The dust-up between the Tea Party and the NAACP proves three things yet again:
* Racists in contemporary America have become extraordinarily adept as casting themselves as the victims, and the news media dutifully plays along, including pundits who call the NAACP's criticism of the Tea Party a "stunt."
* The Republican National Committee, instead of seizing on an opportunity to put some daylight between itself and the Tea Party's pushback against the civil-rights organization, dove into the deep end of the pool head first in siding with wingnuts over an historically aggrieved minority that has fled from the GOP in droves.
* Despite the Tea Party's ejaculations to the effect that it is nonpartisan, the latest to-and-fro shows that it and the GOP are joined at the hip, and so brazen have they become that dog-whistle code words cloaking their disdain for blacks aren't even used.
Yes, the NAACP has in some respects outlived its usefulness. Many of its historic goals have been accomplished. A black man occupies the Oval Office. But racism is alive and well in America and the Tea Party and the Republican Party are its twin beacons.