“Influential tea party figure Dick Armey, in Palm Beach County for a political fund-raiser, said “deplorable” racial and anti-gay slurs at a protest in Washington Saturday were not representative of the conservative movement.
Armey, a former Republican House majority leader, is chairman of the conservative group FreedomWorks, which has provided advice and organizational support to tea party groups. He was in Jupiter Monday night for a fund-raiser for Republican congressional candidate Allen West, who is black and has actively courted tea party support.
Thousands of demonstrators from the tea party movement protested against health care overhaul legislation at the U.S. Capitol Saturday.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including U.S. Rep. and civil rights icon John Lewis, D-Ga., had racial slurs hurled at them. U.S. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., was spit upon. Openly gay U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., was taunted with a homosexual slur.
“Obviously such behavior is deplorable. We don’t tolerate it…It’s not the character of our folks, not the character of the tea party movement,” said Armey, who was not at the protest.”
Some House Republicans engaged the crowd of protesters with “Kill the bill” signs, but GOP leadership did not take the stage at the Washington protest. They’ve since found themselves having to answer for the racial outbursts while trying not to alienate the most visible and vocal source of opposition to Democratic policies.
The comments were “reprehensible and should not have happened,” House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio said Sunday. “But let’s not let a few isolated incidents get in the way of the fact that millions of Americans are scared to death.”
Yeah, them black people is SCARY!
“Armey, who praised Republicans for unanimously opposing the bill, did note that his group couldn’t verify the racial slur because there did not appear to be video of the incident.
“If it happened, we don’t know who did it and what affiliations they have,” Armey said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
South Florida Tea Party Chairman Everett Wilkinson said, “I’m at a rally every other day. I’ve never heard anything like that.”
Maybe you just weren’t paying attention.
Or more to the point, pretending not not.
“Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel, who said he was disturbed by the reports from Washington, offered a backhanded defense of local tea partyers.
“My experiences with the tea party people has been more that they’re unwilling to listen and learn than that they’re bigots or violent people. I don’t see that from the people here,” Siegel said.
Meanwhile, tea party activists said the weekend’s events clarified the battle lines leading to the November elections. In an e-mail, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe outlined a strategy of continued opposition to the health care law. Like a plan described by Republican leaders, it includes legal challenges and calls for repeal.”
Dick Armey’s (alleged) concern about his minions is a rather recent phenomenon.In the not-at-all-distant past it was noted he –
“called openly-gay Congressman Barney Frank “Barney Fag” during a 1995 radio show interview, but later denied it was intentional. However, on 2 August 2000, columnist Dave Barry asked, “Are you really Dick Armey?” Armey replies: “Yes, I am Dick Armey. And if there is a dick army, Barney Frank would want to join up.”
What you fail to understand here, Dick, is “the right to BEAR arms.”
And now to underscore Mr. Armey’s point Disney’s Replacement Thumper will sing us out.