The Tea Party rally in Washington DC Sunday featuring Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah along with Republican Vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin proved what many of us have suspected for a while. The party of Abraham Lincoln has become the party of Andrew Johnson. The Republican Party of today has more in common with Strom Thurmond, and George Wallace than it does with Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, or even George Bush—41 or 43.
At Sunday’s rally disguised as a Veterans rally Tea Party protesters waved Confederate flags in front of the White House. Waving the flag of slavery in front of a house where a black family lives is tantamount to burning a cross. There is nothing subtle about the message.
One of the most wildly cheered speakers at the rally was bigot-in-chief Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch. Klayman drew cheers when he said that President Obama “bows down to Allah.” He told the president “to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come up with his hands out-up."
He then told those at the rally "I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town.”
The Republican Party has become the new Confederacy. It is now acceptable in the GOP for racists and bigots to engage in slanderous hate talk about the President of the United States in front of the White House waving a Confederate flag. The collective unapologetic silence of the Republican Party and Republican office holders is as telling as it is deafening. Only two Republicans so far, Representative Scott Rigell of Virginia, and former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt have publicly condemned the vitriolic and blatantly racist talk at Sunday’s rally.
If there were a shred of decency in the Republican Party, Republicans in Congress would have condemned this Sunday. If the Republican National Committee stood for anything, it would have repudiated Klayman and the Tea Partiers waving the standard of the slave states.
GOP chairman Reince Priebus grabbed headlines in January when he announced, apparently tongue in cheek that the Republican Party was going to reach out to minorities, women, and gays. Priebus, by his silence, is giving his tacit approval of that hate talk. Republicans are so consumed with hatred of the first African American president they can not see how bad this makes the Republican Party look—not only to minorities, but to decent Americans.
Perhaps Priebus can’t control what the Tea Party does, but he does not need to condone it.
As for Cruz, he left the scene just before Klayman spoke so cameras would not capture his smiling face during the remarks. His office failed to condemn Klayman when asked for a comment. Instead, he criticized the media for even noticing it.
Monday, a second poll came out showing that the public’s view of the Republican Party continues to drop. It was 4% worse Monday than it was Friday. The Washington Post/ABC poll found 74% of Americans disapprove of the way Republicans are handling the shutdown. Worse still, half of Republicans disapprove of their own party. That poll was taken before the Cruz/Palin/KKK rally in Washington.
Are there any decent Republicans beside Scott Rigell and Steve Schmidt who find this disgusting? If so, now is the time to speak up, or you will own it.