Looking around the blogosphere and various news sites, there seems to be some question as to how many people actually showed up for the Great American Tea Party II. Unfortunately there weren’t any webcams or cell phones back in the day of the original staged revolt, so we can’t do a comparison with that first group. However, someone with a bent for good history research could probably tell us how the colonists’ newssheets were spinning the story versus what the word was back in King George’s general vicinity regarding the reports.
My sense is that the news then was a mixed bag, just as it is now. The idea of breaking away from England was not universally appreciated or approved in the colonies. Many loyalists moved to Canada rather than switch allegiance. And had George Washington and his motley crew not miraculously prevailed against the King’s troops, we’d all have universal health care by now, here in Baja Canada.
One thing is for sure: there would have been no Tea Party II to protest our slide into socialism. Government intrusion would already be an accomplished fact and we’d be, one and all, polite citizens of Her Majesty’s North American Commonwealth (except for those noisy French Québécois over in the corner).
But the tea has been spilled for the second time now. And just like the first demonstration, there is no undoing this action; for those who have escaped, there is no going back to the sheeple fold where government is your friend.
All the major blogs, left and right, covered the march of the tea-baggers on Washington. The first noises happened so long ago – back in February – that it’s hard to remember those beginnings, but those of us who heard that first volley in the video with Rick Santelli were immediately energized:
That seems so long ago now, but it was only seven months or so. From there it grew…and grew….and grew:
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On Tax Day, the Baron and I showed up in the cold and drizzle to hear the first speakers talk about taking the country back from big government [I include both links just so you can see the comments section on each report. Reading them makes you able to see the momentum building].
On July 4th, we went to the Second Tea Party. This time the weather was clement and the venue was much nicer, with shade trees and the tall statue of Andrew Jackson that is a prerequisite in any small southern town in America. The talks were briefer; the focus had begun to tighten on the vast socialist slide that was being prepared for us.
By then, the Tea Party Express was being formed. The planning for this event must have been monumental, but as it grew in scope, the groups wanting to sponsor the event also increased.
From what I can gather, there were several PACs which served as the impetus: The National Tax-Limitation Committee, and Our Country Deserves Better.
The Tea Party Express provided a map of the cities they proposed to visit along their winding trail. Starting in Sacramento California on August 28th ,they finished in New Jersey, the last stop before the buses final swing down to Washington. There, the Express joined all the others converging on The Capitol, determined to stop the Obama juggernaut.
You can follow their journey at the T.P.E. blog, which documented their travels across America. I linked the page which begins on August 30th, as they travel through Nevada, headed to Arizona. It’s worth your while to click through the pages to see the photographs they collected on the trip. The last rally, in New Jersey at night and in the rain, just seems to energize the participants. The fact that it was September 11th and they weren’t far from Ground Zero must have lent some gravitas to the gathering. A 9/11 survivor spoke to the crowd.
The next morning they were off to the final stop: Washington, D.C. As they pulled out, buses from surrounding areas were converging on the Capitol also. In the nearest town to us, a bastion of Obama’s, four buses left town at 5:30 a.m. to make the trek north.
The story is then picked up by 9/12 D.C., and by the hundreds of blogs across the country that followed the trails leading to this historic destination.
Now the story has sidetracks: how many people were really there? That is, are the conservatives lying and inflating the numbers in attendance? They must be, that many people wouldn’t show up on their own. Yet the Daily Mail puts forth a mighty high number, and anecdotal information and pictures makes you wonder.
Here’s the most interesting of the videos I came across, this one is at The Frugal Café, though I am sure it’s viral by now:
Note that the time lapse is three-and-a-half hours of a moving crowd compressed into forty seconds. Perhaps some of our readers can guesstimate the numbers from this bit of information?
The Baron, who did the mapping from Google for me, says that the distance measured from the site of the Plaza to the gathering point at the Capitol is about 1.2 miles. It’s hard to be accurate, but let’s say the photographer is looking down Pennsylvania Avenue for somewhat more than one mile. Pennsylvania Avenue is (I think) six lanes wide and the passing crowd takes up all those lanes and spills over onto the sidewalks. It moves along for more than three hours before ending up at the Capitol.
On the map, the circle represents where the camera was stationed. The “X” marks their destination at The Capitol. The long pink line is Pennsylvania Avenue.
Whatever the number of people we see in that time-lapse, it was certainly well beyond “tens of thousands” and far past anyone’s expectations.
Here’s a thought: next September 12th weekend, will there be another Tea Party Express? Will it be permitted? Will President Obama fly away into the Midwest, like he did this time, so he won’t have to witness another stupendous Messiah FAIL?
Even now, people all over the country are planning their next event. This movement is not going to go away. Its time has come and will remain until things change. What those “things” will be is hard to say. However, like many of you, I am uncertain about future events being good ones, especially if they are in the hands of the federal government. No doubt all those folks who showed up yesterday to make their voices heard are concerned, too. I’ll bet they could be heard even in Minnesota.
You can run but you can’t hide, Mr. President. Get used to it.
It took me awhile to get over my extreme disappointment at not being able to attend this demonstration. There was no way I could’ve traveled that distance, much less marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, but the pangs of missing an historic event so near to home remain. They will pass.
To all of you who attended: congratulations on a job well done. You deserve a medal for this one. And surely some entrepreneur is already selling “I Survived the 9/12/09 Tea Party in D.C.” t-shirts. I sure hope they are!