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DANIELS: The Delusional Tea Party Republicans

Lee A. Daniels | 10/9/2013, 3 p.m.
Lee A. Daniels

But it also recalls how long in the past the large majority of White Americans clung to all sorts of bizarre notions about Black Americans in order to justify their racism to themselves. And it underscores how deeply the virus of racism – impervious to logic and proven fact – still persists in a substantial segment of white conservatives.

This is the delusionary mindset that threatens even right-wing conservative legislators with primary Tea Party challenges if they deviate in the slightest from the most extreme positions. This is the delusionary mindset that is willing to wreck the U.S. economy if they don’t get their way.

“In a democracy, hostage tactics are the last resort for those who can’t otherwise win their fights through elections, can’t win their fights in Congress, can’t win their fights for the presidency, and can’t win their fights in courts,” said Elizabeth Warren, the newly-elected junior senator from Massachusetts, in her recent reference to the GOP-driven shutdown of the government, which she described as “hostage-taking.”

“For this right-wing minority,” she continued, “hostage-taking is all they have left – a last gasp of those who cannot cope with the realities of our democracy.”

The question we all must confront is how long will this delusionary mindset continue to be a force in American politics.

Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His latest book is "Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America."