Echoing some of the commentariat, Obama said, “There's a part of the Tea Party movement that actually did exist before I was elected. We saw some of it leading up to my election. There were some folks who just weren’t sure whether I was born in the United States, whether I was a socialist." Then he gave voice to the real concerns of the sane elements of the Tea Party.
"I think that there’s a broader circle around that core group of people who are legitimately concerned about the deficit, who are legitimately concerned that the federal government may be taking on too much," Obama said. "And last year, a bunch of the emergency measures we had to take, in terms of dealing with the bank crisis, bailing out the auto industry, fed that sense that things were out of control. And I think those are folks who have legitimate concerns.
Obama wasn't going to attack the psycho element that lives inside the tea party movement; that's our job. He did point out one elelment of their party and they are the Birthers. What he is saying is that many of these people were part of the conservatives that fought against his election and so joined in the FOX News created movement to scream and yell because they lost the election. But the militia/Patriot folks also joined in and are now a very outspoken and dangerous component of that movement. They aren't hiding behind closed doors anymore. There never is an end to the right. The college republicans led by Grover Norquist and the convicted felon Jack Abramoff would be considered teabaggers back in their day for the street theater that they inspired, but now FOX News needed to latch onto the next farthest right demographic in America to energize their base and now we're witnessing what that make up is. And it's a very dangerous one.
UPDATE: C&L's David Neiwert will be on Rachel Maddow tonight)