Remember February’s Tea Party protests where small numbers of dead enders gathered to whine and spout nonsense? According to West News Magazine, a free and widely distributed West County newspaper with a political philosophy somewhat to the right of Father Coughlin, the St. Louis contingent of this “movement” is going to try again. A do-over if you will; this time the oranizers obviously hope that the longer lead-time (and the cooperation of cable news outlets like Fox) will result in somewhat greater numbers.
However, just in case the requisite howling mobs don’t materialize, the West News Magazine’s coverage hints at the strategy the tea partiers will adopt in order not to loose face. That journal’s coverage of the earlier Tea Party reported 1000 citizens in attendance; the more recent article on the planned April 15 Tea Party (not yet available online) reports that 3,500-4,000 attended the February event. Nevermind the inflation from one report to the next, both claims are odd, since I remember that the local Fox affiliate reported at the time that the gathering drew only about 400 people— and other observers indicated that they thought that number an exaggeration.
One should not be surprised; this type of manufactured protest, even though it draws upon the angst of the most confused and angry contingent of the right, lives and dies based on the quality of the press it generates, and it is easy to generate the type of press you like if you fudge the numbers. The News Magazine names sponsoring groups like Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, Don Wildmon’s American Family Association and Newt Gringrich’s American Solutions, along with assorted cable news buffoons like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, folks who don’t really want to be embarrassed by clamoring hordes that refuse to clamor or who can’t numerically be considered hordes.
What to expect? Just what Alice found at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party: personal invective, non sequiturs, inconsistent positions, and out-and-out nonsense. After all, like the Mad Hatter who believed that time had stopped, those drawn to this type of theater and those who provoke them just don’t want things to change. If you want to find out more, you can, of course, check out taxteaparty.com and either cry or laugh, depending on your personal predisposition.
(Picture from Wikipedia Commons.)