My email to Charles Lane of the Washington Post re: the ‘Tea Party = Terrorists’ Meme
August 3, 2011 - 10:18 am
Today, editorial writer Charles Lane wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post in which he (correctly) points out what a political blunder it is for the Democrats to start describing the Tea Party as “terrorists.” But in so doing, he carelessly repeated an earlier slandering of the Tea Party.
I quickly tracked down the Post‘s contact form for Lane, and just now zipped him this email:
Dear Mr. Lane,
Regarding your opinion piece today in the Washington Post entitled “Tea Party terror?” about the new incivility in political discourse:
Your basic premise — that it’s a strategic mistake for the Democrats to demonize their political opponents as “terrorists” — is a valid premise. But unfortunately in the first paragraph you already undermine your thesis by parroting an untruth that itself was part of an earlier round of demonization.
“If liberals believe anything, it is that the right is either solely, or mostly, responsible for the degradation of political discourse in America. And they are surely correct to condemn such ugly rhetorical excesses as the Obama-is-Hitler placards that flowered across the land in the summer of 2009.”
Now, I dare you to peruse these two blog posts I made in 2009 in response to that false charge, and tell me if it was the right or the left who started calling the president “Hitler,” and which side is the most extreme:
Furthermore, you certainly must know as well as anyone that the false charge that the Tea Party was displaying “Obama=Hitler” signs was roundly debunked at the time: turns out that 99% of such signs depicted in the media were being displayed by Lyndon LaRouche proponents who showed up uninvited at Tea Party events and who were most definitely not in any way connected with the Tea Party (the LaRouche group is a bizarre left-leaning conspiracy cult). Yet even so, the charge (that the Tea Party degraded itself en masse by comparing Obama to Hitler) was run up the flagpole, everybody in the media saluted, and then it was instantly ossified as fact, despite being almost instantly disproven by various blogs (including mine).
Not only that, but the same LaRouchites frequently show up at left-wing rallies too, but no one ever condemns the left because of it — such as in this picture I recently took at an anti-war rally:
Your opinion piece would have been praiseworthy had it not repeated a partisan lie in the first statement.
In reply, this authentic Tea Party sign sums up the attitude most weary Tea Partiers have at this point: