Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Very Polite Tea Party

by Mary Katharine Ham - April 27th, 2009 - The Weekly Standard

Every day, Jackie and Ben Hobbs go about their modern lives inside walls hewn by hand before the Industrial Revolution. The sounds of their TV and telephone mingle with the quiet creaks of wide slat floorboards laboring under 200 years of foot traffic, as the couple runs a small country bed-and-breakfast and restaurant outside Hertford, county seat of Perquimans County, North Carolina.


But this small business was not the only echo of colonial life in northeastern North Carolina last week. In nearby Edenton, a historic town of about 5,000, residents gathered for a "Tax Day Tea Party"--one of about 800 grassroots protests against expanding government held across the nation on April 15. The demonstrations drew more than 250,000 supporters [or up to 750,000 supporters if you believe some of the more positive estimates] and some openly hostile news coverage, as reporters painted the gatherings as rage-fests filled with antigovernment crackpots.

Ben, who laid aside his tools to head to the tea party, was unsurprised by the tone of the coverage. After all, he said, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had just labeled small-government entrepreneurs like him potential terrorist threats. He was referring to the Department of Homeland Security's report on the danger of "right-wing extremism," which was fodder for many jokes at the Edenton Tea Party, as church ladies, veterans, and young moms chuckled about their allegedly subversive activities.

It was nice that we got coverage from a big name magazine like The Weekly Standard. Our Tea Party deserved it if for no other reason than the history of Edenton as a bastion of political activism. However I guess we didn't create enough of a stink to justify coverage like they received over the raucous happenings in Chapel Hill the same day. Maybe we would not have been described as "polite". At the University of North Carolina a bunch of protesters showed up and started busting windows at an immigration rally by Tom Tancredo. The police didn't punish the protesters. They shut down the rally. That is how conservatives and libertarians are treated these days. Liberals and progressives create a riot and we get punished.

I wonder what would have happened if they had tried that with some of the farmers and local deer hunters that populated our Tea Party? I bet it would have had a different outcome. Maybe that is why ACORN doesn't show up anywhere that is heavily populated with guys who regularly carry guns in their trucks. These city liberals just don't undertsand, we are polite as long as visitors are polite.

For more coverage of the Edenton Tea Party scroll down to check out the articles already posted, including the one with lots of great pictures.


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