I'd say the crowd was nearly 100 percent white. There were a lot of people under 35, though not a majority. I recognized a lot of political types, but it seemed to be, by far, just regular people. It wasn't an angry crowd, more like boisterous.
Organizers were collecting names and email addresses.
What will come of all of this? We'll see. We'll see what the follow through is, and how Democrats respond.
But I wouldn't underestimate this thing.
Said Erick Erickson, a Republican never afraid to criticize Republicans:
"If the GOP will recognize this for what it is and admit that it is partially responsible, then, yeah, I think it can turn a corner and really harness it."UPDATE: I rarely read the comments on our main site, but this one from Matt's initial breaking story on the protest caught my eye:
I just still can't believe how fast Obama has turned this country around...wow, twelve weeks and look at all the stuff he is responsible for!!!!For the record, a woman with the Heritage or American Heritage Foundation (I did not get her name) noted this at the Tea Party: "This movement is not about one party doing wrong. ... This movement is about our federal government gone wrong."
As soon as they start saying Obama, without referencing Dubyah, they lose me. What we have is a natural swing of events resulting from the last administration. What we should all be doing is trying to dampen the swing and wind up somewhere much closer to the middle ground.
I apologize for not getting her name or the exact name of her group. I left the event early to post the information below about Lt. Gov. Cagle.
UPDATE 2: From an NY Times story on the tea parties:
For his part, (Eric Odom, the administrator of TaxDayTeaParty.com) insisted that Mr. Obama was not the focus of the outrage, and that government in general was the target.
“This is a protest that has been in government the last few years,” he said. “Bush himself was guilty of socialist policies.”
Yet GOP.com featured the Tax Day Tea Party on its web site in the last two days and implored people to send virtual tea-bags (in four categories) to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid.
“It’s obvious they’re trying to ride on the brand that we created,” Mr. Odom said. “It’s somewhat insulting.”