We’re feeling inadequate down here at the ‘strom because we didn’t attend a tea party today. (The ear infection is still kicking my ass–through my ear canal, which tells you something.) I’m of course wild-ass guessing on the above number, 500 protests with 4,000 average people per. The number of protests is probably higher, but the average is probably a lot lower. But that messes with the whole tea-for-two riff.
So, we’ll enjoy vicariously through everyone else, and figure there are about 100 people like us who couldn’t make it for every person who actually did make it. 200 million, then, objecting to the current amazing expansion of government and debt. Which, even with the exaggerated numbers is still 100 million short of what I’d want to see.
Anyway, here’s Freeman Hunt with a video from Reason. Freem puts me to shame, since she’s got a newborn and she’s making the trek, and what do I have? A lousy ear infection.
Ann Althouse expounds a bit on why she hasn’t talked about the tea parties. I pretty much feel the same way as AA, in that I don’t really like politics, and I’m really not a joiner. I’m begining to feel like I don’t have a choice, though. As John Adams famously said:
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
I hope the “war” part is just metaphorical.
That said, the reaction from the statists is tragic. I thought about fisking a guy who I saw tweeting “rebuttals” last night. Basically, anyone who goes to one of these tea parties is a tool of rich, greedy Republicans (Democrats who are rich of course have their hearts in the right place) and they’re all phony anyway and besides, FOX NEWS! LIMBAUGH! HANNITY! BECK! O’REILLY! (Are these guys even that close politically?)
(UPDATE: Patterico responds to one of the essays I thought about fisking.)
Ultimately, I decided life was too short to try to engage people who have no intention of actually communicating. Back when Alpha Liberal first showed up at Althouse I followed all of his links, trying to talk to him. But the links seldom related to what he was saying, or they were assertions being made by other statists, or if there was some real data, it didn’t really describe what he said it did.
But he never really addressed anything I wrote. You’ve seen this, I’m sure. They say, “A!” and you say, “Well, not quite A, more like A1.” Then rather than try to figure out where between “A” and “A1” the truth is, they say, “Well, B!” And they have an inexhaustible source of these assertions because, quite frankly, they’re made up.
It isn’t just the left that does this, of course, but it seems to be primarily the left that considers it legitimate. If you have two points, “A” and “B”, and “A” is completely, obviously not comparable to “B” in terms of scope or relevance, and may even be made up, while “B” is true, this crowd seems to consider the very availability of “A” to be sufficient rebuttal to “B”. In fact, if you see them on TV, the game seems to be getting as many of these in as possible.
The relevance of this to the tea parties is that the media is largely pretending these protests didn’t happen. The reality is “A”, they’re saying “B”. It will be interesting to see if they have to upgrade that to “Well, they happened, but they weren’t very big.” Or “Well, they happened, but they’re just haters and not important.”
Like NBC featuring Chuck Todd, who has dismissed these gatherings. (Though in fairness to Todd, it’s not really a Republican thing, so he’s probably right that it hasn’t “galvanized the party”.) Ace of Spades didn’t care for the CNN reporter who actually aggressively takes the opposing viewpoint. Another helpful CNN article uses Nazis to illustrate right-wing agitation.
Anyway, I saw pix of the various gatherings on Twitter. Tabitha Hale had some nice ones. InfidelsAreCool had pics from Santa Ana, complete with one of Andrew Breitbart. (God love ’em, but every time he comes on “Red Eye” it seems like he’s getting less and less coherent. Preoccupied?) StillStacy linked a nice pic from Denver.
Michelle Malkin has a ton of pics up, and a huge post at her blog. On the other blogs, Ace has a protest babe up. Previous massive pic thread here. Lots of heh over at Instapundit. (UPDATE: Protein Wisdom has a link roundup.)
Here’s a graphic that illustrates my main beef with taxes. It isn’t just that the gov’t takes half of your money directly, it’s that they also double the cost of everything we buy. But those costs are usually hidden. So how are they not, in fact, taking most of the money there is? This is why I’m for a per capita tax as the only tax allowed.
I mean, think about it: If your income was doubled, and everything cost half as much? Tell me you wouldn’t be willing to give up everything the government “gives you”! You could find some money in that for defense. Probably a few social programs, too.
And that’s now. Wait till the bill comes due on the latest spending spree.
Which brings me to another reason I’ve been somewhat reticent about going to a protest. OK, let’s say that there were two million people out there. And they’re fed up. What does that translate into? When you’re there, what are you doing? What do you hope to accomplish?
I mean, when the left does it, it’s for PR. This way the papers can run stories about how people hate the war du jour or Israel or whatever it is they’re hating. And I suppose there’s that value, because even if the newspapers insist on saying “B!”, there is the reality of “A” just sitting out there.
Ideally, these protests would translate into a repeal of all the legislation passed to date, from the Bear-Stearns bailout, insofar as that’s possible. And a confirmation that such legislation was never to be passed again, or at least not quickly. At least, that’s what I think. But what do the other two million think?
And wouldn’t it have been better if the government just hadn’t gotten itself involved in all this stuff 100 years ago?