July 14th, 2010
06:37 PM ET
12 years ago

Tea Party Patriots: Liberals pushing 'panic button'

(CNN) – In response to the NAACP's call to denounce racism within the Tea Party movement, two co-founders of a national Tea Party group are accusing the NAACP, other liberal interest groups and the White House of "hitting the panic button" in advance of this year's midterm elections.

"A clear pattern of behavior has emerged over the last 16 months," Tea Party activists Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin write in an op-ed published Wednesday on the Politico website. "According to liberals, if you disagree with their thinking, and if you disagree with the Obama administration, you are not only wrong, you are a 'racist.'"

Related: We don't tolerate racist behavior, Martin said

Before pointing to charges of racism leveled against former President Bill Clinton during his wife's pitched primary battle against then-Sen. Barack Obama, Meckler and Martin state "The left has a long history of using the race card. It has been pulled on people across the political spectrum."

"This card is generally played when all else has failed," they write. "It was inevitable that it would eventually be used aggressively against the tea party movement."

Meckler and Martin point out that national Democrats have referred to their increasingly influential movement as a bunch of disgruntled voters, nothing more than "'astroturf,'" "a flash in the pan that would disappear overnight," and "an 'angry mob.'"

But, the two write, the real motivation for the recent attacks on the Tea Party movement is political survival during an election year.

"The Obama White House and liberal interest groups are hitting the panic button as they read weekly polls showing diminishing support for their radical big government issue agenda, and a weariness for the politics of division."

In the op-ed, the two activists also admit that their movement has a fringe element that, they say, does not represent the values of the conservative, grassroots movement.

"The racist posters of a few at a Tea Party rally do not represent the feelings or behavior of Americans who believe in this movement," they write.

Instead, Meckler and Martin say their movement is colorblind and dedicated to a few core principles.

"The tea party is a truly post-racial movement. Based strictly around the three simple principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free market capitalism, the movement is uninterested and uninvolved in the politics of race."

The op-ed was published a day after the NAACP passed a resolution asking the Tea Party movement to condemn racism within its ranks. Earlier Wednesday, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, the first African-American to head the national party committee, sent a simple message to the longstanding civil rights organization: "Enough with the name-calling."

Filed under: NAACP • Popular Posts • Tea Party movement
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Dale

    Not even close. We are laughing at you not with you.

    July 14, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. maryann

    the nazi's believed in a white race only. The Nazi agenda is still alive, there disdain for blacks and hispanics is apparent. Now they are called Tea Party and Republicans. I am white and am waiting to see the two parties implode from within

    July 14, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. David

    Actually, the dems real strategy is to empower and bolster the Tea Party, while the right arm of the GOP created the Tea Party to ensure the GOP stays on the far right, this is really backfiring on the them and will be of great benefit to the dems (especially in 2012.) The lack of message control by the Tea Party allowed many, many racist and ignorant comments to be spewed in the name of the Tea Party, this will be pulled out soon enough – just waiting to tie it to the republican presidential nominee.

    July 14, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Could these people be more nuts! I am just sick of them and their warped view of this country. WHY DON"T THEY ALL MOVE IF ITS THAT BAD? I personally look around and don't see anyone coming to trample on my rights or any other crazy crap they spew. I wish MORE people would start calling them out on this stuff, then maybe they would shut up. It makes the whole country look bad. They are nothing but old white people who hate Obama. If they are so concerned about this country, where were they for the last 8 years while it was being destroyed by the REPUBLICANS? 2 wars, not paid for. Huge tax cuts for the rich, less taxes coming in. Deregulated everything for their corporate sponsors. Now they want to blame President Obama. Sickening!

    July 14, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. GI Joe


    Remember when we were called unamerican or traitors if we talked bad about invading IRAQ??

    Get off it – do something positive for the country or stfu.

    July 14, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    No, Liberals just won't let you get away with racism and stupidity, we welcome Tea Party congressional picks against Democratic picks any time, because 90% of the country is not crazy like you...

    July 14, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  7. L

    People should be able to disagree without being insulting. Consider, for example, the many popular distortions of the President's name - almost as though it pains them to refer to him as President Obama.

    The billboard equating President Obama with Hitler and Lenin is a prime example of the obscene hyperbole often used by the Tea Party advocates. While it certainly is protected free speech, it's extremely poor taste and bad for our long term national health.

    Incidentally, the distortions of conservative leaders is just as distasteful.

    Let's all act like adults instead of children hurling insults at each other. Perhaps we can begin to find some common ground and compromise to replace the "I win, you lose" mentality that dominates today's politics and even these comment forums.

    July 14, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. Larry

    The Tea Party Patriots ???

    More like The Tea Party Treasonous

    Now trying to self inflate themselves

    Nobody but the Tea Party cares what the Tea Party does

    Other than reading their own self flattery, the subject of what or who they are, rarely is the topic of any intelligent conversation

    Liberals and Democrats have zero concern regarding the TPs existence

    The Tea Party is simply the radical part of the Republican party that has existed since day one

    Same Republican rhetoric, same meaningless protests that thrive on lies, fear and ignorance

    July 14, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. Robert

    TEA Party = Terrorist European Americans.

    Instead of getting all defensive, they should be blasting their own racist members for their radical behavior.

    July 14, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. Poston

    I have never attended any Tea Parties functions but I agree with everything just stated from Meckler and Martin. I am sure I will be voting with then in November to dump the trash out we have in now.

    July 14, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. Dennis in AZ

    I tend to agree with the Tea Party on this issue. Either it's the case that the NAACP is asserting itself to become more relevant, aka fund-raising, or they've been drinking their kool-aid so long it's finally gone to their brain. It's like hispanics who declare that if you don't speak spanish? You're a racist. If you believe that Mexico should take care of it's own society and people instead of always heading El Norte? you're a racist. And of course, if you disagree with popularly-elected Leader of the Free World who happens to be a man of color, you're a racist. 'Nuff said.

    July 14, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. The Truth Please...I Just Want The Truth

    If this "Tea Party" movement really isn't about the election of a black man to the Presidency...then why did it take the election of a black man to the Presidency to get this movememt started?

    Would this "Tea Party" movement even exist if white Hillary Clinton would have been elected to the Presidency instead of black Barack Obama?

    Would ANYONE like to address this question?

    July 14, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. donna

    NAACP is not relevant.....and tea party is in influencing what our government is doing.

    July 14, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. adam

    the NAACP did not call the TEA Party racist, they called on the TEA Party to more activly condem racism. We all saw pictures of Obama as a witch doctor and other signs at TEA rallies that invoked race. The vast majority of TEA folks are good decent people and they should stand with the NAACP to tell those that carried these offensive signs that there is no room for racism in the TEA movement.

    July 14, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. PacificView

    As far as I can tell, the tea party is truly nothing. All seem to have Repbulican next to thier names on the ballot.

    July 14, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. I Smell A RAT!

    the tea party is a bunch of white right wing republicans (notice any minority faces at any of those rallies?)! Racism does fire them up (i.e. anything racist about Pres. Obama). those are facts! a racist would tend to deny that. a person of right mind and lack of prejudice would see differently.

    July 14, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Hugo

    HAhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahha! Oh Peter, is that a wolf I say?
    Oh Peter, is that a wolf I say?
    Oh Peter, is that a wolf I say?
    Oh Peter, is that a wolf I say?
    Oh Peter, is that a wolf I say?
    Oh Peter, is that a wolf I say?
    Oh Peter, is that a wolf I say?
    Why no Jesse and Al, it's just a bunch of pissed of Americans brewing up some tea to serve!

    July 14, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. phoenix86

    Beware of liberals pushing panic buttons, it leads to dictatorships.

    July 14, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  19. Wake Up

    The entire world saw the "racist" posters held up at each and every tea party rally shown on the news. I would guess at least some of the members are racist.

    July 14, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  20. terry,va

    Anyone that says anything about "the chosen one" Obummie and his policies is labeled as a racist. Obummie has divide this country more than any president with his racial actions. He and his idiots holler racial discrimination if you disagree with them (ie: Arizona immigration)

    July 14, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. "hitting the panic button"

    you mean like dialing up the national emergency clock every so often like bush did when ever he needed to strike fear to push through his ideas, dems have NOT sunk near as low as Bush, with his calling anything that didn't agree with his twisted view of the world 'unpatriotic'

    July 14, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Black and White, White and Black, American or ? Which is our President. I am American, American I was born in America Raised Children in America, pay taxes in America support Military members in my family and all others military members fighting for America . But am tried of all the new programs and new taxes we pay for. We pay our payroll taxes, our property taxes, gasoline taxes,electrical taxes , taxes on heating oil, taxes on gas , I pay taxes on the money that has been taxed, now we are being told to come up with our own retirement money even though it is taken out of our pay checks since we starting working many years ago, we have less money but more taxes. If we " STOP WORKING" we would pay no taxes. Is that the new America way to survive? I am willing to pay taxes because I believe in America. I am American First it does not matter what other things I my claim to be, but I can not afford more taxes no matter what color they come in!

    July 14, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. independent

    Tea Party patriot is an oxymoron.
    It's like a sociopath who says he like tea parties.
    Xenophobic racists, dispite their protestations are still xenophobic racists.

    July 14, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  24. southern cousin

    The libs are pulling out all stops, pulling out the old race canard, they so famously use, and as Paul Begala said this campaign is one about fear, not hope. And of course the good old main stream media plays nice with the DNC which is a a wholly owned subsidiary of the SEIU.

    July 14, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  25. cjr

    of course the tea party is racist bunch of old white guys dressed in costumes holding raacist signs. last summer when the health care deate was in full swinf we talked to these racists and got their names and the towns they lived in and told them we could arrange to take them off the social securty rolls very easily= just push of a button- these fat old guys almost choked and turned a very funny shade of white. we told th3em that it might not happen for a few months but they should watch their bank statements- it would only take about a year for it to straightened out we plan on doing the same thing this summer!

    July 14, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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