That’s been the predominant shorthand for how the left feels about the tea-party movement: two lies and a pejorative. In reality, the tea party is neither violent nor racist (for evidence of its lack of racist tendencies, check out the ethnic background of tea-party heroes Herman Cain and Allen West). “Teabaggers” refers to a seriously deviant sexual practice most tea-party members, we suspect, have never tried and wouldn’t even know how to perform without the aid of a manual.
But let’s probe the “violent” part. Tea-party rallies tend to be energetic but well-ordered, and participants have acquired a reputation, grudgingly acknowledged even on the political left, for tidying up their venues (or “redding up,” as we used to say in Pittsburgh, I know not why).
If anyone can provide a confirmed, bona fide example of tea-party types making threats of violence or suggesting they’d relish some bloodletting, let me know. And never mind the Jefferson quote about the blood of patriots. That isn’t a tea-party staple, as far as I know.
On the other hand …
Wednesday night, I was driving on Interstate 84 between Southington and Waterbury, listening to the University of Hartford radio station (WWUH–FM 91.3). What can I say? The radio in my car doesn’t work very well. The station, which often plays very good music but is hard to pick up east of Waterbury, was airing a tape of an interview between a far-left college professor and an interviewer, presumably a student, who was lobbing softball questions.
Before the interview had gone very long, the professor was calling the tea party the Ku Klux Klan without the robes. (Wonder what Imperial Wizard Herman Cain has to say about that.) He also predicted another civil war; apparently, the first one wasn’t violent or bloody enough for his taste.
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