Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, in an email to supporters late last night decided to label the highly-respected Southern Poverty Law Center a terrorist organization.More accurately, he had a Twitter tantrum to that effect, once again proving Twitter's primary value to the American discourse is as omnipresent outlet for supposedly respectable people to soil themselves in public. Before Twitter, you had to get yourself booked on teevee before making an ass of yourself—it required preparation, or at least getting dressed. Now Tony Perkins can demonstrate why people with higher political ambitions should avoid him without getting off the toilet.
Perkins was once taken seriously, I remind you. He wasn't any less spiteful or crooked or nutty, of course, but having fewer public outlets to be seen on meant being seen less, which did wonders for nutty people's ability to control their own public images. To this day he's part of a family values crowd that certain Republicans will still fall over themselves in their rush to be seen with, but Perkins, at least, seems keenly bitter over just how much his star power has diminished. That's in large part due to watchdog efforts by the SPLC and other groups, and for that they deserve our thanks. Perhaps the day will come when Republicans scurry to associate themselves with civil rights groups with the same fever they used to reserve for Tony Perkins, but that will be a different Republican Party, and only long after the Southern Strategy and the affiliations with hate groups (yes, that is the proper term) are finally, at long last, abandoned.