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The Tea Party has a race problem

The Tea Party movement has a race problem. To borrow Bob Dole's famous line: I know it. You know it. The American people know it. We all know it. According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, three out of 10 Americans believe that racial prejudice undergirds the movement. That's really too bad, given that it was born out of legitimate concern about the role and size of government, not to mention the size of exploding deficits. But it only has itself to blame.

The signs at rallies depicting President Obama as the joker never bothered me. As I've noted before, President Bush endured the same treatment. Likening Obama and his policies to Hitler and the Nazi regime is a simple-minded yet tried-and-true tactic of the extreme right and extreme left to belittle and denigrate those they oppose.

But here's what did and continues to bother me. When Tea Partyers say they want their country back, what do they mean? Back from what and from whom? When they say they want this country to return to the Constitution, what's their evidence that the nation has run off its Constitutional rails? When they call themselves patriots and declare that they would be willing to fight for their freedom, again, I ask, from what and from whom?

The recent New York Times/CBS News poll that focused on the Tea Party put a face on the movement. "[T]he 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45." The poll also revealed something that led me to ask, "Hey, Tea Party, why all the fuss?"

Tea Partyers are mad as hell about the economy, and they think it's being run into the ground. Yet 74 percent say their current financial situation is "fairly good" compared to all adults surveyed (64 percent). When asked if they were concerned about losing a job and looking for work in the next 12 months, more Tea Party folks polled (44 percent) said they are "not concerned at all." That's better than the general public (37 percent). And most of them (58 percent) aren't afraid that they'll fall out of their current social class, which 50 percent say is "middle." That's pretty good. So why are they so angry again?

Now, I'm no racism grassy knoller, but I think we know.

By Jonathan Capehart  | May 5, 2010; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

They want to take their country back from the politicians. They aren't angry at the poor. They aren't angry at the rich. They are angry at those who are elected and yet never actually represent these people.

Thier anger is directed at Washington. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Posted by: BradG | May 5, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

18%? That number creates a race problem? And why is it that white males in their 40's are suddenly some target?

Posted by: Verrazzano | May 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

So because their republicans, white, male, married and over 45 that makes them racist. That sounds racist. What's wrong with being white, male over 45 and MARRIED, God forbid we're married in today's society. Does this mean democrats are black, female, under 45 and not married? And becuase your financial situation is "fairly" good, not great just fairly good and you have a decent job, probably because you went to college, and paid for that college, that means you're racist. I beg to differ, I happen to think I know. I know I'm tired of spreading my hard earned wealth. I paid for it, educated myself for it, earned it and want to keep it. Enough is enough and I'm White, single, over 45, and earned my education while raising three children as a single mom. I can't afford to give away anymore of my "fairly" good financial situation.

Posted by: Enough10 | May 5, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Manipulated by the right-wing media, funded by two large Conservative backers, and motivated by hatred against Obama.

In their world, If a Black man can be elected POTUS, something must be wrong. Birth certificate? Muslim plot? Socialist Plot? These are the hard core haters, the 20% who cling to the belief that GW Bush made America safe.

Fear, Hatred, Distortion, Distraction and Division. It's all they have to offer.

Posted by: thebobbob | May 5, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Politico has a story that avers that the Washington Post Blog is now on par with Huffington Post as a left wing mouthpiece.
It shows.

Posted by: fprawl | May 5, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Thier anger is directed at Washington. Nothing more. Nothing less.
******************************************************************************************

Here's the problem with that logic:

They've sat there silently through Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and then Bush II with at least a modicum of decency.

Then comes along Obama, and suddenly he's being called a TERRORIST before he's even elected, having his citizenship questioned, being called a communist and a Muslim and being accused of running "re-education camps."

Why the sudden bitterness? Years of politicians screwing them over, and suddenly it all boils over, coincidentally, when a black guy is in the running? Never a peep about their own side of the aisle doing these things. And now it's "not about right or left?"

Right...Not buying it, and neither is any bright person.

Posted by: Gover | May 5, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I believe they are racist too, add to your analysis, not legitimate--birthers, arrogant--code word for uppity, against all the facts he is a socialist, a communist and a fascist.

Posted by: enr1025 | May 5, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Capehart is the racist, just for looking at the races within the Tea Party. When are people going to stop looking at race, and start looking at the objection or message coming from Tea Party members. They are upset with the over-reaching Fed Govt and inevitable tax increases on ALL citizens.

Posted by: NO-bama | May 5, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'll use the same measure Congress uses for claiming "bi-partisan" support; If there is one person from all races represented within the Tea Party, then the "racism" claim must be mute.

Posted by: NO-bama | May 5, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Superstitions, fear, hate and prejudice works wonders on the uneducated Joe Six Pack crew. And enlist a few Gong Show host rejects as mouthpieces on Fox News. Brainwash, like a good cult does. It is interesting to see how many non-white people show up at these rallies (zip). A lot of the tea partiers would like a law that black people cannot be US citizens so they don’t have this problem again

Posted by: ronoz | May 5, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Capeheart, don't you think its irresponsible for you to fuel the flames of hate with this article?
Why do Democrats do this? Perpetuating race issues.
Well, most of America sees what's going on, you're not fooling anyone.
Don't you have anything better to write about?

Posted by: ohioan | May 5, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The TEA PARTY movement has driven liberals absolutely, stark raving mad. It's really funny. Liberals are obsessed with the TEA PARTY even more than they were obsessed with Sarah Palin. The liberal establishment must have the biggest inferiority complex in America.

The federal government is broken and disfunctional. The only people who seem to realize this are the TEA PARTY people.

If the TEA PARTY people were demonstrating against George Bush, the vast, liberal media would be cheering them on.

That is racism in itself. Liberals believe Barack Obama should be immune from attack because he's (half) black.

Obama is getting the same treatment that Bush got from the liberal establishment. Equal opportunity, pure and simple.

Posted by: battleground51 | May 5, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Dude, As with most things in life, ya find what ya look for.

Posted by: MikeMcLamara | May 5, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

One of my frustrations is that there are those who rally and cry foul of elected officials, yet take no responsibility for electing them. They are only in the position they are because "We The People" choose to put them there. If we are unhappy with their performance, the only way to change things is to vote for someone else.

I have had my fair share of complaints, and have also had issues with people whom I have voted for, but ignorance is a poor substitute for knowledge. And on that premise, I would prefer to hear about people they are advocating to vote in who will represent them better rather than hear them rail against the people they put there in the first place.

Politicians are chosen from the people, from us. So let's fix us, because if we don't, how can we ever expect to have people we are happy with representing us?

Posted by: simbaji | May 5, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, three out of 10 Americans believe that racial prejudice undergirds the movement."

If 1/3 of Americans think you're racist, then you're racist?

Posted by: Ynot1 | May 5, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a new thing that sprung up because Obama was voted in as POTUS. Conservatives have been complaining about government growth, spending, and encroachment on personal liberties for decades. The passing of TARP by Congress and the signing of TARP by Bush is was caused these American patriots to stand up and say 'enough is enough'. That MSM reporters do such a lazy job of, you know, reporting is ethically criminal.

Posted by: RobertBise | May 5, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

hysterical....the MSM continues their attempt to stereotype the tea party movement and misses the mark....the Democrat Party is not making the same mistake. Behind closed doors, they are very concerned as nearly 2/3 of all registered independents have indicated they will vote for the challenger against the incumbent this fall in congressional races. These independents may/may not be part of any tea party movement (likely not) but they do feel their voices are being ignored. They feel that government spending has gone unabated without any justification. The bailout of GM completely obliterated decades of bankruptcy law. The failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be icing on the cake.

This is what Capehart and others are missing.

Posted by: jhpbriton | May 5, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

i have been a liberal my entire life and i find this article quite disturbing. even the numbers the author puts out himself should cause one to think twice about spewing the junk he has spewed. i am also not a tea party member but, i sure as heck am fed up with dems and repubs. all incumbents out & term limits now. also, i am not blind to how much rascism is out there. you only make it worse by accusing folks of racsim with such little ammo.

Posted by: bruce30 | May 5, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

*sigh*

3 out of 10 believe that the Tea Party has a "race problem", so we ALL know that's true?

Apparently, 7 out of 10 Americans don't agree, but that didn't seem to bother you.

But we ALL know that accusations of Racism are often used out of intellectual cowardice, to avoid debate on the contents.

BTW, I'm neither Democrat nor Republican. Both of these parties make me sick to my stomach.

Let's hope one day you'll finally be capable of thinking beyond tribalism & skin color.

Posted by: gypsy5 | May 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic arguments.

They want their country back from the liberals who lied their way into office claiming to be moderates and once there immediately began transforming our country into Europe. They want it back from those who are passing legislation allowing those who produce nothing (regulators, politicians & staff, bureaucrats) to rule the lives of those who do produce, including determining how much production the non-producers will take from producers.

They claim to be patriots? So what? Dissent was patriotic merely a year ago when leftists were practicing it. Why is it a race issue now but not then?

What's the evidence we no longer follow the constitution? Try the Kelo case.

Why are we angry? Mostly that so many Americans, including Capehart, are economically illiterate, but also because so many leftist journalists, including Capehart, are fundamentally dishonest.

Capehart asks why we're unhappy about legislation which will have a massive effect over generations. But he requires thet their fears match his expectations in order to be held legitimate. Could it possibly be they are concerned about future generations? Or about people less entrenched in their careers? Or that they see a negative as a whole but hope they can sneak through as one of the lucky? Or that while they expect to keep their jobs, they also expect marginal tax rates to increase 10 - 15 points to pay for others' health insurance and the lavish retirement benefits non-producers enjoy (while not receiving these benefits themselves)?

Apparently Capehart thinks it's impossible, but I wonder why? Is there one single reason why these can't be true other than that he's already decided it's race based? It's pathetic that someone who holds himself out as knowledgeable enough to comment on global matters cannot think of one answer besides racism when 15 occur to an average American in 10 seconds.

No, this isn't a race issue at all. Except to the hardcore left and unthinking Democrats who have convinced themselves they stand against racism and therefore anyone against them must be for it.

Posted by: mj13 | May 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there's some top notch detective work there. Must've been some huge frigging guy. Seriously? You think just because the people are misinformed means they're racists? I'm not saying they're not, and I read this article thinking there might be some evidence of what I suspect, but seriously? They're misguided, so they must be racists? They're misguided because Fox News is the most trusted source of "news" in America, but they also have a legitimate cause in fighting skyrocketing national debt. Inflated national debt does not necessarily imply that they're going to lose their job, and doesn't mean they'll fall out of the middle class. It means our ability to borrow and lend money is hurt, and other countries become less willing to invest in the US.

"As with most things in life, ya find what ya look for." Amen Mike.

Stop making dumb articles. You're making us look bad!

Posted by: yasu4303 | May 5, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there's some top notch detective work there. Must've been some huge frigging guy. Seriously? You think just because the people are misinformed means they're racists? I'm not saying they're not, and I read this article thinking there might be some evidence of what I suspect, but seriously? They're misguided, so they must be racists? They're misguided because Fox News is the most trusted source of "news" in America, but they also have a legitimate cause in fighting skyrocketing national debt. Inflated national debt does not necessarily imply that they're going to lose their job, and doesn't mean they'll fall out of the middle class. It means our ability to borrow and lend money is hurt, and other countries become less willing to invest in the US.

"As with most things in life, ya find what ya look for." Amen Mike.

Stop making dumb articles. You're making us look bad!

Posted by: yasu4303 | May 5, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

In America if the subject is race or religion, say good by to truth, tolerance and reason. I would love to join a legitimate third party movement, but you are known and judged by the company that you keep. The propaganda spam that I get from the tea bagger types is always filled with provable lies, misinformation, ignorance, pathological bigotry, shameless hate and hypocrisy. I'll wait to join a different third party movement.

Posted by: wbindy | May 5, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Yea, Tea Baggers, you can have your "country back" when you can pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | May 5, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Puhleeze. It's actually an issue of the WaPo's opinion staff having a bias and/or a general intelligence problem. This article is nothing more than the lowest form of race-baiting. No wonder the WaPo is going out of business. Too bad because it makes a really good birdcgae pan liner and fish wrapper!

Posted by: flintston | May 5, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

That there is a significant racist element in the 'Tea Party' movement is, to me, beyond argument.

And the proof is this: The movement will disappear when there is a white president again. You don't have to believe me now - just watch.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | May 5, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

So 3 out in 10 Americans in your poll think so so it must be so? Surely you can't be serious. Liberals like to find a way to stick the scarlet letter of racisim on anything they disagree with.Soon they will find themselves in the position of "The boy who cried Wolf", that is, they have pointed to so many things that aren't racist at all and shouted "racisim". When the next KKK or Aryans pop up and they shout "Racisim", the true racisists will have their way because no one is paying attention.

I'm supporting the goals of the tea party because I want LESS Government no matter what the color, creed, or national origin of those in the government.

Posted by: AmericanWithABrain | May 5, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Capehart...I don't see anything in your blog post that has anything to do with race. You say the Tea Party has a race problem and then your apparent evidence to that fact are statistics that say those in the Tea Pary movement are confident about their social standing and job security. How does that qualify the movement as having a race problem?

I think this article is evidence enough that you have a "logic problem".

Posted by: Itsallthesameuntilitsdifferent | May 5, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

it does please me to see these comments taking issue with the author. as the post tends to attract lefties, the comments are for the most part civil and in disagreement. i read articles from many and if this was a more rightwing minded site i believe the comments would be much more uncivil, based on my experience. god bless the liberal minded person.

Posted by: bruce30 | May 5, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

They want smaller govt., but don't cut defense, their ss, or their medicare. Should we cut roads & bridges/education, no? Cut discretionary spending & Cadillac welfar moms!!! They're from another time & yes they are racist with mixed messages & illogical thought patterns. They can't stand having a black "non-American" President! Hence the idiot birthers. I say balance the budget by cutting defense/ss/medicare!!! Yeah.

Posted by: crossroadsnow | May 5, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Does the NAACP or BET or Black Miss America or the Black Democratic Caucus have a "race" problem?

Or is racism confined by skin color to "white folk"?

Posted by: anderson2 | May 5, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I used to be liberal in that I was for civil rights and equal opportunity. Then the "new liberals" passed me by so far and fast, I can't see them on the horizon anymore. Racism! It's the refrain of a class of people who feel entitled to be bums.

Posted by: vickie105 | May 5, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Does the NAACP or BET or Black Miss America or the Black Democratic Caucus have a "race" problem?

Or is racism confined by skin color to "white folk"?
++++++++
I thought anderson2's comment should be repeated.

Posted by: vickie105 | May 5, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Grover says in part: "Here's the problem with that logic:

They've sat there silently through Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and then Bush II with at least a modicum of decency."

Ah, the Democratic Party talking point of the week. First, this is simply wrong. Fiscal conservatives have been vocally opposed many times in the past. Remember Porkbusters? No you have your head in the sand. But we remember it and recognize both your foolishness and ignorance.

Second, your comparing the past and future doesn't take into account the vast increase in spending the left has planned for us. We've seen the government take over auto companies to prop up the unions. We've seen them pass out nearly a trillion dollars of spending primarily made up of wish list items they couldn't get through the normal process. We see them vastly expanding government responsibility in healthcare. We see them drafting bills which make virtully every human action subject to regulation and tax (cap and trade). We see them promising pension benefits to their voters those of us who produce will eventually have to pay for. And we see them pushing the VAT so they can tax us in stealth mode while demogoging "corporations".

This far beyond what other administrations have done. But further we expect this to be just the first step. Every shortcoming of any of these plans will be met by leftist claims that if only we had spent more (a public option, actual nationalized healthcare, lower cap & trade limits, etc) the limitations wouldn't exist. Since we'll be halfway down the path we'll take another step, then another.

To see how this works consider the Kyoto Protocal. Despite the massive economic cost it would have minimal effect on predicted global warming. Supporters response: this is only a first step, of course we have to do more. None of this even allows for the fact that the majority of the cost won't be in actual taxes, but in reduced economic opportunity for everyone, but particularly for young people who don't have critical skills and experience.

And last, the vast majority of Tea Partiers are more than decent. They're certainly more decent that either those who make up events to accuse racism, or those who blindly repeat it believing "by any means necessary".

Posted by: mj13 | May 5, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the tea partiers would like a law that black people cannot be US citizens so they don’t have this problem again

Posted by: ronoz

Ah, ronoz decrys fear, hate, and prejudice while providing his own example. Well, it's certainly efficient.

Posted by: mj13 | May 5, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi, Reid and Obama will campaign for "Income Equalization"....that means the middle-class will work their butts off to earn it...and "de po'fok" will work their butts off to consume it...and as always, faster than we can earn it!!

Posted by: anderson2 | May 5, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

bruce30 said
"it does please me to see these comments taking issue with the author. as the post tends to attract lefties, the comments are for the most part civil and in disagreement. i read articles from many and if this was a more rightwing minded site i believe the comments would be much more uncivil, based on my experience. god bless the liberal minded person."

Like the civilized, liberal minded person who broke off my car antenna in the airport parking lot because I have an "Impeach Obama" bumper sticker?

By the way, such a supposition on your part about people on "rightwing" sites is a working definition of the word "prejudice".

Posted by: AmericanWithABrain | May 5, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Capehart didn't make it very clear but the eighteen percent he mentions is not 18% of Tea Partiers, but that the Tea Partiers make up 18% of the US total population.

Second, the single insinuation that the author made about race didn't address the other obvious part of the statistic. They don't want their money to go to people with less money.

In simpler words, they are classicist as well as racist. If not even more.

Socialism is only because the government is now helping those poorer than them. That's why they weren't complaining before.

The Tea Party is a misnomer, it should be the Mea Party. As in "mea culpa, mea culpa", that's something they should all understand.

Posted by: meamaxima | May 5, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

As a WMMO45 I have a number of friends and family who are tea party sympathizers.

One of them explained the appeal in a very interesting way: he believes Obama is hostile to whites and that his purpose in getting elected is to change the balance of power in America by transferring wealth away from whites and giving it to blacks and other minorities.

If you look at the composition of TP crowds and listen to the rhetoric it's almost all consistent with that view.

Older, affluent whites protest government programs and taxation that they perceive as an unconstitutional taking and transfer of their own earned wealth to others.

The blend with racism and the springing up of this movement around Obama in particular, comes from the view of Obama as having gotten himself elected in order to implement a "socialist agenda" of redistribution of wealth to minorities in order to take power from whites, as in South American "socialist" redistributionist regimes.

Reversing this supposed process, is what is meant by "taking back America" and "adhering to the Constitution."

If you run all the rhetoric through this filter it explains a lot.

Posted by: whitemaleover45 | May 5, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Second, the single insinuation that the author made about race didn't address the other obvious part of the statistic. They don't want their money to go to people with less money."

I think here we see the level of economic literacy prevalent throughout leftists politics: absolutely none.

Yes, the idea that people who make money should have some say in how it's spent is truly outrageous. If only Capehart could be so honest.

Posted by: mj13 | May 5, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It is really unfortunate that journalists like yourself are always looking to play the race card. Perhaps you should look into what the Son's of Liberty were doing and who participated in that movement in the 1770's. That may give you more insight into how deep the feeling of losing our personal liberties run. That movement had some significant Black members one of whom lost his life in the Boston Masacre.

Posted by: chickenman1 | May 5, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

This is really unprofessional "journalism." If you try to mock, ridicule and mis-label a group enough times maybe you can get it to stick - but you should be ashamed of the lack of honesty in doing this. The Tea Party has clearly put out the tenants of their platform - can you tell me which one of those is racist??

Posted by: lynnman1 | May 5, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

As a journalist you are defining the whole by the actions of the few. I am not a racist person and I treat everyone equally until they give me a reason not to. I am tired of the race card, if I don't like a person who isn't "white" that doesn't make me a racist. Just because the person I want to vote out of office is black doesn't mean it's because i'm a racist, maybe just maybe it's because I don't think he is representing american citizens.

When a law was passed that uses the money that I and other americans (all races, all genders) worked hard for to give it to someone who is illegally in this country so that they can have health insurance. I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS.

When people talk about passing a law which says that I have to register every fire arm I own with the government, I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS.

When Congress and the President enacted a health care bill which was not good enough for them to be on I see a problem with this. If the health care bill isn't good enough for them, WHY IS IT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. When did everyone forget that congress and the president work for us, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

I don't care what color their skin is, whether their male or female, or what their political association is when they enact laws and policies that I feel are anti-american I WILL VOTE AGAINST THEM IN THE NEXT ELECTION. And if having that opinion makes me a racist then have at it.

Posted by: t-vegas | May 5, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse


Wow, Capehart...I don't see anything in your blog post that has anything to do with race. You say the Tea Party has a race problem and then your apparent evidence to that fact are statistics that say those in the Tea Pary movement are confident about their social standing and job security. How does that qualify the movement as having a race problem?

I think this article is evidence enough that you have a "logic problem".

Posted by: Itsallthesameuntilitsdifferent
============================
The evidence is this: If you're financially secure, feel like you have a stable job and are solidly middle class, then about the only motivation left for all the anger in the Tea Party movement has to do with something other than these factors. Race is about the only thing left; especially when you throw in code words like 'socialism' and rants about 'taking the country back.'

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | May 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

In response to the comment of EnemyOfTheState:

If I have a job and work hard for the little money that I do have, I will be damned if I want it to go to anyone who sits on their ass all day and waits for a check from the government every month that is funded by my blood, sweat and tears. Their is no race issues with this opinion. My problem lies with people who have an entitlement problem and the people who support the entitlement mentality.

Posted by: t-vegas | May 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that Senate members of the Congressional Black Caucus claimed to hear tea partiers shout the "N"-word 15 times after walking through a demonstration after the healthcare bill signing. But, even though their own staffers were recording, along w/the press, there's been no proof to back up their plan. A skeptic offered up $100K reward for proof.

There should be consequences for making false claims of racisms and the CBC and Mr. Capeheart should be made accountable for it.

BTW, teapartiers want to take the country back from a government that creates sweeping entitlement programs while only taxing the top half of the citizenry. And increasing spending and borrowing at much higher levels than have ever been experienced by this country.

If blacks are the #1 recipients of entitlement programs, that their problem, not the tea party.

Posted by: williamporterfield | May 5, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Race is about the only thing left;"

Race isn't the only thing left, it's the only thing leftists understand. Maybe they'd be better off if their education consisted of more than learning how to call those who disagree with them racist.

"Socialist" is code for race? See above. Maybe this flies when you're passing the smoke around the circle with the other freshman. When you're among those who haven't assumed the conclusion you have to make sense.

"Taking our country back" is standard political theater used by liberals all the time. Are they racist too?

Posted by: mj13 | May 5, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

TO: mj13 who wrote:
Race is about the only thing left;"
Race isn't the only thing left, it's the only thing leftists understand. Maybe they'd be better off if their education consisted of more than learning how to call those who disagree with them racist.
"Socialist" is code for race? See above. Maybe this flies when you're passing the smoke around the circle with the other freshman. When you're among those who haven't assumed the conclusion you have to make sense.
"Taking our country back" is standard political theater used by liberals all the time. Are they racist too?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You’re thinking nobody can read your mind.

But when you’re flaming, people can’t help but know.

Yes, being that our President IS NOT a socialist and you intend for that to be an insult, everytime that lie comes out of your mouth, I have every right to call you a racist.


Posted by: lindalovejones | May 5, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I strongly disagree about the Obama-as-joker sign. This white man finds that particular sign very disturbing. The slashed-open cheeks bring to my mind ugly images of mutilated black bodies in lynchings. Those signs don't exist in a vacuum. They exist in a culture with an ugly history. When someone like me reads that sign as racist, I'm not moved by a Tea Partier complain that the racist history of mutilation never occurred to him. Exactly. It didn't. That's the problem.

Posted by: uh_huhh | May 5, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for clarifying my status for me. I am white, 54, middle class, resonably secure in my job, and as a bonus I am Catholic and bald. I am racist and did not know it. I cannot remember a time that I didnot DISTRUST the government, from local to national, republican to democrat they are all the same.

Posted by: jeromeslaughter | May 5, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Tea Partier: "Our government is too big and increasingly intrudes into our day-to-day life. It takes and spends too much money on problems that are only getting worse. Our elected officials are unresponsive to the people who elected them. Our national debt is rising to the point of unsustaina..."

Status Quo-er: "RACIST!!!"

Posted by: RobertBise | May 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

TO: mj13 who wrote:
“"…Taking our country back" is standard political theater used by liberals all the time. Are they racist too?”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

There’s absolutely NO truth to that lie, because we have our country, in particular, we have the White House.

You sound like a pure-bred racist, and there’s not even the smallest amount of doubt in my mind that you are.


Posted by: lindalovejones | May 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

TO: mj13 who wrote:
“"…Taking our country back" is standard political theater used by liberals all the time. Are they racist too?”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

There’s absolutely NO truth to that lie, because we have our country, in particular, we have the White House.

You sound like a pure-bred racist, and there’s not even the smallest amount of doubt in my mind that you are.


Posted by: lindalovejones | May 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I hate to point out that Conservatives & Republicans:

1. Cheered, and still revere, Reagan, who doubled the debt, and greatly expanded the Executive branch. Oh, he also ggave us an economic crisis or two;

2. Cheered Bush (the second) who doubled the national debt, and greatly expanded the reach of the Executive. Oh, he also collapsed the economy.

And now I am expected to accept that their opposition (want the President to fail!) is due to their adherence to fiscal principles?!

Please, 150 years ago (actually up until very recently) the same type of people openly claimed that God declared some (the WASP variety) are superior to others.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | May 5, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, this is one of the poorest written articles by you. It makes no sense. Of course, the Tea Party members are racist. They didn't come on the scene until Barack Obama was elected president. They talk about being fed up with "big" government, the deficits, their SS and Medicare, however, they are the same ones who say, "where is the federal government on illegal immigration; where is the federal government on assisting in areas suffering from floods, tornadoes, etc.; where is the federal government when my home is ruined in these floods, tornadoes, and the insurance companies don't want to pay; why doesn't the federal government fix these roads; why doesn't the federal government do this and do that. But I don't want government in my life. No, they are racist and insincere in their arguments. They are just plain and simple racist and bigoted who have a sense of entitlement because they feel they (the whites) built this country. For the birthers, I remember talk of changing the constitution so that Arnold Schwarzenegger could run for president of the United States. Oops! He's one of us (white). Capehart, this is an article you could gave skipped because it served no purpose.

Posted by: bander2400 | May 5, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

lindalovejones

Sure you can call me racist. It just makes you both wrong and a fool.

Posted by: mj13 | May 5, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm beginning to think that the racism card was thrown out against the Tea Party because no one can find a legitimate reason to challenge the parties political agenda.

And ironically many of the posters here are confirming my opinion.

Posted by: t-vegas | May 5, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

There are black people IN the tea party and there is some people who surely are racist but not the majority so quit with the race card.

I find Black entertainment television racist!!

what would you say if we made WHITE ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION !! HHMMMM

Posted by: yourmomscalling | May 5, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Capehart, you are the one with the race problem. I'm 79 years old and have met a lot of racists -- and the most venomous racists I have met are of the Negro race in New York. They may call themselves a lot of names, but I refuse to call them African-American. They are either African or American. (And I feel the same way about Irish or Italians who use hyphenated names.) The only racist I have met who was actually convicted of racist slander is Al Sharpton. (Look up the Tawana Brawley case and Pagonis vs Sharpton, et al in Poughkeepsie, NY. Sharpton was fined about $250,000 and had to call on his associates to bail him out to keep him from going to jail.) The biggest problem in America now is that too many people who live here do not classify themselves as "American." They want to hide behind a hyphenated designation. And too many of those folks are racist -- like Capehart.

Posted by: RonKH | May 5, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I want to believe that the tea partier represent real discourse and dissent, I firmly believe we need more than one view in order to do what's needed and what's best...BUT I can't understand where these people were during previous administrations that either did nothing to control debt/deficit and worked over time to deplete a surplus. Where were all these people for limited government when laws like the patriot-act etc. were proposed and then passed? Where were all these tea-party patriots as it became more and more clear that we were in the midst of a costly war as a result of either govt. manipulation of the facts or faulty evidence? Where was the outrage? A previous poster claimed that "conservatives" have consistently complained about fiscal irresponsibility during other administrations, perhaps that's true, but we certainly NEVER saw the same level of hyperbole and fear..."death panels" "re-education camps", "birthers" people who have these views are plentiful in this movement - and more than vocal about their personal disdain for our president. "Take back the country" indeed! How coincidental that the country needs a "revolution" when Obama gets elected. I suspect many of these people (not all) never believed he could really pull it off (get elected), so when he did they experienced a level of shock and disbelief that has since subsided. Now it's just downright indignation that he dares to lead this country. I suspect many long for earlier times when people that look like Obama knew and stayed in their place...

Posted by: tamikason | May 5, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

BradG just about said it all.
I ask that you take notice of what our law requires when any officer of our government, federal or state, deprecates or adulterates the highest law of our land. That customary progressive and neo-con conceit of authority is not just wrong IT IS FELONY.

Those cavalier conceits of authority against the law of the land, are the same conceits that in 1619 Jamestown Virginia took a black man roughly by the arm and said the equivalent of "You do not count, so the laws here do not protect you. As far as you are concerned *I* AM THE LAW!"

That evil conceit still occurs and will continue until we take back our sovereign "Constitutional republican rule of law"
which applies to all and protects all - particularly minorities.
Race is as irrelevant to taking back our country as it is to our "Constitutional republican rule of law".


http://teapartyconstitutionalists.ning.com/

Posted by: Russell_P_Davis | May 5, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

One of the greatest problems that Americans have when the subject of race is discussed is that apparently many people do not have access to a dictionary. Everyone born and raised in America is racially and sexually prejudiced. Prejudice is like body fat, everyone has some, but some people have a disgusting amount.
Our white people who can only can see black "racism" need to look the word up in a few dictionaries and take a few American history courses. I am a history buff and the appalling ignorance of our American history is very disturbing.

Posted by: wbindy | May 5, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

The problem is not race. The problem is the job that is being performed. Those who jump to the race card are themselves retarded. If they want to cry race now, then look back at the election and see why he was voted in.

Posted by: staggerl24 | May 5, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Capehart says: "But here's what did and continues to bother me. When Tea Partyers say they want their country back, what do they mean?"

Can you truly be this obtuse? I think you are simply pretending not to know so as to suggest nefarious reasons.

They want their country back from the too-powerful government which is riding roughshod over rights and businesses and capitalism; they want their country back from so many illegals that hospitals are shutting down and going broke; they want their schools back from white-tower intellectuals who keep lowering standards and requirement in the same of "self-esteem;" they want freedom of speech back so that any joke or comment isn't fodder for the race-baiters who consider a word such as "niggardly" too frightening to use.

If the teapartiers have a race problem, it's because those like you insist upon it, in spite of race having nothing to do with the legitimate complaints many in the public have about this administration's personnel and direction.

And that's just for starters.

Posted by: Beauxo | May 5, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

tamikason says in part "I can't understand where these people were during previous administrations that either did nothing to control debt/deficit and worked over time to deplete a surplus"

As if on cue, this week's Democratic Party talking point rises again. I guess the plan is to say it enough times and hope everyone believes it, just like the claim that Tea Partiers are racist. On the other hand we told the "compassionate conservatives" that compromising with Democrats and agreeing to spend more on common priorities (education and medical care) would only result in even greater nastiness and hatred from the left. Sadly we were 100% right on that prediction also.

"but we certainly NEVER saw the same level of hyperbole and fear"

In fact we've never seen this level of planned spending, so once you factor that in the noise to spending ratio matches quite nicely. Once you correct "hyperbole and fear" to "anger that economic illiterates are condemning to poverty a much larger portion of future Americans than otherwise" you'll have the full picture.

Posted by: mj13 | May 5, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

~30% is an interesting number in statistics. For example, 33% of Democrats are 9/11 truthers.
30% of people believe in UFOs
Almost 30% of people believe in Astrology and Reincarnation
35% of women believe in Ghosts
..and 32% of people believe in lucky numbers.

I think it is just one of those averages that is a societal norm for fringe beliefs.

I find it more interesting that the author focuses on the fringe 30% outlay belief instead the 70% norm that believe the truth, that the Tea Party is not racist (as they aren't). The author's question also seems to come based on his own world view filter and has nothing to do with anything the Tea Party is about.

Posted by: mnehreps | May 5, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

First the state run media tried to ignore us, then they ridiculed us, now they are trying to destroy us. Remember November!

Posted by: Kansasgirl | May 5, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Hmm ~ posts submitted AFTER mine are allowed through.

Let's test this again to see if this is a case of Capehart not liking my earlier comments about his writing.

Betcha' it is eh!

Posted by: muawiyah | May 5, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Yup. Shur Iz.

Posted by: muawiyah | May 5, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

You got it right. The TEA crowd has finally discovered that we have a Constitution, now they should read it. I heard one of their "leaders" challenged on TV the other day to state exactly how Obama is violating the Constitution. It was like Sarah Palin trying to recall what newspapers she had read.

Posted by: parishs | May 6, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

So mj13, by your response should I infer that you DON'T believe the country was on the verge of a financial meltdown immediately prior to Mr. Obama winning the election? Is it a "talking point" to compare the very muted response of so-called conservatives during previous administrations to the almost desperate fear-mongering and ignorance seen in this "movement". It isn't the slightest-bit disturbing to see how vehemently opposed (within a few months) these people were/are to ANYTHING Obama proposes? I noticed you skirted the "death-panels" and such issues in your response to my post. Face it, we all know it, and I wish people could just admit it...the fact that Obama is one of the "others" will never be acceptable to a certain segment of our population! I think that is the point the article is trying to make.

Admit it or not, but the Tea Party has been infiltrated by people who see the country turning ever more "colorful" so they are scared that the "perks" of being in the majority may (gasp) fade away under the weight of the "others". Obama's election was the exclamation point to a fear that has been brewing for some time. At least in the past these scared, ignorant people could rest assured that "they" were still in power, even if the others were encroaching on other areas of their lives...I imagine that while the chants of "Socialist" and "Down with Big Govt." are heard by the masses, the real message is - "The nerve of "those" people to try and have a voice in this country!! Who do they think they are??? This is "our" country so we need to take it back (from them)!! The audacity of hope indeed! LOL

Posted by: tamikason | May 6, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

ENEMY OF THE STATE -- YOU POSTED: That there is a significant racist element in the 'Tea Party' movement is, to me, beyond argument.
And the proof is this: The movement will disappear when there is a white president again. You don't have to believe me now - just watch.
Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | May 5, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Here’s the flaw in your logic (besides the fact that it’s speculative since your proof WILL OCCUR IN THE FUTURE - unless you’re psychic.)

The proof WOULD BE that the movement disappears when there is a white president again WITH THE SAME AGENDA. It appears you have based your opinion of the Tea Party solely on race (white males, over 45, etc). What does that say about you? (BTW – The fact that you are overlooking the African American’s in the Tea Party movement doesn’t bode well for your respect of people with regard to race. Are they invisible to you?)

I say we all paint ourselves purple and start figuring out how to balance our budget and keep government where it belongs; in service to its citizens, NOT wildly running up the deficit, redistributing wealth, intruding in our healthcare whether we like it or not (“for our own good” since we don’t seem to know better), or attempting to dictate every aspect of our lives – Happy Meals, salt and all!! Please tell me you don’t have a problem with purple!

Posted by: PurpleProudandColorblind | May 7, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I really think that the Washingpost is like some other News people and only want to post things that they like to hear.
There is not one person but Obama himself that knows who he really is. Its not only the lies he tells but he is really pi$$ing people off and thats what he wants. If he can cause one He11 of an uprising and riots and etc. before the fall elections because the Democrats will be history after the fall elections, he will impose marshal law which means all elections are off till he deems things are under control.

Posted by: dirtydaug | May 8, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I really think that the Washingpost is like some other News people and only want to post things that they like to hear.
There is not one person but Obama himself that knows who he really is. Its not only the lies he tells but he is really pi$$ing people off and thats what he wants. If he can cause one He11 of an uprising and riots and etc. before the fall elections because the Democrats will be history after the fall elections, he will impose marshal law which means all elections are off till he deems things are under control.

Posted by: dirtydaug | May 8, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I really think that the Washingpost is like some other News people and only want to post things that they like to hear.
There is not one person but Obama himself that knows who he really is. Its not only the lies he tells but he is really pi$$ing people off and thats what he wants. If he can cause one He11 of an uprising and riots and etc. before the fall elections because the Democrats will be history after the fall elections, he will impose marshal law which means all elections are off till he deems things are under control.

Posted by: dirtydaug | May 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

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