George Will thinks that daring to point out the racism at these tea parties amounts to "liberals' McCarthyism. If anyone's playing the role of Joe McCarthy, it's Glenn Beck, not "liberals" who are pointing out the racist element to these protests, and all the "table pounding" on your part isn't going to change that.
CARTER: An overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.
BECK: We have a former president who says, if you’re opposed to the president’s health care, you’re a racist.
LIMBAUGH: The left looks at everything through a racial prism. I’m just -- I’m just -- hey, they hit us, we hit back twice as hard.
PELOSI: In the late ‘70s in San Francisco, this kind of -- of rhetoric was very frightening. And it gave -- it created a climate in which we -- violence took place.
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STEPHANOPOULOS: The debate not coming down as President Obama called for. Let me bring the roundtable back in. I’m joined by George Will, Peggy Noonan, Bob Reich, Ed Gillespie, and Donna Brazile.
And, George, as we -- as we get to this, let me show two magazine covers from this week. First, Time magazine, Glenn Beck, mad man, and the angry style of American politics. And then in the New York magazine coming out tomorrow, there’s the tattooed face of Barack Obama , big headline, “Hate.”
We -- we heard President Obama say he thinks that a lot of anti- government feeling, the idea that the government can’t do anything right, is behind all this. What’s your theory?
WILL: The president’s right about that. What we’re hearing is the liberals’ McCarthyism, which is, when in doubt, blame people for racism. Litigators have an old argument: When the law’s on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither’s on your side, pound the table. This amounts to pounding the table.
I have yet to see evidence, is there -- does evidence even intrude in this conversation? Is there any evidence that these people are racists? I think not.
BRAZILE: Well, George, there’s some evidence that -- not an overwhelming amount of evidence -- that some of -- a small fringe of this movement, clearly there’s some racism. And you don’t have to know the motives of someone’s heart to understand when you see signs, incendiary signs that basically compares him to a witch doctor, an African heathen. We know racism; we don’t have to be told or taught that. That -- that much we do know.
There’s a culture of extremism that has gained mainstream acceptance. And I think the president is absolutely right. When you see it, you have to call it. You shouldn’t duck it. But, on the other hand, you shouldn’t exaggerate it.
This is why we need responsible leaders to denounce it, but more importantly, we need to find a way to have an honest and good dialogue whenever race is a topic so that the president of the United States, which is very busy, does not have to have beer summits all the time.