Opening Act: Brown Scare

Tea Party supporters sing the National Anthem before a rally on September 5, 2011 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Ross Douthat traces the IRS’ scrutiny of tea party groups to the “Brown Scare” spooking liberals about conservativism. The irony, he says, is that the panic had started to recede.

The Tea Party had won its midterm victory, and as the movement’s ardor cooled and its influence diminished, the fears of its critics began to diminish as well. With Beck off Fox and the Tea Partyers off the streets — replaced by Occupy Wall Street and union protesters, often shouting none-too-moderate slogans of their own — it became harder to look at American conservatism and see Brownshirts or grand wizards on the march.

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed is hosting a forum on immigration reform that had been scheduled to include a mix of pro- and anti- voices. On Sunday night, the Heritage Foundation pulled its participation from the forum after Jason Richwine, the co-author of the foundation’s recent immigration study, resigned on Friday. The statement from BuzzFeed:

We’re disappointed that Heritage’s damage control efforts are preventing them from discussing their ideas but we’re happy Mickey Kaus is stepping up. And as we told National Review this weekend, there’s still an open invitation for a member of Congress who’s skeptical of the proposed immigration reform to join us as well.

Jaron Lanier’s thoughts about technology and the middle class are worth breaking your own personal rule about trusting white guys with dreadlocks.

Jake Sherman reports that the speaker of the House is running point on Benghazi.

The night before last week’s high-profile Benghazi hearing, Boehner and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Issa discussed strategy for 30 minutes in the speaker’s office. For the hearing, Issa gave committee members assignments and directed them to stick to pre-approved lanes to avoid confusion or duplicative questioning, several lawmakers said.

And a medical student saw the gunman in New Orleans.