I don’t want to obsess too much about the David Brooks piece about how the tea bagger anger is all the hippies’ fault, but Wonkette highlights one of Brooks’s particularly stupid claims: that the fact that tea baggers bought food from black merchants proves that they can’t be racist. Anyone who’s ever spent even a couple days in the south knows that you can eat plenty of food prepared by black people and still be a racist. I thought that Jim Sleeper’s arguments about why he thinks racism isn’t motivating the tea baggers was a bit more convincing. And, finally, since Ben Smith et al. have decided that Bill Cosby is the final arbiter of all things racial, I thought you might be interested in the Cos’s thoughts on tea baggers (actually, they’re pretty thoughtful, to be honest).
But, anyway, to keep things in perspective here, it doesn’t matter whether or not you or I or David Brooks or Jimmy Carter think that racism motivates the tea baggers. Jimmy Carter and I and most of you will vote Democrat in the next election regardless; Brooks will vote Republican regardless. But ask yourself this: do you think that a few years of images of Republicans carrying around signs of a president of color in white face and a president of color in a loin cloth will make voters of color more or less likely to vote Republican in the long term? Tea baggerism is a political dead end and if Republicans were smart, they’d get the hell away from it as fast as they could.