American Fad: The Tea Party’s ‘Big’ DC Rally
Yesterday, as I was writing about the decline of the Tea Party, that very Tea Party was in Washington, proving me right. AMERICAblog’s Joe Sudbay posted this press release earlier this week, announcing a big rally in DC:
Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest grassroots organization, today announced that it will hold its first “Continuing Revolution Rally” outside of the U.S. Capitol challenging Congress and the members it helped sweep into power to take swift action on the budget. Tea Party stars in Congress such as Reps. Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann will join thousands of Tea Party activists to send a message to the rest of Washington. Thursday’s rally is co-sponsored by Let Freedom Ring, the Institute for Liberty, and Smart Girl Politics.
“Members of Congress have abandoned their service to the people by passing continuing resolutions instead of cutting the $100 billion they pledged,” said Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, National Coordinators of the Tea Party Patriots. “Is it lack or leadership? Is it a lack of courage? A real budget will spark a national debate on the role of government, and that’s what the American people want.”
While the press release promised “thousands of Tea Party activists,” all angry that the GOP isn’t eager to shut down government, the rally didn’t deliver.
In a later piece on the rally itself, Sudbay offered the lowball figure — 100 in attendance. Talking Points Memo gives the high estimate of 300, with the caveat that “a hefty portion” of the rally-goers were actually media people covering the event. Dave Weigel splits the difference with his estimate of 200, but confirms TPM’s reporting of overcoverage, saying “there seemed to be around four protesters for every reporter.”
Whatever the concrete number, it’s clear that the call went out to thousands of patriots and tens of dozens answered. This was not good. For their part, Fox News blamed the weather — which was kind of grey and damp and early springlike. When the weather was quite literally freezing, Wisconsin managed to turn out 100,000 — a crowd larger than any ‘bagger rally in the history of ‘bagger rallies — but a little drizzle and springlike temperatures and teabaggers can’t scare up half a thousand. Patriots sure have changed a lot since Valley Forge, huh?
It’s looking more and more like the Tea Party was a flash in the pan. And now they’re overrepresented in congress. The House of Representatives is now driven by a group that represents a tiny portion of the American public. If they think the Tea Party has their backs, they’re sadly mistaken. The whole thing seems to have evaporated in a post-election America — probably because the vast majority of ‘baggers were promised simpleminded quick fixes. So, they elected Republicans; fix done. Back to American Idol. When you aim your appeal straight toward that segment of the population with the attention span of a goldfish, you really shouldn’t be surprised when they lose interest. These people can’t even be bothered to check to see whether their taxes have increased or decreased before going out and protesting taxation. It’s amazing that people this lazy ever got out into the streets at all.
The whole thing will probably swell up again in 2012, but I think the days of giant rallies and big marches are over. Some won’t be happy to learn that their quick fix didn’t fix anything, others will have wised up, and most will have lost interest. Changing America is a long haul and I don’t think these people have the stamina for it.
Stories to Watch: 3/22/11
Got a short thunderstorm last night, then it rained like hell today. Remind me again why I was supposed to be looking forward to spring? Come on summer.. or, at least, late spring. Now here’s the news…
Deeper analysis of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s emails show that they were initially “running roughly 2-to-1 against his plans” to bust unions. Then the Wisco 14 took off, the story went national and he started getting a lot of out-of-state support. But, most importantly, the analysis shows Walker lied when he said most emails were supporting him, because “for several preceding days, the emails of support Walker received had been vastly outnumbered by those opposed to his plan.”
The wingnutosphere is going (even more) insane over a plan by a former SEIU member to destroy the economy in order to bring unions back. One thing they’re all missing though is that the guy “was ousted from SEIU last November, reportedly for spending millions of the union’s dollars trying to pursue a plan like the one he details here,” according to one report. “It is not clear what, if any, power and influence he currently wields.” Remember, facts are elitist. Pay them no mind while you FREAK THE FUCK OUT!!
Also remember, there’s always plenty of money for war. Although, we may not need to spend money on Libya much longer. Secretary of State Clinton told ABC News Gadhafi may be looking for an out.
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown — formerly a Tea Party darling — continues to disappoint the ‘baggers by saying that cutting funding for Planned Parenthood “goes too far.”
The headline says it all: “Mike Pence, Chief Sponsor Of Bill To Defund Title X, Says ‘I’ve Never Advocated Reducing Funding For Title X’.” Lying comes so easily to Republicans.
The GOP House majority may be short-lived.
Like most Republican governors with grand visions for their states, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is experiencing a huge drop in his polling. Here’s a crazy idea: tell us your plans when you campaign for office — don’t spring them on us afterwards like it’s some seriously demented surprise party.
“President Paul?” No, not Ron, the other guy.
Finally, the religious right and al Qaeda sure do agree on a whole bunch of stuff, don’t they?
Stories to Watch: 1/27/11
Got out and blew off the walk and driveway today. There wasn’t much, but I wasn’t in the mood to deal with a shovel, so internal combustion it was. When I got inside though, I noticed I was out of breath (the snowblower’s not power-assist) and it got me to wondering, was using it really any easier? Oh well, it didn’t take as long, so I’ll take it as a win. Now here’s the news…
It’s official, the Illinois Supreme Court puts Rahm Emanuel back on the Chicago mayoral ballot. Early voting begins Monday, so right under the wire.
Biden’s communications secretary, Jay Carney, will replace Gibbs as press secretary.
Mike Pence rules out a prez run. Don’t worry though, King of the Wingnuts Jim DeMint may take a whack at it.
Sarah Palin says says President Obama “needs to remember that, uh, what happened back then with the communist U.S.S.R. and their victory in that race to space.” What happened? Sputnik cost so much money “that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union.” Looks like Sarah and Shelly Bachmann had the same history professor. They should ask for their money back. Also, don’t miss areally painful metaphor involving donuts.
Mark Sanford and Evita are at it again. Henceforth, he’s barred from using the phrase “sanctity of marriage” ever again.
It’s stuff like this that leads me to conclude that Harry Reid is just awful.
Finally, the CBO chief reiterates what the right doesn’t want to hear: the healthcare reform law will reduce the deficit.