Off the Record

Greta: Why are some people so vicious to the Tea Party?

'Off the Record', 4/15/14: If politicians remembered that Tea Party members are Americans protected by the First Amendment, maybe they could focus on getting something done in Washington


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record" for just a minute. I do not get it. Why are some people, politicians, pundits, and reporters in particular, so vicious and - yes, so arrogant - towards members of the Tea Party?

They don't have to agree with the Tea Party. No one is forcing them. Frankly, it makes no difference to me if they do or do not agree. But why does their lack of agreement with the Tea Party justify their vicious comments? It's never even about debate. Instead, it's smearing, trashing, denigrating, laughing at, and even demonizing the Tea Party, acting as though the Tea Party is a bunch of anarchists, terrorists, kooks and even atheists.

Have they ever even met these Americans? Have they met my panel? They're not throwing bombs or getting arrested. They are Americans exercising their right to speak up. It's called the First Amendment. They have families, they have jobs, they pay taxes. And, yes, it is true they don't like big government. But that's not a crime. That is protected political thought, the First Amendment.

And, frankly, if you really think about it, it's not that far out of the mainstream. Politicians from both parties sing the same song. You know all their campaign slogans, "Washington is broken." They are going to Washington to clean up the mess. They are outsiders, not insiders. It's really much the same.

Maybe if politicians who are so nasty to the Tea Party focused on common ground instead of taking shots at them, they could actually get something done. But don't hold your breath. And that's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.