Today American taxpayers in more than 300 locations in all 50 states will hold rallies -- dubbed "tea parties" -- to protest higher taxes and out-of-control government spending. There is no political party behind these rallies, no grand right-wing conspiracy, not even a 501(c) group like MoveOn.org. So who's behind the Tax Day tea parties? Ordinary folks who are using the power of the Internet to organize.
One problem, there's no there there. This is the marching of a 100 million ants, and some of the ants are planning bigger and better things than just marching about.
People are starting to get it that the Republicans are -not- going to reduce the size of government. George Bush won a lot of victories overseas, but back home he increased the size and scope of the federal government more than any other president before him, including Bill Clinton. They are pissed off about it, to the point where they are willing to shut off the TV and go do something about it. If they start targeting city councils and state legislatures, by 2012 they will have a pretty hefty political machine to run over Bary's ass with. He's going to have tire tracks up one side and down the other, because the policies he's enacting now will have started to really cause damage by 2012.
Cincinnati organizer Mike Wilson, a novice organizer who drew 5,000 people to a rally on March 15, is now planning to create a political action committee and a permanent political organization to press for lower taxes and reduced spending. Tucson tea party organizer Robert Mayer told me that his organization will focus on city council elections in the fall as its next priority. And there's lots of Internet chatter about ways of taking things further after today's protests.
This influx of new energy and new talent is likely to inject new life into small-government politics around the nation. The mainstream Republican Party still seems limp and disorganized. This grassroots effort may revitalize it. Or the tea-party movement may lead to a new third party that may replace the GOP, just as the GOP replaced the fractured and hapless Whigs.
Naturally this makes the socialist/fascist DemocRats very nervous. To date THEY are the ones who have been doing the flash crowd protest crap. They're the ones organizing the G7 summit protests and the Quebec City riots and the Seattle anti-globalization punch-up. Looking down the business end of that is much less comfy than aiming it themselves.
Mark my words, friends. The One is going to use Homeland Security to try and squash this. He's a fascist, that's what they do. No protest of the great leader's genius can be tolerated.
On the bright side, all that will do is increase the pace this tax revolution moves at. You can't put out a brush fire by pouring gas on it.
The Self Assembling Phantom
Media Update! In an amazing fit of total predictability, mainstream media slags the teaparties.
CNN Anderson Cooper "teabagging". Ew.
CNN Susan Roesgen: "anti-government, anti-CNN"
NBC report, "1 million teabags but no place to dump". Stupid rightwing radicals!
That's about it on the news nets. The White House spokesman whatsisname got some soundbites on Limbaugh today, predictably snarky. These guys are not taking this well.