Soundbites to the contrary, the NAACP has not declared that the Tea Party is racist, writes EJ Dionne. Instead, it has reasonably asked that the movement expel the bigots that clearly exist within its ranks. (NAACP chief Ben Jealous makes this clear in an interview with Dionne and on Morning Joe today, notes Politico.)
"Good for the NAACP," writes Dionne at the Washington Post. "We need an honest conversation about the role of race and racism in the Tea Party." Sarah Palin, et al, are trying to confuse the issue by mischaracterizing the NAACP's resolution, he says. "Guilt by association is wrong, but it's legitimate to insist that those who believe in democracy and freedom take forceful steps to disassociate themselves from people in their movement who peddle racism, intolerance and fear. That's what the NAACP is asking."