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Emerging Anti-Tea Party Line: Lack of Opposition to Arizona Proves Racism and Hypocrisy

Comments on two Sunday shows reflected an emerging new liberal line of reasoning, which uses the lack of opposition to Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, as a means to discredit conservatives and Tea Party activists as hypocrites and/or racists. HBO's Bill Maher on ABC's This Week:

Government intrusion, government power is something that really bothers conservatives, unless it's directed toward people who aren't white, you know, I mean it does seem like there's some of that going on there.

Chrystia Freeland of Reuters on the McLaughlin Group:

What I think is really important to notice here is the hypocrisy, the intellectual hypocrisy because we have...a lot of the same people who are very exercised right now...about big government and pointing out the American tradition of liberty, of individual rights, are also the people who are on the side of allowing the government to intrude much more into individuals' lives on immigration.

There's nothing insistent, however, since while some conservatives do oppose the Arizona law (host Jake Tapper quoted Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, for example) conservatives aren't against all government authority; they just think it should be limited to that delineated in the Constitution - and that would include defense of the borders and a recognition those here illegally should not enjoy the same rights as those who are citizens.

Maher, regurgitating a line from his HBO show, soon slimed Republicans as racists when it is liberals and Democrats who advocate a racial spoils system and race-based college admission policies (and as Maher spoke he was sitting beside long-time race hustler Al Sharpton):

I would never say, and I have never said because it's not true, that Republicans, all Republicans are racist. That would be silly and wrong. But nowadays, if you are racist you're probably a Republican. [scoffing laughter from Matthew Dowd and George Will] That is quite different.

(Earlier in the show, Tapper asked Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who was on to discuss the oil spill: "Your family has been in this country since the 1500s, from Spain originally, I believe. Do you worry that as a Hispanic-American that if you went to Arizona you might be racially-profiled because of this law?")

The reasoning from Freeland, formerly of the Financial Times, in full (and gives me space to place a screen shot of her):

What I think is really important to notice here is the hypocrisy, the intellectual hypocrisy because we have, as Eleanor [Clift] was pointing out, a lot of the same people who are very exercised right now - I think quite rightly about big government and pointing out the American tradition of liberty, of individual rights - are also the people who are on the side of allowing the government to intrude much more into individuals' lives on immigration.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.