There's something inspiring about hearing far-right enthusiasts crying out, "I Want My Country Back." Wonderful! I'm ready to help. Let's go get it back!! Okay, then, one question to start with: How far back do you want it?
The hysteria about the Muslim community center being planned near Ground Zero is not just a protest against a building and a place. It is rather the latest chapter in this evolving campaign that exploits fear by preying on uncertainty and insecurity.
The Tea Party can easily survive on blind hatred for responsive government, revulsion of shared responsibility, rampant misinformation and conspiracy theories. How do I know? Because it has for decades.
When you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that's left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race. This isn't an epiphany by any stretch.
The far right is daily being chased back into the margins, where it belongs. All that's left of their movement is a relative handful of confused, misguided know-nothings being manipulated and led by a cynical elite.
Five minutes into yesterday's Oprah extravaganza with Sarah Palin, I messaged Steve Schmidt, John McCain's presidential campaign manager: "So how did you know Bristol was pregnant before it was announced?"
There is a social movement stirring on the far right of American politics and it bodes ill for our future. If we do not start to address this troubling anger now, we could end up in the throes of a full-fledged nativist siege.