5 Tea Party Myths The movement isn't racist, and Sarah Palin's not the leader By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Aug 7, 2010 1:33 PM CDT 86 comments Comments The media may think Sarah Palin is the tea party leaders, but members of the movement generally disagree. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) (Newser) – Dave Weigel may not be the Washington Post's blogger on conservative politics anymore, but that doesn't mean he can't weigh in now and then. He busts 5 myths about the tea party in a new column: Myth: It's racist. Reality: Individual racists have surfaced, but they're rooted out. "Liberal critics of the tea party argue that conservative opposition to social spending is often racially motivated. That's not new, though, and it's not the basis for the tea party." Myth: It's not anti-Obama, it's anti-bailouts. Reality: This one has some "kernels of truth," but it's mostly bunk. "If you think the tea party would have risen up to oppose a Republican president who spent like mad and violated conservative principles, then where was it in the Bush years?" Myth: Sarah Palin is the leader. Reality: She wisely embraced the movement and got anointed leader—by the media. Most tea partiers don't think she'd be a good president and would prefer to be "leaderless" for now. Click here to read Weigel's full list.