“I don’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.”- Groucho Marx
So the Tea Party held a rally in Philadelphia on Saturday to celebrate its racial diversity.
It’s okay, I’ll wait until you stop laughing.
Yes, the National Tea Party, “disproportionately” comprised of wealthy, conservative, older white men screaming from their lawn chairs that the gummint is taking away their rights, threw a big bash to let everyone with a hint of melanin in their skin know that, despite one or two bad apples, the Tea Party is not about hatin’ on the minorities, even if “those” people live on the backs of the put-upon white people who worked for their Social Security and Medicare without suckling at the government teat. Too bad nobody showed up to hear their message of tolerance and understanding:
For three hours, a small crowd drifted in and out of Independence Park as speakers and musicians regaled them with paranoia about Democratic politicians and policies and reassurances that no matter what anyone says, there’s no racism in the tea party.
Oh, dear, how awkward!
But never fear — those who did show up regaled reporters with the Tea Party’s ideological equivalent of “I know you are, but what am I?”
The same can’t be said for the group who went up on the event’s small stage. Organizers promised the most diverse cadre of speakers ever to grace a tea party rally, and they delivered. For the most part their message was the same: tea partiers are not racists and never were — but liberals are.
“The more liberals talk about race, the more they show who the real racists are,” right-wing blogger Andre Harper told the crowd. “It’s 2010. The tea party has officially moved on passed the race issue. The liberals can have it.”
Except that liberals aren’t the ones holding rallies in which protesters, reclining in their camp chairs, hold aloft signs that read, for example, “We Don’t Want Socialism, You Arrogant Kenyan!” . . . and worse. Up is down, left is right, but black is definitely not white in the land of the Tea Party.
Given that the event’s “celebrity” speaker was none other than professional race-baiter and Republican howler monkey operative Andrew Breitbart, fresh off his failed quest to ACORN-ate the NAACP, which makes it seem especially ironic (and more than a little ludicrous) that the Tea Party tries to pass itself off as post-racial. The more the organization struggles with race, the more adhesive the label becomes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson would laugh at the bundle of foolish consistencies the Tea Party has piled up on its porch.