Tea Parties for July 4th: locations, live coverage for Independence Day
I'll be offering some live coverage of the July 4th Independence Day tea parties in this post. In the meantime, if you're looking for specific locations where you can protest and wave your loopy signs, see teapartypatriots.org, surgeusa.org/actions/july4.htm, teapartyday.com, or reteaparty.com/teaparties.
But, before you go, please take a look at my extensive tea parties summary. At that page, I lay out all the reasons why those who aren't extreme fiscal conservatives might want to do something more effective instead.
UPDATE: Apparently the most professional "party" this time is the one in Dallas (dallasteaparty.org/2009/06/americasteaparty). It features headliners like Mickey Dolenz from the Monkees and Internet superstar Stephen Crowder. In keeping with their habit of playing dress-up, they've also got a Thomas Paine impersonator. On an ironic note, they've got Michael Cutler from the Center for Immigration Studies, despite the fact that many loony libertarians think there shouldn't be a border at all. Speaking of which, former Bob Barr running mate Wayne Allyn Root will be there, perhaps to try to sell the crowd used cars.
UPDATE 2: I enjoy parts of the last photo here, although I'm too much of a gentleman to try to figure out what sort of message they're trying to send.
UPDATE 3: These might be taken out of context, but here are two pictures from the big Dallas event showing very few people there:
They do have a horse there however.
UPDATE 4: As could be expected, Glenn Reynolds links to some of the events (link). There are more here - including someone apparently promoting Alex Jones' Infowars - and here. Explaining to the loons what's wrong with some of those signs is left as an exercise.
I'm going to start using the tagline "Home of the smart and effective opposition to Obama and the Democrats."
UPDATE 6: First, I misspelled his name "Wayne Allen Root", now corrected.
And, even if I'd known that SNL alumna Victoria Jackson was going to be at the La Canada version I wouldn't have gone. However, Los Angeles Times columnist Chris Erskine did (link). It's not a complete hit piece, but he's obviously not sympathetic to their concerns (nor much am I):
In such a climate, it strikes me as . . . well, almost un-American to be griping so vehemently about helping those less fortunate. Were this a war, we'd all dig a little deeper to buy guns and battleships.
If those at the parties weren't completely selfish, had an interest in their fellow citizens, and had an intellectual basis for their whining, he might not have written that or at least they'd have an answer to it. As it is, he's mostly right even if his implicit solution isn't mostly right.
Also, the Dallas party was projected to get up to 50,000 attendees. Even one of their supporters is forced to say, "[m]any reported upwards of 15,000 in attendance" (link). And, that was apparently the main event.
And, at the Dallas event, John Cornyn was booed; that's the best the partiers can do because actually engaging him in debate and showing all the ways he's wrong is beyond them.
An MSM report summarizing attendance at all the parties isn't available, and Pajamas Media is strangely silent on that issue. I'll be very, very generous and estimate that the attendance for all events combined was 150,000. That represents 0.05% of the U.S. population, and that's a very high estimate.
UPDATE 7: Instapundit scours Google News for MSM reports; apparently the hundreds of PJTV "citizen journalists" failed him (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/81371). In addition to towns I've never heard of, one report he links to is "Genesee TEA Party holds Independence Day tax protest, plans campaign against Hurley millage" (link). "Millage" means property tax, and Hurley refers to a hospital run by the city of Flint. These people are practically carrying the local Democrat over the goal line:
The 0.9-mill countywide millage for Hurley would generate $10 million per year for the next 10 years. The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an extra $45 per year in property taxes if it passes.
Patrick Wardell, CEO and president of Hurley, said the city-owned hospital serves 69 percent of the county's uninsured and underinsured. He added that the services the hospital offers, such as a children's hospital and burn unit, are not money-makers but act as a safety net county-wide.
"Because of the nature of the mission of a place like Hurley, serving the whole county, cost-cutting is simply not enough," he said.
At the TEA Party, some county residents disagreed. Mark Berberich of Flint said Hurley should have to run like a business, and some businesses end up failing if they're not bringing in enough funds.
"I don't want anyone to fail, but some will fail," he said.
If Hurley is mismanaged, they should investigate using public records and then suggest ways to improve their operations. That's not what they're doing.