"What I tell you three times is true."
I walked by the Chicago "Tea Party" on my lunch break yesterday. They had a decent crowd gathered in Federal Plaza next to the Kluczynski Federal Building. Not the largest protest I've seen there but not the smallest either. About 300, 400 people or so. Someone was speaking on a loudspeaker but I don't know who. From reading some of their online commentary, I think they bussed in people from the suburbs.It is definitely a clever and well-organized campaign by "Freedomworks". Apparently that group had gotten the taxdayteaparty.com websites since before the election, in preparation to attack and rattle any Democratic president who was elected. Of course Fox News did a heck of a lot to put this out there.As Roy says, its certainly true that this is a very manipulated political expression, created by very powerful right wing elements. What we have to remember, though, is that the protesters themselves were largely unconnected citizens who found that the message resonated with them. Kind of a strange hybrid beast, really. We can't totally discount the protesters themselves, even if they somehow lose their media cover.
I'm not sure about the bussing, read it on one of their Tea Party blogs & can't find it. Besides, there's plenty of idiots in Chicago proper.
The protests seem to be the equivelent of election rallies for them--a chance to come together in a common cause, but without any big aim in mind. I wonder if in time the need to pretend to be grassroots will no longer be necessary and they will be more organized?
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