Tea Partiers find unlikely defender in Knute Berger

Mike Riggs Contributor
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Despite operating under the assumption that some members of the Tea Party did say the horrible things they stand accused of saying, Berger defends the Tea Parties:

Demonstrations are often unruly things, patchworks, not necessarily unified ideological events but fluid, mobile, every-cause-for-itself affairs. You don’t expect coherence from protesters. Movements can be like Velcro, picking up everything in their path. We know this in Seattle. During WTO, we had Turtles, Teamsters, and Pat Buchanan, plus folks worried about global takeover by the Freemasons and the Illuminati. It doesn’t surprise me that racist and anti-gay epithets were hurled at members of Congress: angry crowds can get ugly, and the stuff yelled by one person doesn’t reflect the views of everyone in the crowd. I cringed at the Bush inauguration when our protest crowd booed those little girls, but I couldn’t distance myself from that behavior. If you want distance, stay out of a crowd.

Of course, a few jerks can spoil it for everyone. At WTO, a Woodstock atmosphere was largely ruined by a small number of window-breaking anarchists. The Tea Partiers have got a black eye from the nasty things some of their supporters said to gay and black lawmakers. Ugly, reprehensible, predictable, American as sour apple pie.