Tea party organizers and participants have repeatedly insisted that their nationwide protests today are completely non-partisan and not meant to be anti-Obama. However, there didn’t seem to be any anti-Republican or anti-Bush signs at the protests. Instead, not only were there signs/clothing protest Obama’s policies, but some had violent or racist rhetoric. One participant even asked Joe the Plumber about waterboarding Obama:
Q: If you could waterboard Obama this weekend, what would you try to get out of him? What would you ask him?
WURZELBACHER: (LAUGHTER) Well, I don’t want to waterboard Obama.
Blogger Oliver Willis also saw a sign at the DC protest referencing Obama’s alleged bow to Saudi King Abdullah, saying that if he wasn’t bowing, “then he must have been polishing his shoes.” Dave Weigel from the Washington Independent saw another sign reading, “homey don’t play dat“:
Ironically, the AP reports that Greg Budell — a talk radio host in Montgomery, AL — said that the tea parties could “have the same impact that Montgomerian Rosa Parks had when she refused to move to the back of a city bus during segregation.”
Matt Yglesias writes, “[O]ne of the hallmarks of contemporary American conservatism is that while it’s no longer a white supremacist movement, it is a movement marked by a combination of tolerance for racism with massive oversensitivity about the idea that ‘PC’ forces are stifling freedom.”