Jul 152010

So Michelle Obama and the NAACP want the tea parties to repudiate any racism in their midst. That would be fine, although they’d first have to identify some. If the tea parties and the NAACP worked together on it, I would be surprised if they couldn’t find any.

But what Ms Obama and the NAACP have failed to do, as far as I know, is praise the non-racist aspects of the tea parties. They wouldn’t have to agree with the political stands, but they should affirm the principle that we used to hear from liberals, e.g. back in John F Kennedy’s day: “We may disagree with what you say, but we will defend to the death your right to say it.”

That would allay any suspicions that it isn’t so much that the NAACP and Michelle Obama want to stop racism, but that they are trying to stifle dissent.