Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Party On!

Today is the day of the tea parties, the conservative protest against taxes in general and the obvious fascism of the Obama administration in particular, and the parties are getting their due attention from the media (which sort of ignored the gigantic women's rights march in the past), even though numbers turning up are not earth-shattering. But this really is a great hat:

Grover (drown-the-government-in-a-bathtub) Norquist on this important day:

Today is tax day. I just returned from the tea party rally at Lafayette Park. Despite the rain there were about a thousand folks at the Washington rally. Focus was on runaway spending in Washington and the taxes that will follow as a result.

So short are our memories about runaway government spending, especially if it ran abroad to be spent in Iraq!

Here's the NYT on all this partying:

Although organizers insisted they had created a non-partisan grassroots movement, it was argued by others that these parties were more of the synthetic "Game Day Grass" variety, since the occasion was largely created by the clamor of cable news and fueled with the financial and political support of current and former Republican leaders.

Fox News was covering the events and streaming live video as its own commentators Neil Cavuto and Michelle Malkin were headlining the protests in Sacramento, Sean Hannity appeared in Atlanta, and Newt Gingrich showed up at City Hall Park in New York. The web site listed its sponsors, which ranged from FreedomWorks, founded by former House Majority Leader, Dick Armey (R-Texas), Top Conservatives on Twitter, to RNC, to the book from Senator Jim Demint of South Carolina, "Saving Freedom," giving his "firsthand account of the unsettling socialist shift."

The idea for these demonstrations grew out of a rant from CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who on Feb. 19 at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange said that the Obama administration was promoting "bad behavior" and that Americans should protest government in the form of a tea party in Chicago. The clip went viral and spawned a movement, of sorts, and earlier protests, in cities like Cincinnati, Green Bay, Wis., and Harrisburg, Pa.

"Our main goal as far as a national organization — although that's a tough term to use since we wish we were organized better than we were — is just to facilitate an environment where a new movement would be born," Eric Odom, the administrator of, said in a brief interview on Wednesday morning. "We're confident that we'll see taxpayer coalitions at the local level starting tomorrow."

But it was hard to determine from the modest turnouts by mid-day (especially in the rain-soaked East) just how effective they would be. In Boston, which held its protest in Boston Common, near the State House, about 500 people showed up, fewer than the 1,500 that had responded on the internet.

Watertiger has a funny sign from one party.