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Tea party


18th century teapot made by American silversmith and rebel Paul Revere
Image: MS Rau Antiques

Back from Salem, the capital of Oregon, where I attended a tea party, one of hundreds across the country, and then raced back to Portland to attend a friend's wedding.

At the tea party we were protesting the astronomical amounts of indebtedness that will be borne by every American taxpayer while government grows increasingly powerful and corrupt. I walked in across the statehouse lawns with two men who looked like farmers and were friends - not that their skin color matters, but one was Caucasian and the other was African.

The crowd was genial. The speakers were eloquent and brief. There was no personal animosity toward any particular politician on display, but this crowd had had it with politicians of all stripes. As the party ended we cheered when we learned that ABC News had estimated there were 1.5 million tea party attendees in Washington, DC.

The tea party inspiration, as you know, came from the tea party launched in Boston two hundred-plus years ago when Americans, who at the time were British subjects, fought for what they called "the bright inheritance of English freedom".

Why is the British press more honest in its reporting on this stuff [the tea parties] than the American press? asked Instapundit. He linked to this report from the Daily Mail.

"Another interesting detail about the march — it was filled with immigrants. I'm pretty sure every Cuban in a thousand mile radius was there, helpfully explaining to everyone who would listen that Cuba's vaunted free health care system involves shoddily trained doctors and bringing your own linen to the hospital. I also spoke to angry immigrants from England and Ireland, appalled the country was slouching toward socialized medicine."

Practical idealism moved the advocates of liberty in Britain, and they move tea party protesters today.

But who wouldn't be concerned? The government, which has allowed Medicare to totter toward bankruptcy, is planning to pay for national health "reform" by chopping $600 billion from Medicare funds. One thinks 'blood from a stone', but 'pound of flesh' is more like it.


I’ve been involved with a lot of events over my life, from civil rights protests to rock concerts to science fiction conventions, and I’ve never been involved with an event that ran with such well-oiled efficiency. I was going to say “ruthless efficiency,” but of course it was cheerful, considerate Midwestern efficiency and not ruthless in the least. The Quincy folks were charming hosts, and threw a dinner party for us last night where all the food was homemade, and delicious.

One interesting note: I’ve said this before, but those in the GOP who think that the Tea Party movement is for their benefit need to think again. Roger Stone spoke, and while nobody had anything against him in particular, several people told me that they thought the GOP was trying to co-opt the Tea Party Movement, and they weren’t happy about that. My advice to the GOP — and, for that matter, to those Democrats who care — is to try to find a way to address the Tea Party crowd’s interests, bearing in mind that if you don’t they’re just as happy to throw Republicans out of office as Democrats.

Comments (1)


The looming, unspoken question implied by Instapundit's last sentence in the above quote is: Can a third-party movement in the USA ever do anything but throw the election to the stronger of the two parties?

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