Susan Walsh/Associated Press
A White House official denied a report that officials there are considering an ad campaign to assert that the Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party.
First, we read Sunday evening on the New York Times web site that the Obama White House was considering a Tea Party-themed TV ad carpet-bombing campaign against the Republican Party, portraying it as being taken over by far-right wing ideologues.
Then we read Monday that the Obama White House denied any such internal knife sharpening was taking place, saying that the NYT story is 100 percent wrong, according to Politico. The NYT has stood by the original story though as Politico noted, it's been toned down somewhat.
Hard to know what to believe? (The Drudge Report appears to be going with the NYT, not the White House.)
The NYT story is obviously something the White House doesn't need. One, every time it tries to refocus attention on its economic message, it seems some distraction comes along.
Two, one of the last things the White House needs at this point is to provide any more fuel to the Tea Party movement, allowing it to spin up its anti-President Obama energy to a higher level, if that's even possible.
If someone in the White House discussed this with the NYT as a trial balloon to see if it would draw a positive reaction from the president's progressive political base, that didn't work out too well.
An excerpt from a response to the NYT piece from a post on the progressive Firedoglake.com:
Really? How good of the White House to notice their party is about to be wiped out by one of the most anti-democratic political movements in our lifetimes. When did they notice?...
... The self-proclaimed political geniuses in the Obama White House, starting with the President himself, Rahm Emanuel’s political shop of horrors and extending to all of the emperor’s naked loyalists in the Party’s leadership — has there ever been a more inept crew than Tim Kaine, Van Hollen, Harry Reid, Steny Hoyer? — are systematically destroying their Party, and given what they’ve become, few are shedding a tear.
And that's from the president's political base.