Thursday April 8, 2010
Col. John Eidsmoe and the Wisconsin Tea Party
MADISON — Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate on the news that neo-Confederate author Col. John Eidsmoe, who since has withdrawn, had been invited to speak to a Wisconsin "Tea Party" rally April 15 in Wausau.
"The Wisconsin Tea Party leadership invited Col. John Eidsmoe to speak to their April 15 event in Wausau. They showed tremendous lack of judgment in extending their invitation to Eidsmoe, whose bonafides include membership in a group that believes slavery was ordained by God and who only a few months ago praised Jefferson Davis at the expense of Abraham Lincoln.
Every major Republican candidate in Wisconsin has embraced the Tea Party, and now they must ask themselves how this movement came to be associated with the likes of John Eidsmoe.
Do they embrace his ideology? How do they explain that, for weeks, Col. Eidsmoe received top billing for one of their events? What do they know now that they didn't know before that made them ask, in the face of media inquiries, that Eidsmoe step down?
The Wisconsin Tea Party leadership stooped down to Alabama to find their inspiration for what America should look like. What they exhumed was an ugly voice warped by old grievances and masked in a dangerous pseudo-intellectualism built on a clay foundation of hatred and exclusion.
It is time to put such voices of disunity away and come together. The Wisconsin Tea Party leadership would do well to use this as a learning moment and look to a different inspiration from the South, to heed the words of a man whose voice cried out in peace, not in anger. For it was Martin Luther King Jr. who said that, ‘If somebody doesn’t have sense enough to turn on the dim and beautiful and powerful lights of love in this world, the whole of our civilization will be plunged into the abyss of destruction.’ "