Monday, March 22, 2010

Afternoon Tea

Hello Sir and Madams not Appearing on this Blog, Greetings Big Cats,

This past Sunday afternoon, I headed over to the Capitol to see what all the fuss was about. The first group I happened upon was approximately 40 middle aged Tea Partiers rallying around Congressman Steve King (R-IA) on the west side of the Capitol. (careful folks, don't go calling them tea baggers, because now it's apparently a "...denigrating word with negative connotations. It’s as bad as calling a black person the N-word").

Congressman King had been speaking to the crowd for about 10 min. when I showed up. I was more interested in the composition of the crowd than the comments coming out of the megaphone, but things got interesting when he brandished that little acorn you see in the photo. After pulling it out of his pocket, and dusting off the lint, he explained to the crowd that it served as a constant reminder of what he is fighting against. This was followed by snarky comments about ACORN being on the verge of bankruptcy, and evoked a shouts of approval, clapping and peals of laughter.

After watching these antics for a few more minutes, I moved on to the shouts and cheers coming from the south side of the Capitol. This is where the main contingent of Tea Partiers had set up shop, and were waving their flags and falling into impromptu chants of "Kill this Bill".

"Call the Wam-bulance"

The crowd was a mixed bag - three parts Tea Partier, one part by-standers who stood on the outskirts of the crowd and observed the Tea Partiers with a befuddled expression on their face. An occasional by-stander would strike up a conversation with a demonstrator, but most kept to themselves. I weaved through the crowd and snapped a few photos, but made my way out after I heard a few of the Partiers grumble "That one there with the camera, he must be a lobbyist".

The Tea Partiers were not the only group out exercising their freedom of assembly. A small contingent of supporters of the House and Senate Health Care bills were out, and right down the Mall, tens of thousands rallied to sound the call for immigration reform. When the Tea Partiers fell silent, their chants and calls for reform could be heard off in the distance.