[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
The folks at Fox News were all worked up yesterday about an excerpt that slipped out from Kenneth Walsh's new book, Family of Freedom:
...But Obama, in his most candid moments, acknowledged that race was still a problem. In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent "Tea Party" movement that was then surging across the country. Many middle-class and working-class whites felt aggrieved and resentful that the federal government was helping other groups, including bankers, automakers, irresponsible people who had defaulted on their mortgages, and the poor, but wasn't helping them nearly enough, he said.Everyone from Hannity to Bret Baier ran segment expressing shock and horror that, in private, Obama recognizes what he's declined to say in public -- namely, the stone cold truth that a large chunk of the Tea Parties' ranks are filled with people who despise the idea of having a black man as their president.
A guest suggested that when Tea Party activists said they wanted to "take back" their country, their real motivation was to stir up anger and anxiety at having a black president, and Obama didn't dispute the idea. He agreed that there was a "subterranean agenda" in the anti-Obama movement-a racially biased one-that was unfortunate. But he sadly conceded that there was little he could do about it.
The funniest was Megyn Kelly's segment with Michael Reagan, who adopted the standard storyline at Fox -- namely, that the Tea Parties are filled with nothing but Real Americans, and therefore dissing them is tantamount to attacking sacred Americanhood itself.
Of course, they never really explain why Obama should pay any respect whatsoever to a fake "movement" ginned up for the sole purpose of opposing every single policy he intends to try enacting. The Tea Parties were expressly anti-Obama affairs from the start, and indeed their earliest organizers were outfits like Our Country Deserves Better PAC, set up explicitly with the purpose of stopping Obama and his agenda.
Yet Reagan even tried pretending that the Tea Parties were full of people who voted for Obama:
REAGAN: Now it's interesting, that same Tea Party went out there and elected Allan West in Florida, the same Tea Party goes to Herman Cain to speak at so many of their events across this country. Many of those people in the Tea Party probably voted for Barack Obama back in 2008 -- not knowing that when he went into office he was going to take over General Motors, he was going to destroy the economy of the United States of America and make the government the big grand poobah, if you will, of creating jobs, not the public sector.Some quick factual points:
-- Only 5 percent of the Tea Partiers polled in 2009 identified as former Democrats. The rest identified as Republicans or Independents. (No one seems to have ever polled Tea Partiers to ask them how they voted in 2008, but having attended many Tea Party events, I would guess that the 5 percent who identified as Democrats in those polls are probably the sole Obama voters at best -- since a number of them include disgruntled Hillary supporters.)Not that facts matter much to propagandists like Michael Reagan and Megyn Kelly, or for that matter the ignorant and frequently racist boobs who largely populate the Tea Parties. But we thought you might find them handy.
-- The GM bailout has in fact proven a real success story -- not to mention that this is some "takeover": the feds are selling off their shares of GM stock as quickly as they can, actually.
-- George W. Bush and the Republicans who ran Congress from 2001 to 2006 destroyed the economy. It collapsed in September 2008, two months before Barack Obama was elected president.