report detailing the cozy relationship that exists between various branches of the Tea Party movement and white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and anti-immigrant groups. The study examines six "core" Tea Party organizations: FreedomWorks Tea Party, 1776 Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Patriots, ResistNet, and the Tea Party Express. From AlterNet:
Citing one of the links between the movement and extremists, the report says Dale Robertson, the chairman of the 1776 Tea Party, invited Martin "Red" Beckman to be a guest on the Tea Party Radio hour that he co-hosts. Beckman, who was introduced as a "great guy" and "an authority on the Constitution" has been publishing anti-Semitic writings for over twenty years.
Moreover, the report claims that Robertson endorsed a pastor who believes that Jews are a "satanic force" and that "people of color" are less than fully human."
...The report also details the relationship between the white supremacist group the Council of Conservative Citizens and the Tea Party movement.
"The Council of Conservative Citizens promotes the idea that the United States is or should be a white Christian nation; and that Barack Obama and black people generally oppress white people," page 60 of the report describes.
...Anti-Muslim rhetoric and Islamophobia also permeate the ranks of the Tea Party, says the report.
"We are at a point of having to take a stand against all Muslims," the ResistNet Tea Party website claimed. "There is no good or bad Muslim. There is [sic] only Muslims and they are embedded in our government, military and other offices...What more must we wait for to take back this country of ours."
My take? This is almost inevitable when the political centre drifts too far right and society's keel, its moderator, the middle class is eliminated as an effective force. The middle class is the driving force of genuine progressivism. Knock it out and you can feed what remains a rich diet of frustration, fear and anger and - voila! - the Tea Party.