Tea Party roundup
Any way you look at it, the Tax Day Tea Parties were a big success. And for many reasons.
First, it attracted NEW people into the political process. Very important.
Second, they served to generate some "community" among the people who have had enough of government spending. By that I mean that these people see that they're not alone. You gain strength from others knowing that they feel as you do, and you "get motivated" by seeing others standing with you.
Third, the turnout was impossible to ignore. According to cumulative newspaper accounts, the total turnout was over 250,000. Yes, the national mainstream media didn't give it near the coverage it deserved...and when they did, it was derisive, (more), but it was impossible for local media to ignore. Just imagine if they had made fun of the people at the "million-man march" the way they did Tea Party attendees.
And let's face it, the national media's audience ain't what it used to be. Local coverage is where it's at. And the mere fact of that coverage shows others that they aren't alone. And it blows up the media template that everyone loves Obama...supports his ideas...wants him to succeed, blah, blah, blah.
Fourth, it was a great exercise for the conservative movement. People organically organizing themselves, taking initiative, making connections, finding resources...just generally "learning how to do it". That's empowering. And it will pay dividends.
Here's a roundup of some of the coverage and thoughts of others.
Peter Roff over at Fox Forum says "Mission Accomplished":
What the tea party demonstrators are saying is that they are the folks in the middle who are getting squeezed, and by government most of all.
That they would come out for a social protest, something normally thought of as the province of the American Left, is both a sign of hope for the American middle-class and a giant warning to the liberal establishment. In solidarity the middle-class will find relief, but it is relief that will only come at the expense of the taxing and spending and redistributing that the liberals must have to purchase and maintain their political power. Bringing the ordinary American into the streets is a mission accomplished for those who have labored long and hard to explain the realities of expansionist government to the people. ...
Connie Hair points out some of the typical coverage:
In the Orwellian coverage we've all come to expect from CNN, uber-liberal Anderson Cooper made an obscure sexual remark about the protesters. It apparently referred to a gay sexual act which was immediately understood by MSNBC but no one else. Later in the day when CNN deigned to cover a protest in Chicago, Susan Roesgen was nearly apoplectic when a man referenced Abraham Lincoln, saying his behavior was not fit for viewing by families, all the while taking a cheap shot at ratings giant Fox News who provided extensive live coverage of events throughout the day. ...
She also notes the best sign of the day: "Obamanomics = trickle-up poverty".
Doug TenNapel, a first time "protester", talks about his experience:
My family is safe among the over-taxed people. Hopefully, there will be a higher percentage of conceal and carriers...all the more American. No broken windows, nobody takes their clothes off. Nobody makes out in front of my kids. There are lots of nice old ladies wearing red white and blue. I love seeing the American flag in the hands of people who know how to use it. They wave it with gusto because it's not the first time they've ever touched a flag. They didn't have to buy one for Tea Party Day. ...
Not like what you encouter at your standard liberal protests, (destroying property, burning flags, cussing out cops, etc.), .which even many liberals don't like, (or know that it doesn't help their cause).
Byron York looks for Tea Party meaning in the small towns.
California Tea Party organizer invites California GOP chair up to platform...then rips him a new one for waffling on their recent tax hikes!
NY Times Says Tea Parties 'More About Group Therapy' and Anger Than Solutions. (surprise)
Tea Bag Envy And The Left's Lack Of Imagination (Right Wing News)
And Karl Rove has an analysis of the implications of the Tea Party movement in today's WSJ. Among his observations:
Derided by elitists as phony, the tea-party movement is spontaneous, decentralized, frequently amateurish and sometimes shrill. If it has a father it is CNBC's Rick Santelli, who called for holding a tea party in Chicago on July 4. Yesterday's gatherings were made up of people who may never meet again (there's no central collection point for email addresses). But the concerns driving people to tea parties are real, growing and powerful. Politicians ignore them at their peril. ...