The Tea Party is making headlines again this week and none of them have jack to do with policy or governance issues as mid-term elections draw ever closer.
There is, of course, the incident at a Rand Paul rally in Kentucky where a dirty rotten librul protester was knocked to a curb and stepped on, an interesting manifestation of the kind of freedom of speech the party claims that it eschews. Which followed an incident at a Joe Miller rally in Alaska where his goons rolled an uppity reporter.
And now there are reports out of Minnesota and Texas regarding what the party is advertising as challenges to voter registration fraud but is manifestly the kind of voter intimidation that their Republican elders have been practicing for years, including surveillance squads, video camera teams and tails of buses from senior centers to polling places, with the added incentive in Minnesota of a cash reward to vigilantes for each alleged perp that they collar.
The issue is not so much whether the Tea Party has the right to practice such thuggery; the so-called anti-voter registration fraud efforts bankrolled by the GOP flirt with illegality but arguably don't cross the line.
The issue is who gave the Tea Party the authority. No one, of course, and it is manifestly obvious that the people who will be targeted will largely be minorities and the polling places will be largely in minority neighborhoods. In other words, people who wear brown faces and not brown shirts.