Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Time

The extraordinary feature of yesterday's Tea Party protests across the country is not the impressive number of participants, but that they happened at all.

Political rallies and street protests traditionally have been the province of the Left.   People in the ordinary mainstream of life and conservatively-minded people are too polite, too reticent, too time-strapped.   Lacking, for the most part, the ideological fervor to overcome inhibitions like self-consciousness, or concern over what the Boss might think.

A conservative friend of humorist P.J. O'Rourke asked "why don't our people do this," as they passed by a streetcorner group of left-wing protesters.

"Our people have jobs," P.J. explained.

That Americans were willing to turn out yesterday in the numbers they did, to protest taxes and government spending, demonstrates a broad and deep feeling across the country.

Whether it will be productively channeled, resulting in policy reform, we will learn in the years ahead.   That it might be is clearly troubling the Left.  They understand, better than anyone, that street organizing and protests are very much outside of the culture of the conservative and the moderate.

The Left understands the import of what it saw yesterday.   Look at the more extreme of the local and national Left-oriented websites and how they tried yesterday, in anticipation, to dismiss and belittle the tea parties.   These efforts carry a whiff of "whistling past the graveyard."   If they really thought the tea parties were meaningless, they'd ignore them rather than give them more publicity by denouncing them in advance, as they have.

The nervousness of the Left is showing.

Tea, anyone?

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