You may have seen that this morning's Boston Herald reported that Senator Scott Brown won't be taking part in the big Tea Party Express rally -- featuring Sarah Palin -- in Boston this Wednesday.
That unsurprising news has been flyin' around the internets today, and some of the Tea Party crowd are more than miffed at Brown about it.
Of course Brown is not looking to take the stage with Palin; it would be political idiocy. But regardless, the Senate just returned from recess and Brown actually has work to do. The Armed Services Committee he serves on has hearings on US policy toward Iran at 10:30am Wednesday; at 2:30pm, one of his subcommittees has hearings on strategic forces programs of the National Nuclear Security Administration. You would think folks would like for Brown to attend.
But I wasn't going to say anything, until I saw this post by WTKK talker and Tea Party celeb Michael Graham. Graham tears at Brown for not flying back to Boston for the event, and writes the following:
...the main reason Sen. Brown should be there is to remind everyone of the
character of his supporters. These Democrats and independents didn’t vote for
him out of hate, or concerns about Obama’s birth records. I’d love to see Scott
use this megaphone to announce our shared positive values, and maybe even call
out a kook or two in the crowd and tell them they’ve come to the wrong place.
The problem here is that if Graham wants someone to call out the kooks, that would have to include the guy running the event. That would be Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, who does indeed express concerns about Obama's birth records -- and also has stated that Obama is a Muslim, that Obama is implementing a "philosophy of fascism and national socialism," and much, much more.
Just yesterday, Williams wrote on his blog: "B. Hussein Obama took power on the same kinds of hateful ideology and is
engaging in nothing different than did mass murders like Stalin and Pol Pot."
(Update: Earlier today, I emailed Williams, asking him to "comment on this statement, or explain what you meant by it." I have just received a reply, with a one-word response: "Marxism.")
In fact, the Tea Party Patriots organization cut ties with Williams and Tea Party Express (and its sister organization, "Our Country Deserves Better") -- which is what you're supposed to do if you're trying to show that you're representing the non-crazies, as Graham purports to be so keen on in the above Brown-directed comment.
Graham is not cutting ties, or even calling Williams out as a kook -- he is, instead, headlining and heavily promoting Williams's event Wednesday.
I'm probably a little overly annoyed with Graham at the moment, because I've been reading his new book, which is an endless whine of the victimhood of the Tea Party activists. (Especially frustrating, because I happen to think that there is considerable truth to his underlying premise, that many on the left and in the media have failed to appreciate or understand this movement -- which is probably the largest populist political movement in the US in nearly a century.)
Look, Graham is an entertainer, and in my opinion one of the better ones on the right. (And his book, for all its flaws, is a far superior read to most of his national competitors' recent efforts.) I don't expect much from him, by way of political and policy analysis. But bitching that Brown needs to attend wacko Mark Williams's event, to show that the movement is not wacko.... well, that's a little much.