by Quin Hillyer
Slandered citizens deserve a defense.
In the wake of the debt-ceiling battles of the past few months, political liberals have made a habit of referring to Tea Party groups as "hostage takers" or, far worse, a "Taliban wing," a "Hezbollah faction," or just simply "terrorists." The comparison, of course, is highly offensive, but on one level it does succeed (unfairly) in marginalizing what is otherwise an admirable re-engagement of ordinary Americans in civic life. Most people, of course, recognize that it's ludicrous to compare inflexible-but-peaceful negotiating stances by Tea Partiers with the violent tactics of terrorists. Yet the smear job succeeds somewhat in leaving behind the impression that Tea Party goals are somehow extremist or radical.
Nothing could be more false.