Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball took exception to a Tea Partier's comment "We're not racist, we're anticommunist." He claimed that this is exactly what the John Birch Society used to say, and went on to add "this is the old Dixie crowd."
Well, it is what the John Birch Society used to say. It might also be said by virtually every American, plus a few billion people from other countries. Trying to associate it with an organization discredited in public sentiment is thus either deceitful or dim. Or both.
There's another point, a bit more subtle, that bothers me more. The problem is more than the tu quoque of You're a bigot, No, you're a bigot. Nor is even the irony of making bigoted statements while talking about bigotry the central difficulty. It is the complete absence of self-observation, the thorough lack of clarity of thought, which cannot see these ironies, even when they are pointed out.