to complain about rampant government spending or some real issues, great but we are talking very complex issues so stop playing dumb like Glen Beck.

The tea party needs to learn how to control their message, until they can get rid of the crazy "Obama is not a US citizen" signs and form a coherent message they will continue to be mocked and marginalized, do you realize that if there was ANY merit to that argument than he would have never gotten through the nomination process, there are people who check this stuff at the FEC.

Also I constantly see Socialist / Fascist / Communist signs, and once that happens you have lost anyone with a basic understanding of politics because you can't be all three, it goes against what they all mean. Communists and Socialists fought against Fascism during WW2. They also wound up fighting each-other during the cold war.

Finally the biggest weakness of the Tea Party is that they already have been completely co-opted by the GOP, at least in a PR standpoint. So when the GOP gains back power they will fall apart. Just like the Anti-War movement in 06, and not a single issue they rallied about or want solved will be solved because the problem is much deeper than which party has got control.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

.....the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to speak, and to seek redress of grievances, and to bear arms, and to be secure in their persons and their property.....these 'flaws' in the Constitution that Obama and Capehart and Gene Robinson and the New York Times and the pretend communists of Hollywood want to abolish.... shall remain both in Constitution and in the hearts and minds of free men all over this nation. Note the useage of the word "shall". That means they are here to stay.

Posted by: chatard | February 17, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

IF the Teabaggers want their tax money back, they'll find it in Iraq, that pointless waste of taxpayer trillions that the Teabaggers ALL SUPPORTED. Just like they all support continuing the White Elephant missile defense and F-22 programs. Just like they support every other giant waste of taxpeyers' money that feeds their rabid big-government militarism.

PS Teabaggers: If you are going to Iraq, don't forget to bring your guns to any townhall meetings there. And lots of ammo.

Posted by: kevrobb | February 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

when the tea party types talk about swearing allegiance to the constitution and not politicians, that is not good news. They are not doing so in the context that swearing allegiance to Hitler is bad (as a poster noted above). They are doing so in the context that rebellion against the government is justifiable when they believe that the government (politicians) isn't faithful to the constitution. that's scary.

and then a poster notes that 14 million gun purchases is the best measure of the movement. I rest my case.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 17, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing radical about disliking big government and more debt and more taxes and more regulation, which appear to be the primary things that Tea Party activists (with various agendas on other issues) have in common.

The Republican party should market itself to Tea Party activists as the best vehicle for promoting these common elements and evaluate which other aspects of the ideology of Tea Party activists are worthwhile and which are not. That means listening to and interacting with all types of Tea Party activists. What is clear from last summer's "meet your Congressman" gatherings is that Congress likes to talk to people and not to listen.

If any Tea Party activists are "scary," it might be those who assume the battle to save the United States from bankruptcy and social disintegration is lost and who may be preparing for some kind of armed post-Republic struggle.

The best way to deal with this group is to reduce the size of government and the debt and show them the Republic can still be saved. By doing that, the Republican party can play a positive role in reducing the influence of radical fringe groups. By leading the way in this effort, Sarah Palin is doing her country a great service.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are increasing the influence of people who think saving the Republic is a lost cause by increasing the size of government and the debt. There is a tipping point on the debt's size compared to National GDP beyond which it may be impossible to recover, because of the interest rate burden. When that point is reached, the radicals on both the right and the left will outnumber moderates as all sides scramble for self preservation. The closer we as a country come to that tipping point, the more influence radicals on both the right and the left will have. Dems also promote the influence of radicals by by calling Tea Party activists in general racists and "tea baggers," which if it was ever funny, had a very short useful life.

If radical activists gain in influence, it will either be because of the efforts of Dems to promote a European social agenda in the US or if Republicans fail to find a way to work with the positive elements of the Tea Party.

What is certain is that Mr. Capehart's recommendation that Republicans distance themselves from Tea Party activists, while Dems fight them and insult them, is a recipe for increasing the influence of radicals.

Posted by: jfv123 | February 17, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are riding the tiger. It works in the short term, but, as the Saudi's found out with jihadists, the tiger eventually attacks its rider. It can't help itself. One day soon, these 'tea' folks will realize its not government who's the enemy.

Posted by: BBear1 | February 17, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Gee, when I enlisted in the Air Force I never imagined that by doing so, someday the Federal Government would consider me a potential terrorist and worry that I might defend the Constitution. Things have really changed since Ike left office.

Posted by: eldergent | February 17, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Really, Mr. Capehart, you need to take two aspirin, check the prescription on those eyeglasses, stop drinking the Kool Aid they serve up from the press office at the White House, and take a second look at this movement comprised primarily of people who are tired of being chivied about by every Democrat and half the Republicans in office who think they have better ideas about how people ought to be behaving. I mean it is those in positions of power who "know better" and are telling us we're too fat, use too much energy, oppress the non-european peoples of the world, and are responsible for every ill on the face of the planet suffered anywhere, by those who have gripes about how imperfect their lives are, and need something to blame for the shortcomings of their daily grind that have provoked this reaction.

This idea that the only answers to the questions we have about faults,and deficiencies, (personal and public), come from government is at least as chilling as the excesses and criminal behavior you properly cite in Waco and Oklahoma, but miss entirely in Ruby Ridge, where the government ended up compensating Mr. Weaver for killing his wife and 12 year old son, after he was acquitted of all the serious charges brought against him. Read his lawyer's (Jerry Spence) summation at the jury trial if you want an idea of what bothers a substantial number of people about the overreach of government into our lives. A little fact checking could go a long way here.

Finally, let me note that those who sneeringly refer to the participants in this movement as "teabaggers" represent the absolute worst in that coterie of supercilious statists who think flinging such a term at their fellow citizens somehow elevates the user above the common crowd. It doesn't, and they should get over themselves...Take note Katrina Vandenheuvel!

Posted by: chicsdad | February 17, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Incisive commentary, but you left out an implicit fact: the GOP will capitalize on any movement or undercurrent of fear and anxiety in an effort to regain the power levers in Washington. If you ask them explicitly if they support the mutinous, zealous aspects of the Tea Party, they will respond in political-speak, i.e., "we encourage peaceful,grass roots participation of ordinary American citizens who want to preserve our constitution". Wink, wink.

Posted by: rbrent516 | February 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are always demanding Republicans denounce the extremists on the right while making excuses for the extremists on the left and abroad.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | February 17, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

millionea7,

I bought 3 guns last year and I voted for Obama, and still glad that I did.

What possible moronic strawman will you float next?

Posted by: Nosh1 | February 17, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a funny column. Imagine a homeowner setting out salt licks in his backyard, in violation of the neighborhood covenants. Then he shows up at the annual meeting demanding the association do something to control the deer which have overrun his yard.

If you don't want nutcases on the right --- if you feel so threatened --- then get rid of the nutcases on the left.

It's simple.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | February 17, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

eldergent: Ike would never go near a teabagger. He respected authority, and government, and would never condone the dangerous "we support the constitution, not the government" rhetoric. Our institutions are entrusted to embody the constitution, right or wrong, not individuals with their own interpretation of same.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 17, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"After all, none of you libs seem to mind the fact that Bill Ayers took it to the next level back in the day."

It really does pay to have a little bit more knowledge than a bumper sticker slogan. Ayers actually thanked Sirhan Sirhan in his book, so your implicit argument that Ayers is some left wing equivalent of McVeigh but condoned by liberals is utter nonsense.

Some of us don't appreciate violent criminals on ANY side of the political spectrum.

How about you? Where do YOU stand on right wing criminals? Just another "freedom fighter" trying to "water the Liberty Tree"?

Posted by: ernesthua | February 17, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

There is a factual inaccuracy in this post. Timothy McVeigh's t-shirt actually read "Sic Semper Tyrannis" which is from the Virginia State flag and stems supposedly from what was uttered by Marcus Junius Brutus after he killed Julius Caeser. Even with a poor translation it is a wide departure from what Jefferson said.

"thus always to tyrants."

Posted by: calabane | February 17, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Nosh1:
"I bought 3 guns last year..."

what did you buy?

"...and I voted for Obama and still glad that I did."

why? are you a supporter of troop escalation and nation-building in Afghanistan, a continuation of the Patriot Act, hundreds of billions $ in handouts and trillions in guarantees for our FIRE (finance insurance real estate) economy, infrastructure stimulus that mandates Davis-Bacon prevailing wage provisions, free lunch "something-for-nothing" Keynesian economics?

Posted by: millionea7 | February 17, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey teabaggers - as Bob Dylan put it so succinctly back in the day "you're only a pawn in their game..."

Posted by: bacarey58 | February 17, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The "Tea Partiers" are nothing more than a gaggle of angry white, John Birchers, racists, psychotic "end of worlders", Arayan Nation, ignorant rednecks. They rely on intimidation, not debate to achieve their ends. They are arrogant and messianic jihadists how have the gaul to ordain themselves as "defenders of liberty" while they threaten and intimidate those that disagree with them. They are the dregs of America, vomited from the belly of the beast. America and Americans will never accept their credo or there methods. Enjoy your 15 minutes Tea Party.

Posted by: Richard18 | February 17, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

ebproducer, you are absolutely right: Where WERE these people the past eight years, when George W. Bush and his cronies put the hammer down on the middle class? I'll tell you where they were - they were mollified by Faux News, Limbaugh and the rest who do their thinking for them. Now that a Dem (a black man, no less), is in office, Murdoch et al have unleashed everything they have to bring him down - including Glen McVeigh Beck - without any consideration of the consequences. And these people who need their thinking done for them (and apparently have an unnatural affinity for capital letters) are playing the fools by dancing to the tunes of the pipers like Murdoch who plays them.

Posted by: faygokid | February 17, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse


When a group starts carrying guns on the same streets that my kids play on, they've lost my vote.

..

Posted by: DEFJAX | February 17, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Baggers represent what is wrong with America. They should be deported back to the segregationist 1930s, where they would feel more comfortable and at least honest about their racism. Today, they hide their racist views behind 'politically correct' (and laughably wrong) euphemisms.

Wouldn't doubt most Tea Baggers were abused as children by their hate mongering parents too. They are a blight on real America

Posted by: HillRat | February 17, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

If you don't want nutcases on the right --- if you feel so threatened --- then get rid of the nutcases on the left.

It's simple.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10
----------------------------

Kindly point us to the left-wing militias practicing in the woods, bringing guns to town hall meetings, and talking about "watering the tree of liberty" and I will ask the DNC chairman not to invite them to meetings.

Posted by: leftcoaster | February 17, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

the ACLU has similar (albeit less militant) positions on the First Amendment, Equal Protection, due process, and the right to privacy as the Oath Keepers. here's their oath that the SPLC finds extremist:

1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.
2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people
3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.
4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.
5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.
6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control."
9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

does that sound hateful and racist?

Posted by: millionea7 | February 17, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Some of the commenters on here are really out of touch with reality (and, conversely, some are spot on...). If the tea party contingent is soooo concerned with rising federal deficits, where in the heck where they 4-5 years ago when Bush & Co. spent the federal surplus, enacted massive tax cuts for the rich (that have drained the treasury) and waged 2 wars that were carried off of the books???? As some commenters have noted, this tea party movement (for lack of a better term) represents a grave failure of the America education system...These folks are mad (in addition to being stupid), but as usual, their anger is deflected away from those to whom it should be directed-the vast corporate interests and politicians who exploit their (the tea party fools) fears for their (the corporations and politicians) own self interest. Its utterly laughable to hear Palin ramble on about middle America while she pockets a $100k appearance fee (it sure a speaking fee since she is about as coherent as a 10 year old), hawks a lucrative contract with Fox News where she spews more non-sense and made a small fortune from a book that everyone knows she didn't write...So, you tell me, what is wrong with this picture??????? This folks are scary, unstable and capable of being manipulated...as time as shown.

Posted by: mykaladrian | February 17, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse


==============
==============
Why does everyone forget that the "tea parties" were started by armitage and another TOP repiglican insider.

The whole thing is a cynical, calculated show by rove's party.

Sure they pretend to disown the crazies. The stupid people they need hate the 'uglicans for what they did to the economy.

But which party are the crazies going to vote for in November?

Stop calling it "grassroots".

They want to take over again, continue sucking the wealth from the country like a lamprey, and blame the devastation they cause on Obama, just like they blamed the 2008 crash on Clinton.

And the repuglicans will succeed, because everyone-- especially Obama-- pretends real hard that they're "gentlemen" and goes along with their stories like "tea party is grassroots".

...And thanks to Obama licking their boots and singing "koombyah" to them, the next cheney and rove will know (correctly) that no matter WHAT crimes they commit, no one will punish them.

--faye kane, homeless brain
Read more of my smartmouth opinions at http://tinyurl.com/fayescave

Posted by: Knee_Cheese_Zarathustra | February 17, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Capehart is the PERFECT example of why WaPo circulation is in a downward spiral. If this guy compares Ruby Ridge and Waco to the Tea Party crowd, then he has absolutely no clue of what the heck is going on in this country.

I mean, he is not even close to understanding the movement, and he is on the front page of WaPo!!!!

In his view of middle America, do the masses genuflect every time Obama tells a lie (or opens his mouth - same thing)???

The Tea Party movement is probably growing into the most significant populist (sans government) wave in U.S. history. Time will tell...I attended the D.C. Sept. rally - first time in my 56 years that I ever participated in anything like that. I met so many dangerous FAMILIES...entire FAMILIES participating-secretaries, construction workers, farmers, TV repairmen, housewives, dentists, school kids - All are examples of the people that I met - and that have Capehart hiding under his rug.

Posted by: badman53 | February 17, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

This post was SO excellent I felt it needed to shoved in the face of those racist hypocrites at least one more time. Not that I expect an answer any more than the author did....
*******************************************
" to the "tea partiers", i have one question:

WHERE WERE YOU?

where were you for the past 8 years - out of control republican spending, TARP, wars of choice, expansion of medicare through the prescription drug benefit, tax cuts for the only the wealthy, etc., etc. where were you?

i have posed this question endlessly on blogs, forums, etc. and no one, not one person, not a single "tea partier" has answered it. i'm still waiting."

Posted by: st50taw | February 17, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

rop2 - You know this, of course, from experience with all the "libs" you know? Do you know any? I mean on a level where you actually listen to what one may say? Or do you just go with whatever Rush tells you to think?
As one of your "libs", I have always thought the Weathermen were criminals and fools. And, while I am at it, I thought Daniel Berrigan was a criminal, too. Kind of makes your head spin, doesn't it. Seems like maybe we all don't have monolithic thinking...
But what you really seem to be saying is it is all just tit for tat - Bill Ayers blows up a building or two and kills a couple of his friends, McVey commits the most horrible act of domestic terrorism in US history = even steven????
You are a sick, sad little person, rop2.
And, as a point of fact (facts, of course, are the thing that messes up the stories of all you small minded ditto-drones), Weaver was a member of the aryan nations church. Whatever else he was, he was indeed a white supremacist. Not subtle at all.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | February 17, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"WHERE WERE YOU?"

that's an excellent question. the core is wrapped in libertarianism and has always been here. the ranks have swelled lately from mostly mainstream GOPers. as a whole, they suck. they bring money and an overbearing need to legislate morality. you guys have just now noticed the libertarians b/c the media is just now beginning to write about us.

the whole "guns" thing has to do with protecting our private property rights. if we lose 2nd Amendment rights (and let's all accept that 'the Feds' want that), then we can't protect our fundamental private property rights.

Posted by: millionea7 | February 17, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Oath Keepers. here's their oath that the SPLC finds extremist:

...

does that sound hateful and racist?

Posted by: millionea7

-------------------------

I'll tell you how that sounds. It sounds intensely paranoid, like you guys are preparing for a war against the American government. A real war, with concentration camps and city-wide blockades.

It does not sound like a normal political discourse at all.

Posted by: leftcoaster | February 17, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

battleground51 - please take a class in American History!!!!
The original American patriots were anything but scary to the Brits. In fact, the Brits thought they were going to win the war in a cakewalk - the feeling was a lot like a certain former VP had about Iraq...
Also, the issue that set off the founding fathers was the lack of representation in decisions made by parliament in "our" affairs. It was not, as those who slept through their calsses believe, oppoition to taxes. The taxes were not the issue, the say and the benefits were.
After independence was won we tried the form of government the teabaggers seem to want (look up "Articles of Confederation"). It was an abysmal failure.
The founding fathers CREATED the system of government the tea baggers rail against. If you think what we have is bad now, you should really try to find out what it was like 200 years ago. It was not so pure and minty fresh.
One more thing to keep in mind - if we want to maintain our strong military we better have a strong federal government behind it. A strong military + a weak federal government = dictatorship (look up Germany, Russia, Iraq, Iran, France in the 1800's, etc.)
I strongly believe that the Founding Fathers would be appalled by the selfishness of the tea baggers.

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | February 17, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"This post was SO excellent I felt it needed to shoved in the face of those racist hypocrites at least one more time. Not that I expect an answer any more than the author did....
*******************************************
" to the "tea partiers", i have one question:
WHERE WERE YOU?
where were you for the past 8 years - out of control republican spending, TARP, wars of choice, expansion of medicare through the prescription drug benefit, tax cuts for the only the wealthy, etc., etc. where were you?

i have posed this question endlessly on blogs, forums, etc. and no one, not one person, not a single "tea partier" has answered it. i'm still waiting."

WAIT NO LONGER.
Mostly, the Tea Partiers I've met were objecting to the Bush spending increases (that the Democratic Congress increased and then passed) and the Tea Party itself appears to have been being formed BY those spending increases. The tax cuts, they mostly seem to approve of.

BY THE WAY, I've posted this answer before and you just weren't listening, just like Congress isn't listening now. And by the way, I'm neither a Tea Partier nor a racist hypocrit - and I'd reserve that term for someone who supports infinite welfare payments to keep blacks dependent on the government. You know, like the white plantation owners kept their slaves ignorant, unskilled and dependent?


Posted by: Wanderer13 | February 17, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget: the tea "party" has a deep racist element as well as whacko roots. It is promoted, encouraged, and funded by the right wing in this country. Some of these hate and fear promoters are: Dick Armey and Freedomroots, Ron Paul supporters,Rush Limbaugh and many others in right wing talk radio, and Glen Beck and many others in cable tv, Fox "news" (Sarah Palin is now one). Focus is attack on Obama, and the federal government. Tearing down is the only plan.

Posted by: dudh | February 17, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful, thoughtful and thought-provoking post, ELA5. Naturally it means almost no one will read it :(

"The tea=birthers need a users manual. It could be called, "Lee Atwater for Dummies."

Atwater got brain cancer as his reward. Of course he had a brain to begin with...."

Atwater also, and many scorched-earth conservatives refuse to acknowledge this because they are ashamed, very publicly renounced his dirty tricks tactics before he died. He knew the way he'd acted was wrong. It shouldn't take brain cancer to make us realize we are all Americans TOGETHER, and to stop resorting to such extremes.

"BOB DOLE (prepping for a White House bid) immediately renounced the hate mongering that had reached a fevered pitch among right wing extremists that had been whipped up by the Gingrich/Limbaugh alliance (prior to that he had been trying to surf it)."

And look where that got him--the hatemongers thought he'd sold out and didn't come out for him. The *exact* same thing happened to McCain in '08--when the screamers were shrieking that Obama was a terrorist, he finally broke ranks at a rally and publicly contradicted them, saying "No ma'am, I know him personally and he's a fine man." And he was BOOED. Just unbelievable. He did the RIGHT thing, he reigned in those psychos and was booed. The lesson is clear--the Republican Party base has been taken over by the extremists.

Posted by: NYC123 | February 17, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

From what I can tell from news reports, many "tea party" participants think the government is against them. Why don't they run for office and change things then instead of making vague threats? Certainly not ALL of these people are violent. In fact I'd guess most are not violent. But hateful, gun-toting mob mentality can fuel violent acts of an unstable minority (like Tim McVeigh or the militia movement folks). There is ignorance, fear, anger, bigotry and vague threats in this mix and that is what makes it scary. I wish someone would articulate, someone from a "tea party" group, what EXACTLY they want and how they think it can be achieved. When we stop talking and start bombing or shooting at each other it will not end well. Think about what you are advocating and don't yell "fire" in a crowded theatre.

Posted by: babsygee2 | February 17, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Regarding rop2's comment: "After all, none of you libs seem to mind the fact that Bill Ayers took it to the next level back in the day."

Wow--That's a wide swath to assume that all 'libs' tolerate Ayers' actions.

Way down there with believing there are other absolutes besides God and death--mentally devoid of reason and logic, and morally down there with condoning the taking of human life without adequately assessing options and impact.

As a former military member who has seen both humbling sacrifices that fellow service members have made to preserve human life (sometimes life that IMHO doesn't deserve it) and the wanton recklessness displayed by fellow service members and civilians to waste it, I try to make sure I don't throw out random generalizations about liberal, conservative, or any other views.

I sure as heck don't draw down immediately to a response that irrevocably escalates a problem beyond the point of no return.

Posted by: asalunga | February 17, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The SPLC is not a reputable outfit. They wallow in money they acquire by scaring wealthy, elderly Jews into believing that Hitler has been reborn.

Every movement for change, right or left, has an extremist fringe. Waving the bloody shirt about extremism ignores the very serious problems that have provoked outrage among many.

Posted by: GrumpyOldMan | February 17, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

How typical....the left wing media attempts to create fear and link the tea party with timothy mcveigh.....from the comments here, the fear is working.....FEAR, FEAR. FEAR.....but note, only simpletons fear those with different points of views

Posted by: TerpfanMA | February 17, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

They are the TTT party instead of the KKK.Well it is fitting,mostly all angry white folks just like the KKK.

Posted by: smorrow | February 17, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Proof; if ever it was needed, that you can fool some of the people ALL of the time.

Posted by: walker1 | February 17, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I love it when you Liberal Haters make comments and spew your Fox News BS. Your not very smart people and you cannot think for your self. These Tea baggers are a complete freak show, Fox News breeds these highly stupid animals that are a threat to others and make this country look very ignorant. Hopefully they know, most of us intelligent folks, think they need to go back to the hole they came out of. The real "Tea Party" are rolling in thier graves.

Posted by: porcelainproductions | February 17, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse


Capehart, Just like the NYTimes article, you are all taking your marching orders from Obama and the White House. Obama and his mouthpieces talk about anger in America and like good little soldiers the MSM marches out the talking points.

First of all, I know a few Tea Party members and they are regular Americans who may be your neighbor, barber, sales clerk, mechanic, accountant, lawyer, secretary. From all walks of life.

They are the silent majority who are finally raising their voices saying "Enough!" They are seeing are beloved country being corrupted by greedy politicians and peripheral parasites to whom the politicians filter money to ensure campaign donations. We've seen it happen with ACORN, SEIU, etc.

In all the Tea Parties thruout the country and with 2 million people marching in DC, there has been one act of violence. The SEIU Obama-supporting thugs beat up a black man selling flags at a Tea Party.

Now shall we list the acts of violence by liberal activists at their protests setting fire to cars, breaking store-front windows and injuring by-standers. The MSM justifies the violence in their articles by the liberals or they downplay it.

But with the Tea Party they are linking them unjustly with isolated extremists.

Capehart I thought you were better than that, I didn't think you'd stoop so low and write such garbage.

Posted by: janet8 | February 17, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I think the author is more paranoid, delusional, and angry by making such leaps.

Next he will make Sarah Palin into Hitler wearing something sexist for certain!

He is true to his color and his gender!

Posted by: mgd1 | February 17, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

So of those 14,000,000 guns sold in 2009....how many did Obama take away?

ZERO.

The question is, Who benefits from keeping you paranoid? Since Obama didn't do ANYTHING about your guns, someone else is whispering in your ear and deceiving you. Who is that someone and how do they benefit from keeping you afraid?

Posted by: boscobobb | February 17, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Libs...your ranks are shrinking....the incredible shrinking liberal/Democratic Party!!!!

Put a racist in the White House, surround him by similiar types, and we even see MASSACHUSETTS abandon the Dems......who are the racists???? I am proud of my homestate (now a Marylander)...The American Revolution (Part 2) really took off in once again, Massachusetts....where next??? Delaware? Missouri? Nevada? Arkansas? All of these states are in the process of losing their Democratic Senate seats....oh what irony if the "Obama" seat goes Republican!!!!

Tea Party Rocks!!!!!

Posted by: badman53 | February 17, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I wish people could remember the difference between "dribble" and "drivel." Since these dribblers mostly write drivel, I guess it's not much of a surprise.

Posted by: ScienceTim | February 17, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan:
Thank you for writing this short but pithy column.
One of the messages preceding this one claims that these people are the "silent majority."
They are anything but.
They are the organized right-wing radical fringe sucking into their web the poor, sad dupes, mostly elderly and mostly white, who have never adjusted to integration and the modern world.
They are a loud, vocal minority.
The organizers "educate" their pathetic followers through media like Fox News, rejecting anything they don't want to hear.
They are told specifically not to trust anything they read, see or hear in the mainstream media.
Meanwhile, their masters, the organized fringe, usually belonging to militias and the gun lobby, organize and rachet up the rhetoric via shortwave radio, where their conversation is contemptable and usually borders on treason.
(Just one example: the cries of secession down here in Texas.)
When Clinton was elected, several members of the Texas Air National Guard unit my husband served with suddenly quit, giving up before they earned retirement points.
When I asked my husband why, he said they listened to shortwave and nobody could talk to them about it.
They believed the Democrats were going to send the Guard to strip the country of private ownership of guns.
The gun clubs around the country were riddled with such talk.
The same rumor in 2008 began circulating the minute it became evident that Obama was in the lead.
These people are an angry minority building up a head of steam for years, getting out in the woods to play "war games," laying in wait to scare the elderly and get a larger following.
You are so right.
They are very, very scary people and they've been building up a head of steam for over 20 years, hoping to be ignored and deliberately staying under the radar.
Now during the health care debate, some corporations have coopted their organizations to oppose the initiative and are funding their activities.
Thanks to the economic crisis, which just gave them more ammunition, our nation is in deep, deep trouble.
These people are dangerously poisoning the well.
This transformation of the American political terrain might well bring this country down.
We allow such freedom in this country that this type of development is not easy under our system to cope with, as it is vulnerable to such movements.
The dupes are so easily led.
What these people don't understand is that their fears are vapid illusions and their leaders are snakes laying in wait to sabotage our Republic.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | February 17, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

What the Tea Party folks and world citizens in general are reacting to is the gradual implementation of the United Nations Agenda 21 plan for "Sustainable Production and Consumption". They don't know about it because it is not reported...and for good reason.

Why won't any of you with the power of the press and microphone explain the real truth, Agenda 21?

Drill into United Nations "Agenda 21" signed at the UN Rio Earth Summit. It is now based on the "Earth Charter" "smart growth" and the UN Biodiversity Assessment Report and numerous follow-up plans.

If you are truly free from your owner's muzzle or FCC threats or horse blinders, then expose Agenda 21, its Sustainable Production and Consumption, worldwide governance, world justice system, UN military enforcement, world finance, Interpol, redistribution of wealth, the "New World Order" (See Bush I State of the Union speech in 1991 where he called it a 'Big idea'), the socialist communitarian management of our lives in every respect, the tiny humanity zones, the vast no humans allowed mapped out wildlife zones, and the necessary depopulation of humans to save the earth.

Maurice Strong, who co-wrote The Earth Charter with Gorbechev, calls the Earth "Gaia". Earth is paramount to humans. Humans are destroying Earth.

Gaia preservation and worship will also supplant organized religion and nationalism which are considered obstacles to Agenda 21.

You won't do it because then you'd be "conspiracist", kooky, radical and subject to suppression and ridicule.

But it's no theoretical conspiracy. Bush 1 signed it in Rio in 1992 along with 178 other nations, Clinton formed a presidential commission to implement it in the US, it came within hours of being congressionally approved as a binding treaty, Bush 2 and Obama (first US President to head the UN Security Council) are backing it. Regional and local governments are weaving it into every regulated activity there is. It's what Copenhagen was all about.

On February 4, 2010, the major stakeholders in the Agenda 21 plan met at the UN to discuss ways of accelerating its implementation. Maurice Strong has sold the deadline to the UN as 2012.

It is real and it is happening now.

How come it's such a big secret? Because it is the very embodiment of the "fundamental transformation of America", and, indeed, the world ...and it is the end of sovereignty, freedom and independence...and it is not going to go away.

I dare ya'!

You can start at the UN website. You'll be hearing and seeing "Sustainability" more and more as the deadline nears.


Posted by: UNAgenda21isREAL | February 17, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Judy-in-TX wrote: "They are the organized right-wing radical fringe sucking into their web the poor, sad dupes, mostly elderly and mostly white, who have never adjusted to integration and the modern world.
They are a loud, vocal minority."

----------------------

This couldn't be further from the truth. The truth is the people who attend Tea Parties are NOT organized right-wing fringe.

They are regular Americans who see our government going deeper in debt by Obama and the Dems greed to payback those who contributed to their campaigns. They can't even account for most of the money. They quote false statistics and then change them when caught.

They have systematically been trying to take away our freedoms starting with the Obama Truth Squads, trying to implement the misnomered Fairness Doctrine, HSO taking alien enemy combatants off the terrorist list while placing returning Iraq/Afghan veterans on the list, having Interpol use warrantless searches in the US, etc.

Obama and the Dems have also tried to push a Healthcare Bill which is not about providing healthcare to the uninsured but to control 16% more of our economy, they are still pushing Cap & Trade although their premise has been proved to be false.

Obama and the Dems still make false statements to the US citizens because they know the liberal MSM will cover for them and that citizens like yourself don't do enough research for yourselves to uncover the truth.

When people like myself try to make citizens aware of what our government is doing we are villified as right-wing extremists. That's right out of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

I am an Independent and the people I know who go to the Tea Parties are Independents who were Democrats but became digusted when they realized the people in power aren't doing what is best for America but are actually trying to tear it down.


Posted by: janet8 | February 18, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"The question is, Who benefits from keeping you paranoid? Since Obama didn't do ANYTHING about your guns, someone else is whispering in your ear and deceiving you. Who is that someone and how do they benefit from keeping you afraid?"

"they" benefit from increased gun sales volume, i guess that's where you're going with this. do you know "their" names?

sciencetom- dribble/drivel, got it. thanks.

Posted by: millionea7 | February 18, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

A Tea Bagger has just deliberately crashed a plane into a Texas building.

Posted by: You_Lie | February 18, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

It's almost surreal reading this now.

Posted by: CaptainLunatic | February 18, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

This blog item is simply evidence that the lefties are worried about the Tea Party as a political force that might boot them out of power. So they dredge up Mark Potok and both the New York Times and Capeheart dredge up the Tim McVeigh "militia" angle, all amped up by Media Matters, Soro's garbage house, too. Doesn't matter how specious the association is, the facts don't matter when the idea is to build false perceptions.
Party on, I say. Keep lying, I'm reloading. Really. On my PROGRESSIVE reloading machine.

Posted by: daskinner | February 18, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The rightwing has co-opted the Tea Party movement. If they really resepcted democracy and the Constitution like they say they do, they would resepct that a big majority of voters democratically elected President Obama in 2008. When Bush was president, anti-government talk was considered treasonous and the giving of "comfort to terrorists." But now the Republicans encourage anti-government and call it patriotism. They bash the "liberal elites," but the rightwing is full of the real elites that control this country. Last time I checked, President Obama wasn't a member of the Skull and Bones Society.

Posted by: jsoles2001 | February 19, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

WHERE WERE YOU?

where were you for the past 8 years - out of control republican spending, TARP, wars of choice, expansion of medicare through the prescription drug benefit, tax cuts for the only the wealthy, etc., etc. where were you?

-------------------------------------------

At protests. Writing into newspapers. Writing my representatives.

As an minarchist and member of the Libertarian party i've been working against the Federal Government in non-violent ways for years.

Obama is the same as Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter... etc etc etc.

Posted by: BradG | February 19, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The attempt to portray conservative and libertarian activists as ignorant, violent, and dangerous gun toting hicks is cynical, bigoted, hysterical and depraved. Whether you subscribe to their beliefs or not, it cannot be denied that they are among the most well behaved and law abiding protesters in the history of protesting. It has been the leftist and progressive protest demonstrations that have most often become violent and destructive.

As for the disproportionate number of photographs, in yet another dishonest attempt at fear mongering, of people openly carrying a firearm, it should be pointed out that, those who exercise the right to openly carry as well as those who conceal and carry, as a group are more peaceable and law abiding than rest of the entire U.S. population. This can be proven by looking up statistics in right to carry states like Florida.

If Jonathan Capehart, who seems to fear politically inspired violence, was half as smart as the “ignorant hicks” he loves to denigrate or was even a little less intellectually lazy, he could flip open a history book and read about the approximately 100 million people, who were murdered during the twentieth century because they didn’t conform to some leftist utopian dreamers visions of a perfect and just society.

Posted by: ken34 | February 20, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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