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It’s easy for nervous Democrats to demonize the Tea Party as a group of FOX News-programmed, fear-mongering, racially rigid, flag-waving fruitcakes. But not everyone is buying it. Take, for instance, the over-the-top left-leaning Howard Dean:

“I don’t think they are all racists,” explained Dean, who clashed with Democratic party leaders — including White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel — over his “50 State Strategy” geared at tapping grass-roots Democratic activists in deep-red Republican districts. But “if you look at the tea party, they are all people of my complexion and my age. … there are a lot of people who are my age and my color who can’t get their arms around the idea that this country is going to look like California in 40 years in that there’s not going to be a [white] majority. … That is a very hard pill to swallow if you are an American who is my age. That is a swirling issue that nobody wants to talk about.”

Added Dean: “I actually approve of most of what the tea party is doing… I think it’s great to have individuals reach out to take their own responsibility for their own [future] and lashing out against government that has really forgotten them … but I also believe that there is a fringe of racism in the tea party, which unfortunately for the tea party that is focused on” by the media.

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