Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Slandering the Tea Party

Jim Wallis is really beginning to concern me, I'm afraid. Wallis is the editor of Sojourners magazine, and he's one of the President's most committed supporters among those on the Christian left. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, and I have a great deal of respect for the work he has done on behalf of the poor. Even so, when he says things like he did in a recent interview he really needs to be called to account.

In the interview Mr. Wallis criticized FOX News for smearing President Obama over the question of his religious identity, which, parenthetically, I don't recall having heard anyone on that network do, but then he proceeded to do exactly what he criticized FOX for doing: He smeared the character of millions of Americans by claiming that, "To be blunt there wouldn't be a Tea Party if there wasn't a black man in the White House...and that's a fact." Here's the audio:
Wallis hasn't a shred of evidence to warrant this slander on the millions of good people who've gravitated to the Tea Party, and for him to state, as though he knows it to be a fact, that the Tea party is a racist organization, or is motivated by racism, is irresponsible and baffling. Wallis has been at pains over the last few months to urge upon all of us a greater civility in our public discourse, but his words ring hollow when they're compared to his own example.

He seems unwilling to concede that many sincere Americans view Mr. Obama as the most radical and unqualified person ever to occupy the office of the presidency, and they fear, not without reason, that his policies are destructive to our economy, our status in the world, and our national cohesion. Their opinions of his impact on the nation have nothing to do with his race. Nevertheless, Mr. Wallis seems to draw the ludicrous inference that because Mr. Obama is black, and because Tea Partiers oppose him, therefore Tea Partiers oppose him because he's black. It's nonsense, but that's the sort of reasoning in which Mr. Wallis is apparently indulging in order to discredit the President's political opponents.

One hopes that having insulted a large percentage of American voters with what is nothing more than an unsubstantiated, partisan cheap shot he'll at least have the grace to offer an apology.