It’s The Nation’s Ari Berman who wrote today that the “Confederates and Dixiecrats of yesteryear are the Republicans of today,” but Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) wants credit for saying that first. The implication, of course, is that the Tea Party’s opposition to Obamacare is rooted in racism.

If Cohen was first, some people owe him royalties. Comedian John Fugelsang already said that shutting down the government was like a Confederate victory for the Tea Party, and Jesse Jackson tweeted that the shutdown had roots running all the way back to the Confederacy.

Take what Cohen says with a grain of salt; he’s been under house arrest for a couple of weeks and hasn’t been able to spend taxpayer money like usual.