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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Obama smears tea party and average Americans it represents as anti-immigrant and backed by wealthy special interests

Barack Obama’s war on the Tea Party is doomed to fail

(Telegraph) -- by Nile Gardiner --

I’ve written previously on the White House’s plans for a major campaign against the Tea Party movement, and why it smacks of desperation. President Obama has now upped the stakes considerably with his latest offensive against the hugely popular grassroots movement. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the president attempts to further demonise the Tea Party, with talk of “darker” aspects, and “anti-immigrant sentiment”:

I think the Tea Party is an amalgam, a mixed bag of a lot of different strains in American politics that have been there for a long time. There are some strong and sincere libertarians who are in the Tea Party who generally don’t believe in government intervention in the market or socially. There are some social conservatives in the Tea Party who are rejecting me the same way they rejected Bill Clinton, the same way they would reject any Democratic president as being too liberal or too progressive. There are strains in the Tea Party that are troubled by what they saw as a series of instances in which the middle-class and working-class people have been abused or hurt by special interests and Washington, but their anger is misdirected.

And then there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the president. So I think it’s hard to characterize the Tea Party as a whole, and I think it’s still defining itself.
Having painted the Tea Party as extreme, Obama then launches into a bizarre attempt to depict the organisation as a puppet of Washington special interest groups who “are opposed to enforcement of environmental laws”, and “don’t believe in regulations that protect workers from safety violations”:
There’s no doubt that the infrastructure and the financing of the Tea Party come from some very traditional, very powerful, special-interest lobbies. I don’t think this is a secret.
I cannot think of a US political movement that is more independent of Washington than the Tea Party. Its very success derives from a powerful disenchantment with Washington’s political elites, and a firm rejection of the notion of business as usual on Capitol Hill. The suggestion that it is bankrolled by powerful vested interests inside the Beltway is simply ludicrous, and for the president to be peddling this myth is an extraordinary development which reveals his own lack of confidence ahead of the November mid-terms. As we saw in the recent Delaware primary, even the Republican Party itself has no control over the Tea Party, and the idea that an anti-establishment movement with millions of supporters is controlled from K Street is pie in the sky...MORE...LINK

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