The release this morning of various e-mails from left-of-center journalists and bloggers on the attempt of some members of the Journolist listserv to squelch media coverage in 2008 of then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s relationship with a racist pastor shows just what’s behind attempts to smear the Tea Parties as racist.
It has nothing to do with the alleged prejudices of Tea Party protesters, but with politics. As Ed Morrissey put it, “the racist attack — was deliberately political:”
Let’s put this in its proper perspective. Ackerman wasn’t talking about a strategy to exposereal racists, in the media or anywhere else. The Washington Independent reporter wanted to conduct a campaign against any figure on the Right, including journalists like Fred Barnes, to smear him as a racist for the political purposes of electing a Democrat to the White House. Notice that Ackerman doesn’t even bother to ask people to look for actual evidence of racism, but just suggests to pick a conservative name out of a hat. Tellingly, the pushback from members of Journolist had less to do with the outrageous idea of smearing an innocent person of racism to frighten people away from the story than with whether it would work.
Ed adds, “It certainly puts efforts by the Left to paint the Tea Party as racist in an entirely new light.” Indeed it does.
Guess evidence doesn’t really matter when you’re trying to peddle a narrative about conservative racism. Do hope Barney Frank and other Democrats will “differentiate themselves” from the attempt to smear conservatives a racist.
Meanwhile, we have one more piece of evidence to show that some of the left attack conservatives as racist not based on a evidence, but as a means to discredit their political adversaries.
UPDATE: Mary Frances Berry may be a left-winger, but at least she has integrity and admits what this is all about:
Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.
Emphasis added. Democrats would rather level a false charge against their opponents than discuss their party’s real record in office.