Three Ga. reps join Tea Party Caucus; why not John Lewis?

Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Tom Price are among the 28 charter members of the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House. The caucus so far includes only Republicans, but its purpose may not be exactly what you think. Reports CNN:

“We decided to form a Tea Party caucus for one very important purpose: To listen to the concerns of the Tea Party,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann, at a news conference Wednesday morning following the first meeting of the caucus.

“We are not the mouthpiece of the Tea Party. We are not taking the Tea Party and controlling it from Washington DC. I am not the head of the Tea Party.”

“We are also not here to vouch for the Tea Party, or to vouch for any Tea Party organizations or vouch for any individual people or actions or billboards or signs or anything of the Tea Party. We are here to listen and to be a receptacle.”

Bachmann says she invited Speaker Nancy Pelosi to join the caucus. I won’t hold my breath for that to happen. But given the events this spring just before the passage of ObamaCare, when Rep. John Lewis allegedly had racial epithets shouted at him — allegations, let’s note, which have never been proven despite the offer of a $100,000 reward for evidence — why not invite Lewis personally to join the caucus?

I’m being serious: What better way for the tea party, via its congressional supporters, to demonstrate the vacuity of the charges that it’s racist, than to reach out in this way? And what easier way for Lewis to bury the hatchet, than to accept an invitation to what amounts to a liaison group?

We’re talking about good faith all the way around — precisely the kind of thing that ought to be applauded by those who bemoan political polarization, and at a cost less than zero.

204 comments Add your comment

miles

July 21st, 2010
9:16 pm

why should LEWIS join these racist wackjobs….the TEA PARTY and FAUX NEWS are just part of the SOUTHERN STRATEGY used by NIXON to demonize blacks in order to scare whites into voting republican…these racists have no morals or integrity, just hatred of blacks…Every program on FAUX NEWS demonizes blacks…nobody is more racist than a christian conservative…

BW

July 21st, 2010
9:18 pm

Kyle….you’re kidding right. Good faith…8 out of 10 tea partiers are Republicans and apparently compromise has been erased from the dictionary.

Legend of Len Barker

July 21st, 2010
9:18 pm

Very nice, Kyle. On the very day Andrew Breitbart is being slammed for his complete lack of ethics and intentional malicious attempt to ruin the NAACP via Shirley Sherrod, you bring him up in a credible way.

It was Breitbart who offered the money for “evidence” of the epithets.

lyle

July 21st, 2010
9:23 pm

miles

July 21st, 2010
9:26 pm

your tea bags are showing KYLE…

Rafe Hollister

July 21st, 2010
9:42 pm

Miles, the little white pills the doctor gave you will help you calm down. Great idea Kyle. Don’t think it will work as the Dem Congress usually doesn’t care what the majority of people want, so why join the Tea Party caucus to listen to the people. We will have an African American member in Jan, when SC elects the Black Tea Party member over there. Hopefully other minority members will leave the Dem plantation and start thinking for themselves and join.

Puddin Tain

July 21st, 2010
9:45 pm

Kyle, why don’t you interview John Lewis? That way you could get a “real” education instead of living in la-la-land. You might even learn what racism is.

Kyle Wingfield

July 21st, 2010
9:48 pm

BW — assuming you’re right, that means 2 out of 10 aren’t.

I don’t see the harm in Lewis participating in a dialogue with the tea party folks. I certainly don’t see why a suggestion that they sit down and talk with one another would get some of y’all so worked up. Unless you just can’t stand the idea that the tea party folks might be decent people after all…

Rafe Hollister

July 21st, 2010
9:54 pm

Puddin Tain, why don’t you educate us as to what racism is. IMO, both sides need to drop this meaningless term that is so over used and cost people their reputation and in some cases their jobs, like Ms Sherrod. If it was not so losely used by both sides, her problems would not have occurred. Everyone is looking for it so hard, so they can slam the otherside, it gets to be funny. There is a great deal of bigotry in this world, but racism, not so much.

It is kinda like someone calling you a child molester. You might aa well give up your job and move to Montana, because even if you are innocent, you are considered guilty by society. Same with the stupid racist tag, that is why it is so effective.

miles

July 21st, 2010
9:58 pm

rafe THE TEA PARTY AND U REPUBS ARE JUST A BIUNCH OF RACIST WACKOS…

Rafe Hollister

July 21st, 2010
10:09 pm

Miles and Puddin: The ole racist charge. There are few racists in this country, a lot of bigotry, but little racism. Both sides need to quit using this meaningless and overused word. It costs Ms Sherrod her job and makes Barry look confused and incompetent, when he falls over himself trying to decide what to do to keep his base energized and not offend the white folk. He makes mistakes like this one and the one where he called the policeman’s actions “Stupid”, when they checked on Professor Gates house. Racist, Racist, Racist, it gets so tiresome. If you would move off the democrat plantation and think for yourselves you might join the Tea Party.

Legend of Len Barker

July 21st, 2010
10:09 pm

Kyle, this is why John Lewis doesn’t have to sit down with a group led with Michele Bachmann as one of its top dogs:

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/03/29/michele-bachmann-no-evidence-black-lawmakers-were-harassed-duri/

miles

July 21st, 2010
10:14 pm

sorry RAFE but i dont wanna get on the republican plantation….i see how FAUX NEWS treat blacks…every programs theme is that the black man is racist and coming to get whites…they tried to slime OBAMA with being a racist, with this SHERROD episode..

NJF

July 21st, 2010
10:32 pm

Mr. Wingfield:

Do you think it’s a stretch of good faith to take the congressman at his word that someone in that crowd used racial slurs? And that that somebody may have been part of the tea party movement. Look, some of my friends have been sipping that tea and I know they’re not biggots (and yes I am a black American who votes mostly, but not exclusively, for Democrats).

Do things only happen if they’re caught on tape? Even if stuff is “caught on tape” we all know that it’s still open to interpretation. Good faith is a two way street. If you were in his shoes, and did happen to get invited, could you really take their “good faith” claims seriously given thier dismissal of your claims about what you experienced?

Rafe Hollister

July 21st, 2010
10:32 pm

Miles there is no hope for converting you, as you are too RACE obsessed. The Braves are playing the Padres in extra innings a good game to watch, but I bet you would be counting the number of this minority or that minority and figuring which team is the least racist. Gotta go feed the hogs, they don’t notice what color each of them are, they just push and shove and try to get their fair share.

miles

July 21st, 2010
10:44 pm

what conservatives call “race obsessed”, i call it being truthful….FAUX NEWS is race obsessed…all there shows are designed to make blacks and OBAMA out as racists…if u cant see this youre either an idiot or in denial

You know what they say.....

July 21st, 2010
10:50 pm

All Muslims aren’t terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim….All Republicans aren’t racist, but most racists are Republicans…

Is Kyle consistent?

July 21st, 2010
10:52 pm

So Kyle, will you be writing a piece asking why Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Tom Price haven’t joined the Black Congressional Caucus?

Is Kyle consistent?

July 21st, 2010
10:58 pm

“allegations, let’s note, which have never been proven despite the offer of a $100,000 reward for evidence”

Kyle, if you’re going to be consistent, please share with us what incontrovertible evidence has been produced that people were actually recording the interactions that took place on a cell phone.

It’s one thing to claim, as tea bag supporters have, that people were videotaping with cell phones during the incident, with the implication that they didn’t collect the 100k because they didn’t have the evidence. But if we are going to play that game, where is the video of someone allegedly recording the entire episode on their cell phone?

Not holding by breath for an answer to this! LOL

Cutty

July 21st, 2010
11:21 pm

What a poor piece of journalism. Took you what, 10 minutes to come up with this?

Grand Forks

July 21st, 2010
11:30 pm

“why not John Lewis?”

Cause he hates whitey.

Johnny Cochran

July 21st, 2010
11:51 pm

If you didn’t film the spit, you must acquit?

Don't forget

July 22nd, 2010
12:02 am

lol you’ve got to be kidding right?

Marie

July 22nd, 2010
12:04 am

Is Kyle consistent? You can only join the CBC if you are black and Democrat; even white Democrats who have represented primarily black districts have sought membership in the CBC and were denied. And former Congressman JC Watts who is black and Republican was also unsuitable for the CBC. So I seriously doubt that 3 white Republicans who represent primarily white districts will be accepted. What do you think?? Or better yet — do you think????

See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0107/2389.html so you won’t think I am making this up.

And to your 2nd post — It is reported that Jesse Jackson Jr or some staffers of these Congressmen did have a camera that day and if there is evidence of at least 15 people shouting racial slurs at these Congressmen as they have stated then why won’t they release it.

Don't forget

July 22nd, 2010
12:04 am

Kyle, why would Rep. Lewis need to join the caucus just to listen to the tea party?

OpinionsMatter

July 22nd, 2010
12:06 am

You say “I don’t see the harm in Lewis participating in a dialogue with the tea party folks.” Why are you quick to encourage this yet not acknowledge that Republicans have continually rebuffed Obama’s efforts to reach across the aisle in the spirit of bipartisanship?

Atlantan

July 22nd, 2010
12:12 am

Who cares what Lewis thinks. He is a just a yes man for Pelosi and the White House. All of his votes for Obamacare, Stimulus and now Financial Reform get Atlanta what – ZERO. We received no transportation funding, still looking for help with the sewers yet our lap dog Reps can’t get anything in return for their votes while Mary Landreiu received $100million for her support of Obamacare.

Thanks for nothing Lewis. I appreciate what you did 50 years ago, but 50 years from now my children will not appreciate the yolk of massive debt you’ve helped place on their backs.

Is Kyle consistent?

July 22nd, 2010
12:33 am

@Marie I concede point one. But as far as “do you think” conceding point one is merely evidence of not knowing the ground rules of the BCC.

As far as point 2, do you think? It was “reported” that there were cameras that day? True or false, was it also not “reported” by Lewis and other that there were racial slurs?

So why is it ok for Kyle to doubt the veracity of the reports because there is no video evidence, but readily accept the veracity of the “reports” the incident was being filmed?

It’s called being consistent Marie.

Is Kyle consistent?

July 22nd, 2010
12:34 am

To fix the acronym, the CBC.

BehindEnemyLines

July 22nd, 2010
4:37 am

NJF: I’d say it takes a pretty big leap of faith to believe John Lewis at this point if he tells someone the sky is blue

A CONSERVATIVE

July 22nd, 2010
5:15 am

KYLE….YOU CANNOT USE REASON WITH THE LECT…..iT HAS BEEN TRIED TIME…& again..GEORGE W. TRIED IT & GOT SLANDERED BY THEM….John LEWIS survives on his reputation…not his good deeds.

Joel Edge

July 22nd, 2010
5:24 am

Now you’ve upset the liberals, Kyle.

Road Scholar

July 22nd, 2010
5:47 am

So, Kyle, Congressmen must form or join a caucus to listen to their constituents? Silly me, I thought that it was their job to listen!

To put the racism charge in another light, no one has film/tape to show that it didn’t happen! Whether it has/hadn’t happened, racism, by any color , religion, etc. is deplorable. Some of these posts are both immature and racist.

on0mrbill

July 22nd, 2010
6:16 am

If John Lewis and Hank Johnson would realize they have outlived their usefulness and go sit on the porch and swap stories of old this country would be in a lot better shape. Give it up boys, your brains are turning to mush!

Gerald West

July 22nd, 2010
6:28 am

A silly suggestion regarding a trivial matter, Kyle!

Don’t you people realize there’s a real nation out here, with problems and opportunities, and hopes for a secure and prosperous future? Our country is drifting aimlessly, mired in debt, stalled by dissention, with no vision of a future.

Elected politicians like Bachmann and the other jokers of the Tea Party Caucus ought to be addressing the nation’s problems and opportunities, not catering to a lot of rabble stirred up by Limbaugh and the Fox News propagandists.

Shame on you, Kyle, for giving them credence and publicity!

DeborahinAthens

July 22nd, 2010
6:34 am

Paul Broun is an insane, whack-job. Why on earth would anyone want to validate anything that ding-bat does by doing what he does? Kyle, read about some of his “ideas”, make a list in your column and then, one by one, explain to your readers why you think this man is credible. If you sleep with dogs, you get up with fleas…

Recovered Demoholic

July 22nd, 2010
6:45 am

@Legend of Len Barker — “Very nice, Kyle. On the very day Andrew Breitbart is being slammed….”

You’ve got to be kidding! After all of the racist crap pulled by Obama, the DOJ, NAACP, BPP, CBC and the revelations of the journOlist, Andrew Breitbart tied the race-baiters’ and race-hustlers’ shoelaces together and hilarity ensued. Unfortunately, an almost innocent bystander was crushed when her leftist friends crashed down on her.

Note, I say ‘almost innocent bystander.’ I appreciate her life story, but she is still deeply tied to socialism and this duplicitous administration. And, it was her friends who tried to do her in.

Ironically, a supposed villain, Glenn Beck, was one of the few to offer her a sympathetic and rational helping hand. Recall that he was cited in her ‘pull over to the side of the road and resign now’ story.

Out of respect and for old times sake, I voted one last time for John Lewis, in spite of his behavior during the primaries. But, he has some explaining left to do for those wild and untruthful charges made by him and the CBC that are still making the rounds. I call him an outright liar.

Socialists and shariaists! Pfft.

DMB

July 22nd, 2010
7:02 am

“why not John Lewis?”… Cause he’s smart and distances himself from CRAZY, Racist nutjobs. Get a clue; Tea Party = wacko.

No More Progressives!

July 22nd, 2010
7:13 am

I think this is a perfectly good question; we’re bombarded by the left for the inability to compromise. Why shouldn’t Mr. Lewis “cross the aisle” and hear what they have to say? God forbid he learns anything!

Because Mr. Lewis wakes up every morning, preparing to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge yet again. Mr. Lewis is eternally stuck on March 7, 1965.

DJ Baby Bok Choy

July 22nd, 2010
7:17 am

A Faux News version of Fair and Balanced reporting: Do the Blacks and Hispanics just want to steal your tax money or are they coming for your daughters too? You decide.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 22nd, 2010
7:34 am

Great argument. And from the leftists’s comments here there is plainly no interest in any dialogue, racial or otherwise. People who have ideas always want to exchange and debate; people without ideas simply hide, or hurl epithets.

Skip

July 22nd, 2010
7:38 am

So much for the “grass roots” and “no political party”.

KiknUSquareWell..UKnow

July 22nd, 2010
7:57 am

I have a question for you Kyle. If the New Black Panther Party reached out to you or say any of your ilke to join based on the same premise, would you join? I mean.. what better way to come to encourage cooperation, understand and address the charges?

Just let me know and I will be more than happy to figure out a way to make it happen for you.

CrazyInGA

July 22nd, 2010
7:59 am

John Lewis,

Tell those idiots you don’t drink Tea, only Coffee.

Kyle Wingfield

July 22nd, 2010
8:03 am

Road: You’re right, members of Congress can of course listen to constituents without joining a particular caucus. But isn’t this a good opportunity for tea party members, who feel they’ve been unfairly smeared as racists, and for Lewis, who feels he was insulted that day, to set an example and try to mend fences?

Btw, there are videos from that day and place which did not record any of the alleged slurs. A lot of shouting, yes. But no slurs. That, and the lack of other videos that do depict the slurs, is why the tea partiers think they’ve been smeared.

Atlantan

July 22nd, 2010
8:03 am

Why do liberals dislike the following principles – the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

At one time John Lewis stood for equal opportunity and respect for race. Now he does whatever Ms. Nancy ask him to do. Sad to see a person of his stature who refuses to think for himself.

Accountablity & Responsibility... Where?

July 22nd, 2010
8:06 am

“All Muslims aren’t terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim….All Republicans aren’t racist, but most racists are Republicans”

NOT TRUE. Not most AA and Latins hate the Whites, but many do. Not most Whites and Latins hate the AA, but many do. Not most Whites and AA hate Latins, but many do.

Racism is not exclusive to one race.

All African Americans are not criminals, but most criminals are black.
All Latins are not illegal, but most illegals are latin.
All good people come in every race, but most bad people come in every race.

It can go on forever.

Invite Mr. Lewis and all other points of view, you might learn something. Listen to the Tea Party’s view, and you might learn something.

Kyle Wingfield

July 22nd, 2010
8:07 am

Kikn: The better analogy is the Congressional Black Caucus. And as Marie noted, an invitation has to be extended first.

Everyone needs to keep in mind that we are not talking about Lewis joining an actual tea party group. We are talking about Lewis joining a caucus of his fellow lawmakers that intends to have a dialogue with tea party groups. Anyone who finds offense in such a harmless suggestion must be looking for it, and bound to find it somewhere.

Uncle Billy

July 22nd, 2010
8:13 am

I think the Tea Party Caucus would have to get permission from Rush Limberger first. He is the leader of the wing nuts.

No More Progressives!

July 22nd, 2010
8:15 am

CrazyInGA

July 22nd, 2010
7:59 am
John Lewis,

Tell those idiots you don’t drink Tea, only Coffee.

As soon as he’s finished with today’s crossing, I’m sure he will.