The Tea Party is a Frankenstein movement — an odd collection of factions, loosely stitched together, where the head, to the extent that it exists, fails to control the body.

It has attracted hordes of the disaffected with differing interests, including some who’ve openly expressed their dark racial prejudices and others who polls suggest harbor more subtle and less visible biases. Opposition to President Obama triggers a political Pavlovian response among some of these people, and they want to ally themselves with others around a common enemy.

It’s unlikely that appeals from the top, however earnest, will expunge them.