Maxine Waters: We can't hear legitimate tea-party concerns because they're drowned out by the fringe

Via the Right Scoop, skip ahead to 3:30 for the relevant bit — although if you do, you’ll miss her horror at the thought of Republicans standing on the balcony of the Capitol to “egg on” protesters. (By which she means, I assume, Michele Bachmann yelling, “No violence, no violence, no violence.”) I’m honestly not sure whether to hold this against her or not. On the one hand, the left never had the tiniest problem hearing principled anti-war voices through the din of “Bush = Hitler!” shrieking. I would hope that the endless polls this year showing Americans worried about expanding government are enough of a megaphone for basic tea party concerns. On the other hand, given the relentless media demagoguery of the movement, can you blame her for tuning them out? That was my point about that Letterman interview: If the only thing you knew about the tea party was what you saw on MSNBC, it would have come as a total revelation. Reason editor Michael Moynihan on the media’s new love affair with Kristallnacht analogies:

Of the 40 references to “eliminationism” in the Times archive, all but one refer to the destruction of European Jewry. The sole standout is Krugman, who, as we have seen, is referencing the Republican Party’s opposition to health care legislation. (Though in fairness to Krugman, this is something of a requirement for those anointed by the Nobel Committee. Nobelist Harold Pinter said that the only comparison one could make to Bush-era America was to that of Nazi Germany.)…

So if the events on Capital Hill were indeed the moral equivalent of a “mini-Kristallnacht,” then questioning this tale of racism is a David Irving-like act, right? Those who wondered about the contradicting claims surrounding the Lewis charge were, naturally, themselves derided as racist. But if the country’s largest newspapers can accuse those assembled to “kill the bill” of being motivated by racial animus, “eliminationism,” Nazism, or old Dixie nostalgia, is it so unfair to ask for verifiable proof?…

And while we are on the topic of 9/11, how quickly we forget that in the editorial rooms and bar rooms of the Bush era, the vapid phrase on the lips of my liberal-minded comrades, repeated like a Maharishi mantra, was that “dissent is patriotic.” Now dissent has become the first indication of incipient fascism and subterranean racism. If [Frank] Rich sees in the current debate the seeds of pogrom, if Krugman sees the rhetoric of “eliminationism,” forget national heath care—we need a national history lesson.

I’m not worried about it. It’s become a cliche, but it’s true: The more hysterical the left gets, the more absurd their hypocrisy seems (see Breitbart’s Twitter feed earlier today for some amusing examples), the less bite there is to the accusations. Sane liberals have tried to explain to them that they’re devaluing their currency by spending too much of it on a movement that’s principally motivated by honest-to-goodness concerns about statism, but by now that’s like trying to “explain” to Pavlov’s dog that he shouldn’t salivate when the bell rings. But enough rambling. After you watch, follow the links at Jesse Walker’s latest post. It’s worth it.

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