Video: The obligatory "tea-party leader dumps on Geraldo" clip

Anything that involves dumping on Geraldo is mandatory blog content, so here you go. Two clips via the indefatigable Right Scoop, the first a segment from last night’s show conflating tea partiers and militiamen and the second of Tea Party Express chairman Mark Williams taking off the gloves in response. If you missed last night’s Quotes of the Day, now’s a good time to read Byron York’s look back at how Clinton and Dick Morris used the Oklahoma City bombing to demagogue Republicans. You’ll find the same basic strategy here: Militias are right-wing and angry and tea partiers are right-wing and angry, ergo tea partiers want to blow up the Murrah building. No need to directly accuse them of it, either. Just warn the public vaguely about the danger of “anti-government rhetoric” and let swing voters make the connection themselves. (“Hey, Rush Limbaugh’s pretty ‘anti-government,’ isn’t he?”) As Instapundit says, “Lies and smears aimed at their fellow Americans, for short-term political gain. This is who they are, and this is what they do.” Heh. Indeed.

That said, I think Huck’s the superior spokesman of the two here. Williams does a better job with Geraldo than he did with Dylan Ratigan (remember?), but a little geniality goes a long way in defusing the media’s frothing-at-the-mouth “teabagger” stereotype. That’s why that Letterman interview with the grandmotherly tea partier was so shocking: It was a narrative-killer. Frankly, tea partiers could do worse than to involve Huckabee in the movement somehow so that he’ll have more opportunities like this. I know he makes some of you guys retch, and as a social con with a rep for being soft on taxes he’s, er, not a model TPer, but he’s affable, articulate, enjoys mainstream cred (sort of), boasts a solid record on race relations, and has personal charm to spare. Make use of him.