“Mr. Santelli, here is a dime. Go, call your mother. Tell her that there is a serious doubt as to whether you will become a media star and darling of the right.”
Start the revolution without me.
Ever since Rick Santelli went off on CNBC and proposed holding a tea party to protest Obama’s policies, the idea caught on all over the country and excited conservatives with the thought that finally, there could be a little “direct action” against Obama’s bailouts.
There was talk of a “second American revolution” and a taxpayer revolt. The tea parties were seen as a way to gauge opposition to the Obama spending plans. Dozens of tea parties were planned across the nation today.
How did that work out?
I’ve got tons of photos and e-mails pouring in from Tea Party people across the country. I joked to a Christian Science Monitor reporter covering the events that fiscal responsibility is the new counterculture. More coverage/photos/livestreaming at TCOT Report.
There is, as the old ’60s song goes, something happening here. And what it is, is very clear: A grass-roots revolt against the culture of entitlement. The spendzillas in Washington do not speak for us.
Is this really a revolt?
About 200 people showed up at the Chicago tea party. One might spin the reason that thousands didn’t come out and rage against Obama is that it was cold (25 degrees) and that Chicagoans aren’t used to winter weather or perhaps they mislaid their winter coats. Never mind that 60,000 wacky Windy City weirdos turned out to watch a Bears game when it was 7 below zero. There apparently aren’t very many enraged Illinoisans - unless they are holding it in reserve for the next crooked pol that makes headlines.
Nashville did a little better. There, an estimated 600 Tenneseeans turned out. One might spin the reason that 6,000 or 60,000 angry, enraged denizens of the Volunteer State didn’t come forth and join the revolt is that no country star has come up with a song about it yet. Perhaps Toby Keith could come up with something about tea, beer, horses, and a lost love before the next revolution starts.
In North Carolina, they had about 300 people show up. One might spin the reason that 30,000 or 300,000 North Carolinians didn’t appear enraged and ready to overthrow the Obama regime is because both Duke and North Carolina are playing tonight and the citizens are saving themselves for the ballgame.
Bill Rickords emails from Wichita, Kansas: “About 3-400 folks showed up in 25 degree weather. Don’t know what these things would be in Spring weather. But we had a pig show up anyway.” I thought they were all in D.C.!
And Bradley Ems emails from St. Louis: “I don’t know if you’ve gotten any pictures from St. Louis (I’m too swamped at work to have attended), but KMOX just reported that the tea party here was expected to draw a small group of 50…over 1,000 showed up. There is something brewing in the
And Joe Fairbanks emails from Oklahoma City: “I’ll be sending you pictures from the ‘Tea Party’ in Oklahoma City soon. I wanted to let you know that we had an amazing turnout of 400 people. This is amazing for multiple reasons, but mostly because this rally was organized in less than 48 hours and it took place at 11 am and the temperature was below freezing with the wind blowing quite strongly. Simply put: people are mad as hell. Obama and Congress won’t be able to ignore this anger much longer if they hope to survive 2010 or 2012. I can also tell you the crowd did take a lot of pride in the fact that our Senators, Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe, are two of the leaders against all this irresponsible spending. I’ll get those pictures to you as soon as I get them back.”
And what of Washington, D.C. where 9,000 conservative “activists” showed up for CPAC?
Barely 300 committed conservatives showed up across from the White House to protest Obama’s policies. No doubt WH staffers were having a good time standing at the windows ridiculing the “revolution” that was going to transform America.
It is incredible considering the fact that the tea parties were a very big topic of conversation at the conference that only 300 or so diehards could be “activated” enough to drag themselves on a 60 degree day to a rally that conservatives have been saying is the beginning of the end of Obama.
Asking my fellow bloggers why such a poor turnout, many were spinning furiously that it was too cold, or there wasn’t enough time to advertise, or it was only advertised on twitter and facebook, or any number of excuses why all these “enraged” Americans we are confidently told are lurking out there ready to fire the first metaphorical shot at the Obama Administration and bring them down failed to show up when called upon to register their disgust in a concrete way.
I will say this as gently as my curmudgeonly soul will allow; not a chance. It is delusional to believe that these tea parties are the beginning of anything except a round of raucous Bronx cheers from the left, calling conservatives out for their inexplicable, over the top reaction and unrealistic expectations for these 40 or so tea parties that went off today.
If this really was the beginnings of something profound that was tapping into the rage of the American people, there would have been not 300 but 30,000 people screaming their opposition to spendthrift Obama. People would have taken off from their jobs, bundled up against the cold, walked, rode, took the bus, or crawled their way to a protest if they were truly fed up and ready to throw the Democratic rascals out.
Instead, we get 40 events that remind me of the old Mickey Rooney Andy Hardy movies where he and Judy Garland would put on a show to save someone’s business or house. “Hey kids! Let’s put on a show!” was Rooney’s battle cry in those movies and it is an apropos slogan for the effort that went into promoting these tea parties.
When you get some money, organization, professionalism, and a little more realism, come back and see me.