Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Tea Party on the comeback trail

They say no publicity is bad publicity. Is the same true for aggressive oversight by the Internal Revenue Service?

That's a question some folks in the Tea Party might be asking. Amidst the scandal of a politicized IRS putting conservative groups through the wringer prior to the 2012 elections, the Tea Party finds itself the subject of a number of recent media accounts.

It makes sense to take a more sober look at the Tea Party, about as maligned a political group as has come down the recent pike. For example, there was never a racist tack to anything the Tea Party advocated, and racists were never a welcome or prominent part of Tea Party rallies. There wasn't anything more outrageous about 99.9 percent of Tea Party gatherings than there was about 79.9 percent of anti-Bush rallies in the 1990s. After all, one man's heartfelt political beliefs are another's dangerous radicalism.

Still, none of that stopped portrayals of the Tea Party as something just short of an energized and resurgent Klan. So, too, with the slang "tea baggers" moniker which, if applied with the same ill intent to other groups, could possibly be construed as a hate crime.

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