The NAACP has now fully backed up its accusations of racism within the Tea Party movement with a meticulously documented report on the Tea parties' multifarious connections to racists and various far-right extremists.This is not politically correct. Unless these tea partiers come forward and admit upfront that they are all racists, then one cannot even mention this sort of thing. At least that's what I've been told.
The report, "Tea Party Nationalism," looks at the relationships and differences between the six major Tea Party organizations -- FreedomWorks Tea Party, 1776 Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Patriots, ResistNet, and Tea Party Express -- and the various ways that each group has established connections with, and empowers, outright racists and white supremacists, as well we far-right "Patriot" extremists of various stripes.
"In these ranks, an abiding obsession with Barack Obama's birth certificate is often a stand-in for the belief that the first black president of the United States is not a 'real American.' Rather than strict adherence to the Constitution, many Tea Partiers are challenging the provision for birthright citizenship found in the Fourteenth Amendment," write authors Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, which produced the report for the NAACP.
The heart of the report is the section titled "Racism, Anti-Semitism and the Militia Impulse, which includes some previously overlooked facets of the movement and revealing details.
That's particularly rich coming from the GOP conman Sal Russo:
[T]he Tea Party Express' Sal Russo said that "[t]o attack a grassroots movement of this magnitude with sundry isolated incidents only goes to show the NAACP has abandoned the cause of civil rights for the advancement of liberal Democrat politics."
You'll recall that Mark Williams, frequent Fox guest and author of the infamous "letter" to Abraham Lincoln, was Russo's spokesman until he revealed in living color that he's a screaming bigot.
In the days leading up to the Delaware primary, Sal Russo hosted a radio fund-raiser, organized a political rally and pressed the case with reporters that Christine O’Donnell was the Tea Party’s choice for the United States Senate. He also set off what he calls a “money bomb,” pouring at least $250,000 into television and other advertisements promoting the little-known candidate.
With Ms. O’Donnell’s upset victory in the Republican primary on Tuesday, Mr. Russo, the chief strategist behind an upstart group called the Tea Party Express, had racked up another win.
But in becoming one of the movement’s most successful players by helping Tea Party favorites oust incumbents or trounce rivals in four states, Mr. Russo is also fast becoming among the most divisive.
Unlike many of the newly energized outsiders who have embraced Tea Party ideals, Mr. Russo, 63, is a longtime Republican operative who got his start as an aide to Ronald Reagan and later raised money and managed media strategy for a string of other politicians, including former Gov. George E. Pataki of New York. His history and spending practices have prompted some former employees and other Tea Party activists to question whether he is committed to, or merely exploiting, their cause.
Mr. Russo’s group, based in California, is now the single biggest independent supporter of Tea Party candidates, raising more than $5.2 million in donations since January 2009, according to federal records. But at least $3 million of that total has since been paid to Mr. Russo’s political consulting firm or to one controlled by his wife, according to federal records.
While most of that money passed through the firms to cover advertising and other expenses, that kind of self-dealing raises red flags about possible lax oversight and excessive fees for the firms, campaign finance experts said.
“They are the classic top-down organization run by G.O.P. consultants, and it is the antithesis of what the Tea Party movement is about,” said Mark Meckler, a national spokesman for Tea Party Patriots, a coalition of grass-roots organizations that does not endorse or contribute to candidates.