Tag Archives: New York Times

Tea Party Hysteria Rooted in Racism

Tea Partiers & Birthers continue to claim their movement is not based on racism.

Tea Partiers & Birthers continue to claim their Tea Party movement is not based on racism, dispute all the evidence to the contrary.

I was going to open this piece with an analogy about the tea party groups and why they’re treated seriously by the press and the Republicans. The analogy would go something like: “Imagine [insert left-wing activist group here] getting a serious profile in a mainstream newspaper, and imagine serious Democratic politicians appearing at their convention.”

The problem is, when I really evaluated what the various far-left activist groups are all about and compared them with the tea party movement, there really wasn’t any equivalency. At all.

Because when you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that’s left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race, and there’s no comparative group on the left that’s similarly motivated by bigotry, ignorance and racial hatred.

I hasten to note that I’m taking about real racism, insofar as it’s impossible for the majority race — the 70 percent white majority — to be on the receiving end of racism. That is unless white males, for example, are suddenly an oppressed racial demographic. But judging by the racial composition of, say, the Senate or AM talk radio or the cast members playing the Obamas on SNL, I don’t think white people have anything to worry about.

This isn’t an epiphany by any stretch. From the beginning, with their witch doctor imagery, watermelon agitprop and Curious George effigies, the wingnut right has been dying to blurt out, as Lee Atwater famously said, “nigger, nigger, nigger!”

But they can’t.

Strike that. Correction. TeaParty.org founder Dale Robertson brandished a sign with the (misspelled) word “niggar.” So they’re not even as restrained as the generally unstrung Atwater anymore.

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Dinner with Levi Johnston

Levi Johnston with his advisors, criminal defense attorney Rex Butler and private investigator Tank Jones.

Levi Johnston with his advisors, criminal defense attorney Rex Butler and private investigator Tank Jones.

“Tell me when strangers start recognizing you,” I whispered to Levi Johnston in the noisy foyer of Glacier BrewHouse last week. He lifted his chin and let it fall in agreement but didn’t make eye contact.

“Most of the time,” he said, “they just stare.”

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Barracuda Sarah: Palin’s Resentments of the Educated Started in Wasilla

Wasilla, Alaska Mayor Sarah Palin

Wasilla, Alaska Mayor Sarah Palin

The New Republic published an excellent, insightful expose by senior editor Noam Scheiber on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s apparent disdain for those she perceives as educated “elites,” starting with her upbringing in Wasilla, Alaska and continuing throughout her political career as she exacted ‘punishment’ on adversaries for her own personal agendas and vendettas.

It’s unlikely the name Sarah Palin would mean much to anyone if not for a man named Nick Carney. Long before she stood up to Republican cronies and “the good old boys” of Alaska, Palin stood up to Carney, a colleague on Wasilla’s city council. As Kaylene Johnson explains in her sympathetic biography, Sarah, Carney had the gall to propose an ordinance giving his own company the city contract for garbage removal. In Johnson’s telling, it was the first time Palin bravely spoke truth to power: “‘I said no and I voted no,’ Sarah said. ‘People should have the choice about whether or not to haul their garbage to the dump.'” Johnson writes that Palin’s vote made Carney into a “political enemy”–the first of many, it turns out.

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Palin Voice Coach Billed As “Get Out The Vote” Expense

Robert Draper’s NYT Story on McCain

Draper on McCainFrom the yet to be published New York Times Magazine cover story on the McCain campaign, we find this nuclear nugget:

“in the hours after Palin’s stunningly self-assured acceptance speech at the G.O.P. convention”: “[A]n elegant … woman sat alone at the far end of the bar. She wore beige slacks and a red sweater, and she picked at a salad while talking incessantly on her cellphone. But for the McCain/Palin button affixed to her collar and the brief moment that Palin’s new chief of staff, Tucker Eskew, spoke into her ear, she seemed acutely disconnected from the jubilation swelling around her. In fact, the woman was here for a reason. Her name was Priscilla Shanks, a New York-based stage and screen actress … who had found a lucrative second career as a voice coach. Shanks’s work with Sarah Palin was as evident as it was unseen. Gone, by the evening of her convention speech, was the squeaky register of Palin’s exclamations. Gone (at least for the moment) was the Bushian pronunciation of ‘nuclear’ as ‘nook-you-ler.’ Present for the first time was a leisurely, even playful cadence that signaled Sarah Palin’s inevitability on this grand stage.”

Priscilla Shanks has a summary on LinkedIn.