Brief of the Week April 20, 2009

TEA TIME: For all the dismissive predictions by the liberal media and Democratic politicians, the nationwide staging of Tea (Taxed Enough Already) parties on April 15 to protest high taxes — and the big spending that brings them about — proved a huge success. Sponsored by such groups as American Solutions, FreedomWorks (headed by former Texas Rep. Dick Armey), Americans for Tax Reform and the American Family Association and publicized by HUMAN EVENTS and other conservative publications and radio and TV commentators, tea parties held on the steps of state capitols and in almost every major city drew well more than 250,000 protesters nationwide. In liberal Washington, D.C., thousands of people defied a harsh, cold rain to hold a tea party in Lafayette Park across from the White House and also on the U.S. Capitol steps. And, learning from the Obama campaign, conservatives throughout the country used Facebook, Twitter and other Internet methods to generate crowds (2,000 in New York City and 4,000 in Cincinnati at mid-day, for example). Although organizers took pains to emphasize the non-partisan nature of the tea parties, potential Republican presidential hopefuls were conspicuous by their presence at the protest events. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, for example, addressed two tea parties in his state and Newt Gingrich was wildly cheered when he told the New York party: “We are America.” The colonial garb of the first tax protesters was worn by many at the tea party in Boston, which was also the site of the most original hand-written banner: “Barney Frank and Bernie Madoff. And the difference is. ….?”