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The Tea Partiers had to cancel their planned event for next Monday. They were hoping to fill Kiener Plaza for a sarcastic happy birthday to President Obama. Since Kiener Plaza will hold thousands, there’d have been plenty of room, since the steering committee only got three RSVPs. (And one of those was from flaming liberal Brian Matthews.)

Rally for Soc Sec & Medicare-Akin's office

Rally at Todd Akin's office

At noon on Friday a crowd of 100 or so showed up in 100 degree heat in the middle of a workday to berate Todd Akin for voting to kill Medicare. Saturday is its 46th birthday, and Akin wants to kill it before it turns 47–either that or take a baseball bat to the economy.  He’d settle for either, just like a thug who arrives in your bakery with a bat, looks around and muses: “Nice little economy you got here. Shame if something was to happen to it.”

Rally at Todd Akin's office

That’s THE Paul Ryan that Todd Akin is watching with admiration.

The two events illustrate the relative weakness of the Tea Party. And yet their minority in the U. S. House of Representatives is casually switching its bat from one hand to the other, attempting to extort money from little guys who don’t have it to give, and almost hoping for a chance to start swinging at the display cases and the plate glass window.

Barbara Woodruff spoke with fire and clarity about the position these threats leave her in. She and the other residents of a newly opened complex for seniors are sweating out whether they will get their checks and be able to pay the rent. Woodruff is blunt and had the crowd with her.

But as far as Todd Akin is concerned we never showed up. His office door was locked with a note taped next to it that his staff was in a “meeting.” We did show up though, as Fox News and Channel Five will tell you. They were there to film it. They heard Amy Smoucha of Jobs with Justice describe how often people on the left have called Akin’s office asking for a meeting. Dozens of times. With never a single response.

We even brought a cake–shaped like a coffin, to mourn the possible death of Medicare. But of course, there was no one there to accept it or acknowledge that we exist or matter. What better way for his staff to tell us “Let them eat cake.”

Rally at Todd Akin's office

We are democracy in action. But as far as democracy goes, Todd Akin depends on inaction. He doesn’t give a good goddamn about ordinary Americans or democracy.