Tax Day, Tea Parties, and Lee Atwater

“Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.”

I wonder if this is when it all began.

Ronald Reagan said this in 1984, when Lee Atwater was the political director of his reelection campaign. Lee Atwater, who deliberately used political divisiveness as political strategy. Lee Atwater, who trained Karl Rove.

It ranges from extremely petty, as in the small “d” in every reproduction of this quote, to genuinely alarming, as in the rants of Palin/Limbaugh/Beck – so alarming, in fact, that we’ve now been warned by Homeland Security about the dangers of “right-wing extremist activity.”

Ironically, maybe this little triumvirate should listen even more to Lee Atwater. As he was dying, he said, in a letter to the Congressional candidate his campaign had succeeded in defeating (by calling his treatment for depression being “hooked up to jumper cables”):

[M]y illness has taught me something about the nature of humanity, love, brotherhood and relationships that I never understood. . .

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