A new coloring book devoted to the Tea Party amounts to little more than "kiddie propaganda," according to Los Angeles Times arts writer Christopher Knight.
We looked through Knight's archives and could find no such complaints about the litany of fawning Barack Obama coloring books, or the two George W. Bush-themed ones, both of which are completely devoted to mocking the former president.
So Knight's problem seems to be less that young children are being indoctrinated by politically-themed coloring books and more that conservatives are using the medium in an attempt to promote their cause among those children.
Now, just in time for the November election, a small Midwest publisher has come up with a distinctive hybrid: a coloring book merged with kiddie propaganda.
"The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids" is a 32-page "special edition" on the right-wing political movement, produced by a division of Really Big Coloring Books Inc. The online imprint of the St. Louis-based publisher produces one other special-edition product: a 2008 coloring book on then President-elect Barack Obama.
Cheerful in tone, semi-literate in its writing and factually challenged, "The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids" offers itself as "a teaching and learning tool" for children ages 2 and up.
There aren't any drawings of tea bags suspended from sun hats, nor racist depictions of Obama as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose. Instead, puzzles, lyrics to patriotic songs and line drawings of the Statue of Liberty, edifices in Washington and the facade of the New York Stock Exchange are interspersed with free-market-obsessed texts.
Knight goes on to gripe about the coloring book presenting a simplistic, factually inaccurate history of the American Revolution. But so far no word on whether Knight also considers "Pocahontas" or any other quasi-historical presentation of past events in near-fairy tale format "kiddie propaganda".
And of course Knight has no problem with the litany of Obama-themed coloring books, such as "Barack Obama's Journey to the White House" or "Whispers of Greatness".
Neither does Knight seem to mind that the two coloring books devoted to Obama's predecessor are designed solely to mock the former president - always a healthy way to educate children in a politically-neutral, propaganda-free manner.
If Knight is really worried about "kiddie propaganda" in coloring book form, he's got a lot more venting to do. Then again, maybe he just doesn't like conservatives. That seems more likely.