Unlike the networks, The Washington Post marked the fifth anniversary of the Tea Party movement – by suggesting their might not be a tenth. This has not been the way the Post has marked Occupy Wall Street. They glorified that even as it crumbled and blew away.
The headline on the front of the Style section Friday was “For tea party faithful, a muted 5th birthday.” Post reporter Ben Terris, fresh from oozing all over the liberal power couple John and Debbie Dingell, began by noting all the empty chairs at a hotel event:
Maybe 8:30 in the morning isn’t the best time to start a birthday party. Perhaps that’s why so many of the chairs were empty Thursday in a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Or maybe it’s just because five years after the birth of the tea party, some of the excitement has left the room.
Five years after Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to yell about the stimulus bill and propose a “tea party in July,” and already doubters are raising questions about whether the movement will ever turn 10.
Rep. Steve King, the Iowa conservative, wasn’t buying the doomsday scenario, pointing out that the movement has had its highest levels of energy “when we had the biggest issues in front of us that we had a chance to change.” As for Thursday’s lackluster turnout: “I think it’s a good crowd in here, given that this isn’t like Obamacare is going to be voted down tomorrow.”
The all-day event, hosted by the Tea Party Patriots, featured dozens of speakers, including Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Ted Cruz (Tex.), and Reps. Raúl R. Labrador (Idaho) and Louie Gohmert (Tex.). They, along with various activists, radio personalities and state politicians, were preaching to a crowd of several hundred people, mostly middle-aged or older, mostly white and many from out of town.
The Post loves describing radical-left protesters as young and old, black and white, straight and gay, a rainbow of wonderful humanity (all hating capitalism and American exceptionalism) -- just as they enjoy describing conservative gatherings as old and white, fading away, so yesterday.
Typically, as the Post downplayed or ignored the fringier rhetoric (and criminal acts) of the Occupiers, they went looking for what they see as fringy folks on the right: “A few attendees held signs with Bible passages, and one man wore a shirt that read “Obama, Liar, Radical, Marxist, Socialist, Tyrant, Subversive.’”
Actually, most of those labels fit – lied about Obamacare, radical, socialist, going around the legislature...but the Post thinks every word is a malicious falsehood. But they were fine with leftists calling Bush radical, tyrannical, lied and people died....that was the "mainstream."
Terris threw in a shot at Mark Levin, “the conservative radio host who ended his speech by quoting from his own book.”
This is how Terris ended the story, with a disgruntled Ron Paul backer who saw only doom ahead (just as the liberal wishful thinkers do):
Not everyone involved with the tea party is happy about how things are going. Just ask Dylan Stephenson, who volunteered on the Ron Paul presidential campaign (“The real tea party,” he called it) and who fled to the bar even though it was only a quarter till noon.
“I get so frustrated talking to these neocons that I need a . . . shot of Jameson,” he said, also noting that the tea party has become much more about social issues than he is comfortable with. “If the tea party wants to keep Democrats in power, they should just keep doing what they are doing.”
PPS: Terris promoted his story on Twitter by mocking filmmaker Judd Saul and his self-deprecating humor in a retweet:
— Niraj Chokshi (@NirajC) February 28, 2014