"I talked to a bunch of Tea Party activists – including a grandmother and a paediatric heart transplant surgeon – protesting outside President Barack Obama’s event in Iowa City on Thursday. Passionate? Yes. Angry? Yes. Irrational? Some of them. Paranoid? Perhaps in some cases. White? Well, yes. I spotted one black guy in about 150 protesters. Racist? No – or certainly not a hint of it from anyone that I talked to.
"The trouble with playing the racism card is that is an attempt to stifle dissent – what you are saying is illegitimate because your real rationale is that you hate blacks. Understandably, it drives people crazy. And just who is being racist by looking at a predominantly white crowd and leaping to the conclusion that they are all motivated by racial hatred?
"In the past week, I think the Left has seriously overplayed its hand. The accusations of a wave of dangerous violence against pro-health care Democrats have been wildly overblown, as James Taranto skillfully debunks here. Most will see it as a clumsy attempt to marinalise opposition.
"And Sarah Palin is inciting violence by putting out a map which has crosshairs on targeted Democratic districts? Give. Me. A. Break. Can anyone name a Democratic or Republican political operative who does not talk in martial metaphors? On his campaign plane, I recall Obama saying something at one point about Hillary Clinton trying to drive a stake through his heart. Was he accusing her of wanting to murder him? Nope, I don’t think so either."