I didn't call all teabaggers racists, though. And I most certainly didn't deny or even just question their right to freedom of expression. I think the question is how other demonstrators or people who generally agree with the protests deal with the crackpots on their side.
If you would ask me what my opinion about the 9/11 truthers or the people who compared Bush to Hitler was, I would tell you that they are nutjobs. Somebody who based his opposition on the idea that Bush was behind the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, or who tries to equate the Bush administration with a ruthless dictatorship that invaded and occupied neighbouring nations, that meticulously planned the genocide on millions of people across Europe and that was responsible for a war that left whole countries in shambles certainly doesn't speak for me.
And I would and did tell the exact same thing to some of the 9/11 conspiracy nuts who showed up on this forum.
I'm not going to argue that somebody can be lumped in with a bunch of idiot nutjobs, merely because he doesn't take the time to pre-emptively condemn each and every whacko idea that's being floated by somebody on 'his side'. That is a silly notion, and it has been used in the past when justified criticism of the War On Terror has been met by proponents of the Bush administration's efforts by pointing to some of the more lunatic elements on the anti-war side. However, when the topic is brought up and when, like in the case of the current "tea parties", evidence shows up that people took the opportunity to not just criticise the policies of the current administration, but rather to make racist statements, question the citizenship of the President, compare him to Hitler or call him a "socialist pig" or make thinly veiled threats of revolt, I kind of would like to see conservatives to at least comment on that.
However, the general reaction across the threads here has engaging in what-aboutery, in pointing to similar statements being made against Bush and in fingerpointing.
I have to say that that's a reaction that I'm not quite able to understand. It's not that by condemning those statements or by at least disassociating yourself from the most radical positions - assuming you disagree with them - you're conceding a point to your opponent. Afer all, nobody has argued that the extremists speak for everybody. That would only be the case if you allow them to do so by remaining silent.