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from The Grio

Tea Party channels the Confederacy with reactionary rhetoric
By Melissa Harris-Lacewell
6:42 PM on 03/29/2010

Monday evening I joined Chris Matthews on Hardball on MSNBC for a conversation with Tea Party organizer Dana Loesch. We discussed the Sunday NY Times editorial by Frank Rich, which suggested that the fury over the health care reform bill was prompted more by white anxiety about an increasingly diverse American society, than it was rooted in substantive criticism of the bill.

Tea Party activists have asked us to see their movement as akin to the movement of Revolutionary War patriots who were throwing off the bonds of an imperial monarchy. I believe their movement looks much more like the behavior of confederates who seceded from the Union prior to the Civil War and to the behavior of those same defeated Confederates who instigated a reign of terror in the South when they lost the Civil War.

After all, President Barack Obama is no monarch sitting on a throne and taxing hapless colonists. He and the Democratic majority in Congress were duly elected in a democratic election that included one of the largest and most diverse voting publics in American history. How exactly is this like the Revolutionary War?

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