@ fuster:
Depends on the fluffer.

@ narciso:
I deleted the e-mail and web-link embedded in the comment rather than delete the entire comment.

As for fluffing, dude, I was brought up in the International Capital of the "Other Industry."

Stop fluffing the robots. (It's typical comment spam - most of it's caught by our ever-watchful anti-robot robots.) I'll leave it up so you can study its fine details more closely. First clue: Anyone who says anything complimentary about the site or a post. In case you haven't noticed, we're 99% nasty cats here. Your occasionally partly complimentary comments are the exceptions that prove the rule.

strangelet wrote:

Do you think hollering WE ARE NOT RACISTS will get you a single black voter?

What basis do you have for accusing the Tea Party of "thinking"? That's totally unfair, and certainly not backed up by anything we've seen on this topic.

As PR/communications types, psychologists, and others will tell you, hollering "WE ARE NOT RACISTS" is a version of the hopeless "I'm not a bimbo!" strategy. What shouting "I'm not a bimbo" says is "Maybe I'm a bimbo/ people are saying I'm a bimbo/ trust me when I tell you I'm not a bimbo even though people credible enough to force me to respond say I'm a bimbo."

The correct response is, "well, maybe I'm a bit of a bimbo, but here is my plan for ensuring access to potable water to the people of the Punjab" etc. Defuse the charge, then prove its falsehood and triviality compared to the truth. In a political context like this one, shouting "WE ARE NOT RACISTS, AND YOU SUCK!" further underlines your willingness to polarize the discussion and cover for practices, attitudes, and policies that amount to or align with racism under whatever name.

@ Sully:
Yeah, right. You're Thomas Jefferson and Barack Obama is King George III, and we're about to have a war, and you are so one of the good guys.

Forget that they issued this statement to cover up
a paramilitary organization, suppressing the vote in Philadelphia, which
Wiegel calls ‘Megyn’s Minstrel show’

"Suppressing the vote in Philadelphia"! Two dudes at a precinct that was voting 99% Obama anyway. Not a good thing. But not "suppressing the vote in Philadelphia" either. Yet now it's a massive conspiracy to fix elections by the NBPP in cahoots with the Kenyan socialist president!

Can you point to evidence of a single vote that was "suppressed"? It's been almost two years. Has anyone come forth? Or are they all shivering in fear in their basements under the New Black Panther Party reign of vote-suppressing terror?

@ Sully:

The guy's just one leading example. And, no, no one said that supporting those issues made you racist, or for that matter that the TP is or was racist. Again, the demand, in the words of Jealous, is that the TP "expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take full responsibility for all of their actions." That formulation already assumes that the TP is not on the whole racist and that the TP doesn't want to be considered hospitable to racists and racism. It's giving the TP more credit than you, for example, give the NAACP or all of Islam, for example.

And then you turn finally to "they did it first," and "I know what you are but what am I?" and other grown-up responses. If the TP wants to be nothing more than a typical rightwing interest group, with a particularly reactionary and divisive "never give an inch" edge, then it can simply counterattack as Palin has and as you advise and support.

And you base this on some verbose rubbish about the supposed nature of these people and the issues they find important.

You have no basis for denying the truth of my description, which I have had to repeat and extend several times in light of your refusal confront its simple elements. If it goes on for longer than your attention span, it's because I'm struggling to find terms that get through to you.

You could try to deny that the TP is driven by states' rights/restraint on the federal government, low taxes, cultural self-defense, but that would be absurd, since the TP is hardly shy about it and puts those issues at the top of its defense against the NAACP charges against some in the TP's natural constituency.

You could try to deny that the same complex of issues dominated the rhetoric of angry white populism and white racism in the past, but that would merely show you to be ignorant.

You could try to deny that implementation of the TP agenda as presented would put them into direct material conflict with the typical NAACP constituency along racialized lines, but that would take using your brain, something you prefer to avoid, instead of calling names, offering insults, and cheering on your political heroes like they're players on the team you enjoy rooting for, or invoking their names as though doing so is the same thing as making an intelligible argument - even as you attack my good faith and accuse me of wasting anyone's time.

Scientific Socialist wrote:

The Tea Party has not been around long enough for anyone to make generalizations about it or its members.

The only one's making generalizations about the TP are the self-appointed spokespeople of the TP who claim that they have nothing to do with racism and racial insensitivity. The NAACP resolution - whose full text apparently won't be made available until it's been adopted by the national organization - asks the TP to repudiate the bigots who are attracted to the movement, and suggests that a failure to do so will amount to condoning them.

What makes this more than an idle attack or "demagoguery" is 1) the actual evidence that the predictable "far right" types have in fact attempted to seize upon the TP opportunistically, and 2) the material basis for racialized conflict and the long history of racialized conflict around the identical issue complex that the Tea Party puts uppermost: states' rights, constitutionalism of a certain type, fiscal restraint/low taxes, ultra-patriotism/cultural self-defense. That is precisely the face turned to the public by the white racists Palin claims to denounce and to have moved past.

If you're going to run a mainly white movement on that agenda, then you can either reject the "legacy of evil" and the people who are attracted to the same issue complex for many of the same social, economic, historical, and emotional reasons as ever, and make legitimate good faith efforts to renovate and broaden the message and agenda; or you can pretend that none of that exists and that it's all been made up by "them." If you choose the latter path, then you deserve to be discredited.

When "Beck, Palin, and others" start to confront the real world implications of their rhetoric, and start spending less time flattering their constituents and reducing their political enemies to paranoid caricatures, and spend more time reaching across social and political divides and telling their constituents things that may be hard to accept about themselves - then and only then will I start to see them as part of a "solution" I could possibly want to be a part of.

@ Sully:
Of course I'm biased and completely unconscious of it. That goes without saying. I presume as much. The fact that it is automatically true for me - whoever or whatever I am - or for the people who are operating this false front going by the name CK MacLeod tends to imply that it will be equally true for Tea Party Americans as well, leading to the conclusion that denials of same are incredible. Palin's and the TP's response has been to attempt to de-legitimize the complainers at the cost of reinforcing the complaint as well as the separation between the two sides. It's part and parcel of the process by which Palin and the TP have turned themselves into far right partisan opportunists rather than a comprehensive political alternative.

Do you notice a pattern here

Yes, I certainly do.

narciso wrote:

How about we don’t concede a thing,

If you want to be an unthinking ideologue obsessed with your imaginary war against "them," then that's a great approach. You can then assemble a collection of vaguely interrelated factoids and expect the emergent penumbra of ick to be persuasive to others who don't need to persuaded anyway.

@ Sully:
How about a little admixture of simple common sense verified through personal experience?

I hereby testify that there are racists among Tea Party Americans, that there are an even larger number of people sympathetic to the Tea Party who regularly exhibit racism and racial insensitivity; that many of them appear completely unconscious of it; and that furthermore there are ample historical reasons to expect that even in the total absence of subjective racism on the part of the Tea Party Americans, the political conflict over their agenda would be objectively racialized.

And no one at the NAACP, or the NBPP, or god knows who else, cropped me.

@ narciso:
20 years ago, "it" was readily apparent to a lot of people. The only question was why the reaction had taken so long. Of course, there were some people in positions of responsibility who worried about people "unnecessarily ginning up certain audiences."

Good blame-shifting there: No real problems, just "unnecessary ginning up" of "certain audiences." What characterizes those "certain audiences" I wonder? Other than that they're stupid people who are too ignorant to know what's good for them and how good they've got it, and should just shut up?

Also, who decides when the "ginning up" becomes "necessary"? Maybe the NAACP decided in its immense wisdom to engage in a pre-emptive strike rather than indulge in appeasement. I thought you were all in favor of that kind of strategery.

@ narciso:
I was in L.A. 20 years ago, and there was nothing like any of this going on. There was an incendiary video - incendiary because of what it accurately depicted - an out of touch police chief with an "outnumbered stormtrooper" approach to policing, a large, alienated non-white underclass convinced that they were unheard and unrepresented, and a relatively severe economic downturn following a long period of growth that mostly had left them behind anyway.

And if y'all Tea Party Americans want to see a lot more of that kind of thing, just keep on keeping on like you are.

Sully wrote:

As to the photos, they could easily have been carried by agents provocateur, or they could have been photoshopped.

Oh c'mon. Do you have any idea how silly that reads? Does that mean that if somehow someone could prove those people were as 100% authentic and manufactured in America, you would acknowledge they were a problem? Of course not. You'd call them a fringe, and tell yourself that most Tea Party Americans are wonderful people as sensitive and humble and free of racial insensitivity as your wonderful self.

The problem isn't angry openly racist fruitcakes at TP rallies, though they are signs of something.

@ narciso:
Right - an NAACP Legal Defense Fund person possibly consulting with the DOJ about the NBPP case means that the Think Progress photos of TPers used at the NAACP site were faked.

Good thinking.

I see now that Tea Party American is Palin's response to the NAACP's campaign "I am an NAACP American." Still an odd usage for Palin to adopt, especially without explanation.

There was no violence in the ‘targeting’ of certain districts, yet that was the spin. Many of these innocent Gitmo detainees have proven anything but. They falsified the climate record, and then conducted a whitewash of same

Think you could work in Checkers, the Panama Canal, and sugar substitutes?

Don't know where you got the idea that I said "there was no truth to the NAACP statement." I've said repeatedly that there is obviously truth to the NAACP's statements, as far as I can tell, though I still haven't seen anyone with a link to the full text of the resolution (which incidentally doesn't become NAACP policy until and unless adopted by the national board later this year).

The photos at the NAACP web site as well as my own personal experiences amply confirm elements of truth to the charge that there are "racist elements within the Tea Party." Whether the Tea Party attracts, exploits, and incites racism and racial insensitivity to a more than trivial extent - that is, more than would be presumably inevitable with any mass protest movement - and, if so, how much and what should be done about it, are other questions.

I'm actually more interested in the underlying objective and moral-ideological conflicts that tend to be brought to the surface as questions of subjective racial animus. They all relate to each other, however, since people's (inherently undependable) assessments of their own subjective state and their hurt feelings about supposedly being misunderstood or misrepresented often interfere with their ability to get at what the fight is really about and where it's most dangerous.

@ narciso:
Right - so by your semblance of reasoning, Sarah Palin is a racist reactionary or at best a "dupe," because she endorsed Rand Paul, and we know he hates Civil Rights, and his father was up to his neck and checkbook with the Alex Jones types. Makes Palin a truther, too - not to mention a Birther, plus she refused to condemn Birthers when asked about them. She also makes it a habit, as we know, of questioning the Americanism of her opponents - the worst thing you can say about someone in America.

And that's hardly even trying.

As for your definition of "they" - "the NAACP, the DNC, and by extension the major networks and news publications" are supposedly responsible for the following: "they LIED, about the violence of the Tea Parties, except KEN GLADNEY doesn’t figure into it, they lied about
the Klansman Byrd last week’s whole legacy, they lie with out reservation and without consequence, they compared the Tea Party to the White Citizens’s Councils"

So, the truth value of your statement is all of "them" are responsible if any one of them, or anyone you associate with them (a low bar, I'd say) had anything to do with any of that. That "logic" makes you, Sarah Palin, Zoltan, and me and the frog, too, all racist truther-birther conspiracy nuts.

Your repeated slanders of Rauf are getting tedious. You've had plenty of opportunity to back up your statements. When challenged on them, you've produced nothing except for the same bs. Yes, we know he contributed to Perdana. So what? People who contribute to dupe (i.e., people who disagree with narciso) organizations get to build churches, mosques, ashrams, temples, and sweat lodges in America, too - at least until the racist truther-birther conspiracy nuts are in charge.

@ narciso:
Who the heck is "they"? Does "they" have a central meeting place? And who said anything about "violence"? Your indulgence in this kind of thing just never stops. You string together facts or possible facts as though there's some weird leftwing Dr Mabuse on the other side weaving this all together, and some international scorekeeping body whose tally showing "They" way in the lead is being suppressed by "they." When are you going to figure out that the exact same trick can be performed for whatever paranoid trip you want to go on - leftwing, rightwing, Larouchie, Paulian, ultra-Marxist, anti-Marxist, ultra-anti-Marxist, whatever?

Accumulating incommensurate and indirectly connected names and events under undefined generalities like "they" and "it" or even "the left" is not an analysis, and the "truth" you attach to it is completely arbitrary. Any truth could emerge from your method, or lack of a method, only at random. To the extent your judgment is based on such an accumulation, it makes your determination that the "Cordoba thing" is showing "signs" "more and more" all the less trustworthy. Who in the world familiar with how you put these things together would have ever expected you to come to any other conclusion? The more you look at something, the more you're able to attach associations to it.

Scientific Socialist wrote:

We are well past the boy who shouted wolf stage on the widespread misuse of the racist bidness.

If that were true, then certain TP Americans wouldn't be putting up Facebook posts about how traumatizing it was to be called racists and how proud they were about RWR calling racism a "legacy of evil." Apparently, we're supposed to believe that there is racism or a legacy of evil, but somehow the Tea Party has completely avoided even a smidgen of it - despite the fact that it's aligned around the same issues that racists and bigots have historically aligned themselves, and despite any evidence that may come to our attention seemingly suggesting some not very savory attitudes among TP Americans.

The way to diffuse the charge is to acknowledge and accurately contextualize it, showing respect to the people who claim you don't respect them, showing that you don't fear "going there" at all - not to engage in transparently self-contradictory denial. The potential is real for disproportionate impact and racial divisiveness in the economic situation and TP-acceptable approaches to it. Marinating in your resentment of Michelle Obama's resentments won't wish it away.

@ narciso:
You apparently have some difficulty comparing items in different categories and associating facts and evidence systematically. A highly particular accusation - Brawley, AIDS - is susceptible to simple disproof.

That's different from simply admitting the obvious: Nutjobs, including racist nutjobs, are attracted to public protest movements. A particular type of racist nutjob is more likely to show up at Tea Party event, is more likely to be attracted to typical Tea Party concerns, and is more likely to sense and seek to exploit an opportunity presented by the Tea Party - than, say, to show up at the NAACP, be attracted to the NAACP, or to sense the same kind of opportunities in the NAACP. (The NAACP is more likely to attract a different kind of nutjob - the kind of people who might be attracted to the NBPP.) Such people have shown up at Tea Party events and are attracted to the Tea Party, just as they have been attracted to the Pauls and in the past connected to Ron Paul. I know some of them personally - relatives of mine, older people in particular, in whom it's as easy to stimulate old racist reflexes as it is to stimulate Sarah Palin fans to rise up against criticisms of her.

The line between pointing out the obvious and inevitable and pointing out something more worrisome is often difficult to pin down. When a second, larger number of people beyond the obvious bigots compulsively seek to deny such simple, predictable facts, their denial tends to put them on the wrong side of the blurry line. Quite frequently - not by chance - many in this same group display racial insensitivity unconsciously or even demonstratively - "see, I can tell a racist joke or invoke a 'true' stereotype, what are you gonna do about it?" - or will lash out at people who point out their racial insensitivity, and will remain incapable of addressing whatever racial or racialized elements in the issues that they prefer to view in a purely "colorblind" fashion (see above).

I know less about Rand Paul's past, but his little problem on the Civil Rights Act is typical of the collisions between rightwing libertarianism and social justice - as is the fact that a rightwing libertarian like Glenn Beck has devoted himself to turning "social justice" into a curse word.

@ Sully:
What about people who have accepted as divinely inspired a text that repeatedly calls for all those who don't accept the Lord of Hosts to be put to death without exception?

You have a twisted and fantastical view of Islam. Most Islamophobes - ones somewhat less obsessed than you with extreme fantasy interpretations - point to the jizya, the tax assessed on non-Muslims in traditionally oriented Islamic states. Such critics usually forget to mention the zakat - assessed on Muslims, similar to tithing and one of the five pillars of Islam - but, either way, how are you supposed to tax somebody whom you're also in the process of forcibly converting?

You can't, it's an absurdity, like most of your simplistic and hostile renderings of the Qur'an. The death penalty for apostasy is something different, however. Until the numerous Islamic scholars who disagree with the traditional interpretation have gained greater prominence - they include people like Montazeri in Iran and the Grand Mufti of Cairo - the issue will mark an important line of demarcation and struggle between secularizers and Islamizers.

That, to me, is a valid "aspect of Islam" to be criticized, along with the traditional treatment of women, but in both cases there is ample material both from the history of Islam, from a more sophisticated approach to textual interpretation and exegesis, and generally from an appeal to reason to attack apostasy laws without insisting on a total repudiation of the religion.

@ Ill Papa Fuster:
Such a hater, you are - the Tea Party, the Salafists, and the Black Panthers can all be accommodated in this best of all possible worlds.

Scientific Socialist wrote:

Are you saying sensitive people should pander to black paranoia?

Of course not. Nor should anyone pander to the paranoia of Tea Party Americans - or to the point of view that ascribes all sensitivity to racial or other matters to "paranoia."

@ narciso:
@ Scientific Socialist:
@ Sully:
@ narciso:
Great job! Emotionally sensitive to the charge of racism directed against "Tea Party Americans," utterly immune to an actual argument. So I guess I'll have to re-state it: Blacks in particular have a long history of looking to the federal government for protection against institutionalized and culturally entrenched racism - a little thing called the Civil War had something to do with that, other little things like Civil and Voting Rights Acts... states' rights as an excuse for segregationism "now, forever," and on and on - as well as the social programs that have directly and through their administration often put blacks into a direct economic dependency relationship.

There is a real, concrete, present as well as historical basis, for conflict between African Americans and any movement that makes an attack on the scope and power of the federal government definitional. The failure of the latter group to understand the stakes in the eyes of the former amounts to a failure of sympathy and imagination. A readiness to ignore the overlap between those who exhibit this failure of sympathy and those who actively embrace it - i.e., racists, straight up - reinforces the "element of truth."

It's not sheer chance, bad manners, or some mysteriously originating defect of character that puts blacks largely on the other side on this complex of issues. The Tea Party right embraces an agenda that, upon implementation, blacks have reason to expect will harm them and their interests disproportionately, while de-legitimizing their leadership and empowering their traditional enemies. It's similar to - not the same as - the factors that tend to make liberals out of Jews.