TPM Livewire

Rangel: The Tea Party Came To Power In Slave-Holding States (VIDEO)

AP Photo / Haraz N. Ghanbari

The New York congressman, who's never hesitated to accuse the tea party of racism, said Thursday that he's been dismayed by the level of opposition the Obama administration has faced.

"So it seems to me that if you were to follow where the slave-holding states were and where the Confederate flag flown, you will see even today not only Obama's most serious critics but those people that don't abide by the Voting Rights Act even today," Rangel told MSNBC's Chris Jansing. "So it's a painful thing to see that with all of the progress we've made that a handful of people with so much hatred in their heart are willing to take this great Congress and country down because of that."

Jansing asked Rangel if Attorney General Eric Holder was playing the race card on Wednesday when he claimed that he and Obama have faced unprecedented levels of scrutiny.

The conservative Washington Free Beacon characterized Holder's remarks as such. And only a couple hours earlier on Jansing's own channel, Joe Scarborough dismissed the racial motivation of those critics and said that Holder and Obama have been treated no different than past public figures.

Rangel said that's delusional thinking.

"I would say that if there's anyone that believes the color of the President is not an issue with those people who adamantly oppose them, they're not realistic," Rangel said.

Rangel said the tea party has not only blocked "good Republicans" from cooperating with Democrats, but the small government movement has embraced the "stars and bars." Unlike the tea party, Rangel said he and his fellow activists stood up to certain elements that infiltrated their demonstrations during the Civil Rights era.

"But if you notice, whenever this group gets together against Obama, the Confederate flag is there with them," Rangel said. "When I was involved in civil rights struggles, and the communists would try to get in, we would tell them, 'You get yourself another corner, this is the civil rights demonstration.' They don't do that with the confederates."

Rangel has gone here before.

Just last month, he questioned why Obama thought he could work with the "mean, racist" tea party. Last summer, Rangel said the tea party was comprised of the same "white crackers" who opposed civil rights.