In his March 28, 2010 Op-Ed Column in The New York Times, Frank Rich writes about recent violence from alleged members of the Tea Party Movement:

“How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far.”

Mr. Rich continues, saying that the real target of the Tea Party Movement is not health care but the larger issue of the shrinking power and demographics of the Tea Party base.

“Demographics are avatars of a change bigger than any bill contemplated by Obama or Congress. The week before the health care vote, The Times reported that births to Asian, black and Hispanic women accounted for 48 percent of all births in America in the 12 months ending in July 2008. By 2012, the next presidential election year, non-Hispanic white births will be in the minority. The Tea Party movement is virtually all white. The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.”

Mr. Rich winds down, tossing this grenade: “If Congressional Republicans want to maintain a politburo-like homogeneity in opposition to the Democrats, that’s their right.” Thus Mr. Rich begins his essay with ominous parallels to the rise of the Nazis and Kristallnach, in which Jewish shops in Germany were smashed by political thugs, and ends by comparing Republican governance to the Soviet politburo.

On the other side, writing in her April 16, 2010 essay “Alinsky’s Avenging Angels: Tea Party Saboteurs,” Michelle Malkin has this story to tell:

“I speak from direct experience about the underhandedness of Tea Party smear merchants. On Feb. 17, 2009, at one of the country’s first tax revolt rallies in Denver, a man approached me amid a throng of bona fide anti-stimulus protesters and thrust a camera in my face. I obliged cheerfully, as I usually do after such speaking events. I later learned from the character assassins at Progress Now, a left-wing outfit that just happened to be there and just happened to snap a close-up photo of the interaction, that the man pulled out a sign at the last minute (which I didn’t see until later) sporting Obama’s name with a swastika on it. He held the sign away from me, but in direct view of the Progress Now cameraperson.”

And this from Huffingtonpost’s Dawn Teo:

“A scuffle ensued Saturday when members of the National Socialist Movement (Neo-Nazis) found themselves shut out of an anti-immigration Tea Party protest at the Phoenix capitol. American Citizens United, who organized the Phoenix Tea Party rally, told the Neo-Nazi group that racist messages were not welcome at the demonstration.”

Nazis, Nazis everywhere. I don’t know what the count is: Left vs. Right. It is the insult that an increasing number of people grab when they want to throw a verbal punch. Once you have been slimed as a Nazi, you have nowhere to go but up.

As I have observed it, The Tea Party Movement is something serious, more so than Birthers and Truthers, who arose out of the inchoate shock of experiencing America’s first black president. The President, I have read, ignored his mixed parentage on his census form. The twin pillars of the T.P.M. are outrage at ever rising taxes, and ever larger and more intrusive government, what produces legislative documents too long to read and nearly too heavy to carry.

These are legitimate gripes, it seems to me. And the Boston Tea Party, during which Boston residents boarded English ships, in 1773, in the harbor and dumped shiploads of English tea into the water in protest of the high taxes levied on the tea by the Crown of England, is the accurate historical reference for their concerns.

How else would you put it? What language would you use? What language would Mr. Rich use if one day he were to grumble that his own taxes are pinching him in the wallet?

Somewhere in the crowds of Tea Party protesters across the country, there are men and women who fought against Nazi Germany. Certainly there are many sons and daughters of those veterans. To tar them with the Nazi brush is inane, stupid, and inaccurate. By logical extension, the original Boston Tea Party participants were proto-Nazis. Mr. Rich and those who think and act like him don’t make any distinction between the original Tea Party and this newer manifestation of like sentiments, because they have distanced themselves too far from the core culture and American history to find any relevance in it. Oh, those funny white men in wigs and Colonial getup romping with American flags in towns and cities across America. How uncool!

The Left is coming dangerously close to dumping American core culture and iconography, without saying where it lives imaginatively beyond the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.

The next big battle will be over immigration reform. President Eisenhower, who you might remember was Allied Commander-in-Chief during World War II, desegregated Southern education in Little Rock Arkansas, in 1957, at the point of a bayonet. The same man also put an end to illegal immigration coming from Mexico during his presidency. He kicked the corrupt head of the Border Patrol upstairs and put in charge a West Point buddy and WWII general, who conducted military style sweeps of illegals along the border and deported them in trains and ships deep into Mexico. The core then was still strong.

President Obama’s immigration reform legislation will include nothing like that. He will not defend the core culture. He will emphasize the illegals’ humanity and provide them with a path to citizenship. I don’t know where Mr. Rich stands on the matter. I assume he has some association with people of his own tribe. I do know that every time The Times writes a pro-illegal immigrant editorial, and allows comments, it gets slapped hard by protests from across the country, from people who actually read their newspaper.

When the howls and chants and placards go up on immigration, and the tar brush goes in motion, I wonder if someone will accuse Dwight D. Eisenhower of being a Nazi.

By Hudson Owen. All Rights Reserved.