OBAMA CAN RELAX; THE TEA PARTY IS JUST A FAD

Well, that is if you subscribe tocolumnist DeWayne Wickham’s way of thinking; which is possible if yousquint your eyes and twist your mind.

Wickham’s latestmasterpiece appeared today in USA Today (Aug. 31, 2010, p. 11A) and was,naturally, titled, “Jackson, Sharpton Rallies Carry More Influence ThanBeck’s.”

Which is why, I suppose, the media has spent so muchtime attacking Beck’s rally.

Anyhoo, the gist of Wickham’s littleessay is that suddenly old players like Jackson and Sharpton have theability to “spur” the “core constituency” of the Democratic Party,blacks, to get up off the couch and stop watching SportCenter (to borrowa phrase from obama) and head to the polls in November to rescue theDemocratic Party.

I use the term ‘black’ due to a Radio One pollin October 2008 that found 42% of those polled prefer to be called‘black’ rather than African American (www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/28/liggins.vote/index.html).

I’mall for giving this ultra-minority a voice.

While Wickham saysthe Jackson/Sharpton rallies will create Hope and Change V2.0, hepredicts that the Tea Party “will be short-lived.”

Where wereJackson, Sharpton, and their “core constituents” a month after obama’selection when Democrats were losing two seats in black districts inLouisiana – including New Orleans? Wickham’s charges were missing inGeorgia during a December 2008 Senate run-off election which was run by aRepublican by 15%. Why were Jackson, Sharpton, and Wickham notspurring their “core” to vote in 2009 during governor’s races inVirginia and New Jersey where surveys were showing drops in black voterturnout upwards to 40% as compared with the general election in 2008? (http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/62967-democrats-ponder-a-big-drop-in-turnout-among-black-voters).

Wickhamis placing much faith in an unreliable voting block and two uninspiringmen with racial chips on their shoulders.

The Tea Party, Wickhamsays, is a “21st century incarnation of the anti-immigrationKnow-Nothing Movement of the 1850s.” Thus the crux of his death knell.

HereWickham, like so many, confuse the extreme nativist ideology of theKnow-Nothings with the reasonable, conservative anti-illegal immigrationbelief of the Tea Partiers.

The difference on this point is aswide as a Reagan victory over Jimmy Carter.

Due to the majoritytwo-party hold on our politics, and given the fact that members of bothmajor parties and states like Michigan are fighting to keep a formal TeaParty party off election ballots, we most likely will not be able tocompare electoral successes between the two movements.

TheKnow-Nothings, prior to imploding due to their extremism, did have someelectoral success.

Formally known as the American Party, theKnow-Nothings actually won 62 seats in the U.S. House of Representativesduring the 1854 midterm elections.

They made their way onto the1856 Presidential ballot with candidate Millard Fillmore, who receivednearly 1 million votes.

This, and more, from a party thatbasically morphed its way into being seen as a joke.

However, TeaParty support has led to more elective offices for their supportedcandidates than has the support of obama for his chosen candidates.

Wickhamwastes his time comparing a formal political party built on an extremeanti-immigration ideology with a group aligned to support candidatesthat support various conservative issues.

Wickham and Sharptonare filled with vigor when liberal groups march and coalesce for acandidate and a cause, but are threatened and become hypocritical whenconservatives choose a similar path to make their voices heard.

I’mjust surprised Wickham didn’t bring up Sarah Palin.

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