On the site this morning, we have a piece by T.A. Frank about his afternoon with a group of Los Angeles Tea Partiers. While what he saw was comical, he didn't find it to be altogether ridiculous. Here's how the piece starts:
What crashed the tea party in Los Angeles was the wind--icy, salty gusts from the Pacific that swooped up sand and flung it into eyes, pockets, and hair. Dockweiler State Beach, a three-mile strip of shoreline beneath the flight path of Los Angeles International Airport, proved an inhospitable host. But several hundred protesters still showed up and, huddling closely like penguins in an Antarctic storm, voiced their objections to taxation, Barack Obama, Congress, Tim Geithner, deficits, Ben Bernanke, stimulus plans, the Federal Reserve, illegal immigration, fiat money, the media, the Rothschilds, labor unions, Barney Frank, bailouts, government surveillance, and Woodrow Wilson. Or that was what I managed to pick up while I was there. I couldn't interview everyone.
I would say more about the speakers, but I could neither see them through the dense crowd nor, for the most part, hear them over the roaring winds. I know that one spoke in Spanish for a couple of minutes before some audience members began to chant, "U.S.A.! U.S.A!" (The master of ceremonies quickly engineered a transition to the next speaker.) I perceived that radio host Tammy Bruce, who recently caused a stir by referring to Michelle Obama as "trash," was trying to harness the roiling ocean to her message: "Let Congress look at that water and know that we're exactly in the same mood!" But I didn't sense that Congress was going to look at the water, and the spot where I was standing was extremely cold, at least by Los Angeles standards. So I placed myself on the other side of the crowd and turned instead to figuring out what was motivating those who showed up.
Click here to read the whole thing. It's a much more open-hearted--and interesting--view of the Tea Party phenomenon than the one MSNBC and etc. has been peddling.