I'm surely not the only one who notices the persistent efforts of the leftist establishment and certain establishment Republicans to portray mainstream conservatives, especially those inhabiting the tea party movement, as radicals and extremists. The more they push this theme the more they marginalize themselves.
You'll remember that Obama's Department of Defense released a manual identifying "protests" as a form of low-level terrorism. His Department of Homeland Security issued a report characterizing protesters as potentially dangerous right-wing extremists and racists, being sure to slander disgruntled veterans returning from duty overseas as part of that frightful mix. Also unforgettable is Obama's categorical derision of small-town people as bitter clingers.
We can learn a lot about people from their dislikes, as well as their likes. They reveal a great deal about themselves when they call "extremists" patriotic Americans who believe in the American ideal, lower taxes and fiscal responsibility, originalism, the rule of law, blind justice, equal protection under the law, strong national defense, limiting government to its assigned constitutional functions, the Second Amendment, the nondiscriminatory application of freedom of speech and expression, the free exercise clause, a reasonable -- not unduly expansive -- interpretation of the establishment and commerce clauses, protection for the unborn, judicial restraint, federalism, the separation of powers, the free market, racial colorblindness, the existence of good and evil in the world, equality of opportunity rather than of outcomes, law and order, immigration control and border protection, motherhood and apple pie.
That's a fair summary of a typical tea partier's credo. By definition, then, in America at least, tea partiers are not extremists. For approximately two times as many American voters identify themselves as conservatives than as liberals, and conservatives mostly believe in those things I've referenced.
Tea party protesters are decidedly peaceful people -- so much so that the only time you'll see violence at any of their protests is when liberals bus in their union thugs to foment it or to masquerade as conservative participants. The only time you'll hear about racism at one of their events is when leftists trump up the charge and fabricate events.
Nancy Pelosi -- speaking of extremists -- disagrees. She said she was "very happy" with this week's election results because they showed that extremists in the tea party movement are dominating Republican primaries.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also feigns glee as he celebrates the apparent dissension in the Republican Party caused by the alleged wedge tea partiers are driving.