Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, blasts Tea Party in op-ed 

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio,  takes to the pages of USA Today to attack the Tea Party. Did anyone warn him that he might be inadvertently pumping up the wrong party’s base?:

Meanwhile, for more than a century — in churches and temples, in union halls and neighborhood centers, in the streets and at the ballot box — progressives have moved the country forward. Progressives brought us minimum wage and Social Security in the 1930s, civil rights and Medicare in the 1960s, and health care and Wall Street reform in 2010.

Opponents of these accomplishments — some of society’s most privileged and well-entrenched interest groups — have not changed much. The John Birch Society of 1965 has bequeathed its fervor and extremism to the Tea Party of 2010.

History tells us that rage on the right should not be confused with populism. The far right attacks government regulation as it feeds Wall Street and the insurance companies. It rails against government spending for the least privileged as it lavishes tax cuts favoring the most privileged.

The John Birch Society? Seriously? I mean we had honest to goodness Communists marching side-by-side with unions over the weekend, and Senator Brown is invoking the John Birch Society to call the Tea Party extremist? More positively, Brown argues that “progressives” have a lot to be proud of:

Meanwhile, for more than a century — in churches and temples, in union halls and neighborhood centers, in the streets and at the ballot box — progressives have moved the country forward. Progressives brought us minimum wage and Social Security in the 1930s, civil rights and Medicare in the 1960s, and health care and Wall Street reform in 2010.

If this is what the Democratic reelection campaign comes down to — the same tired messages about entitlements which are trillions in debt and on the verge of collapse; touting legislation a majority of the country wants either dislikes, wants repealed or doesn’t know anything about; and smearing your opponents — good luck. They’re going to need it.

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Mark Hemingway

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