In Cato’s blog today Roger Pilon takes up the Democratic left’s broad characterization of Tea Party protestors as unruly and misguided because of the taunts of a few reacting to Sunday’s health care vote. Pilon’s main points are three: (1) Pundits are making claims about some protestors’ actions in certain cases without a “shred of evidence”; (2) even if the allegations are true, the whole Tea Party movement shouldn’t be condemned for the actions of a few; (3) and Pilon’s ending point:
“The symbolism of the Democratic left’s hostility to the ‘tea baggers’ should not go unnoticed. The tea party movement’s roots are in the American Revolution. These ordinary Americans are protesting the Washington ‘Establishment’ – which presently is the Democratic juggernaut – much as American Patriots were protesting the oppressive British Establishment that was ‘eating out their substance’ with ‘a long train of abuses and usurpations.’ The Democratic left should think long and hard about those parallels. The times they are a-changin’.”
I’ll second that and also offer some observations of the Democratic lefts’ behavior that was found wanting on a much larger scale. Remember Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, with some in the liberal media overcome by emotion as they watched the huge crowds hailing the incoming president? Was I (no fan of the Bush Administration) the only one discomfited by the crescendo of boos and cat-calls that greeted President Bush and Vice President Cheney (in a wheelchair) as they took their places for the swearing-in of President Obama? Using the logic of the Tea Party critics, one could say that those hundreds of thousands showing such disrespect tainted all the Obama supporters as a boorish, mean-spirited mob. But one wouldn’t say that, of course, if one were in sympathy with their sentiments or if one realized that those were individuals acting independently or if one believed in free speech.