Mark Twain once observed, apocryphally, that it’s better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
The NAACP condemned the Tea Party because many members and a non-zero number of the group’s leadership have said and done things that are unambigiuously racist. Given the hair trigger that Abe Foxman sometimes has when it comes to liberals showing insufficient deference (I’m speaking as a Jewish person here), if anything the NAACP showed restraint.
The story really shouldn’t give pundits much to chew on. The tea party movement has an undeniable influence on the country. Ask them! They’ll tell you. If the NAACP did not call out events that could, if left unchecked, become a dangerous trend then the NAACP would lose its credibility as a watchdog. The determination of Dave Weigel and numerous others to game this out on the fifth or sixth level is emblematic of a type of blindness that I think was best covered during an illuminating conversation that I had with Ed Morrissey in 2007.
Still, I suppose that as long as the obvious doesn’t fill space on the blog, birds gotta fly and pundits gotta speculate. Did the NAACP land its five-dimensional rook on a profitable space-color-time-smell-flavor? Well, yes. Anyone who didn’t expect that some tea party leader would shoot his fool mouth off and prove the NAACP right needs to meet this guy named David Frum. You see, Frum pointed out – from personal experience! – that people with an epistemic closure problem lose track of what their voice sounds like outside the bubble while critical self-knowledge quietly dies on the vine. I bet that he saw this coming.
Scooped! Go read Dennis G’s better post and comment there.