On Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Martin Bashir,” two guests suggested there was some merit to Rep. Alan Grayson’s Ku Klux Klan email.
The Florida Democrat sent out a fundraising email earlier this week with an image likening the tea party to the Klan. The image showed two Klansmen in the background with a burning cross used as the “t” in “tea party.” (Related: Alan Grayson (D-FL) trolls tea party: ‘No more popular than the Klan’)
Grayson has refused to back off from the extreme attack. (Related: Grayson stands by KKK-tea party comparison: ‘Tea party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today’)
MSNBC’s commentators backed up Grayson. Angela Rye, a Democratic strategist, told host Martin Bashir there was no need for Grayson to apologize for that email and noted that it draws attention to race issues.
“I don’t think Alan Grayson should apologize,” Rye said. “I do understand the commentary around, you know, maybe he went too far. What I cannot accept, though, is why we can’t really have an honest conversation about tea party and bigotry. They continue to promote the kind of bigotry that led Mr. Grayson to send out this particular email and enabled him to raise funds from it. There are obviously segments of the society that agree with him.”
“If we’re talking about, you know, the GOP-led or tea party-led secession plan immediately after Obama was elected to his second term, or the visceral reaction to Obamacare, or even Romney saying, ‘those people and their free stuff,’” she continued. “There is a clear racial tinge to a lot of the rhetoric from the tea party and there are some even within the Republican Party itself, which is why someone like Judge Carlo Key put out an announcement saying he’s leaving the Republican Party to become a Democrat. So there are some clear discussions that we need to have to his last point. But, yeah, there is definitely some bigotry there we need to discuss.”