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culture

Tea Parties Planned for Tax Day

Kaitlynn Riely

Posted: Apr 15th 2009 8:25AM

Filed under: Culture, Breaking News, News, Media, Notre Dame


The Internet has been buzzing lately all about parties happening on Tax Day. Tea Parties, to be exact.

I never got an invitation, but I'm more of a coffee drinker. It'd be a bit of a pain to purchase tea bags just to dump them in a body of water.

Like the great pre-Revolutionary War colonists who came before them, American taxpayers are up in arms and want to protest "higher taxes and out-of-control government spending," according to a column in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday. It's hard to tell who exactly started this movement, but the columnist asserted that this is not the work of a "right-wing conspiracy," but rather, average Americans who are using the expanding power of the Internet to organize an imitation of an event that took place in 1773.

According to the Wall Street Journal column, the protests began in mid-February with bloggers in Seattle, Wash., then grew when CNBC commentator Rick Santelli delivered his now famous rant against President Obama's policies, advocating that people organize a tea party in Chicago on July 4.

From that rant, a movement was born. Now these flash mob protests are apparently planned across the country on Tax Day. The Tea Party movement is one of the top trending topics on Twitter, and on Facebook a group called Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party has more than 35,000 members.

I'm always up for a party. And those are big numbers. I'd love to fly home to watch protesters dump a million tea bags in Lafayette Square in Washington D.C, as the protest organizers say they will, according to a Washington Post story.

Imagine if we took that tea and, provided it was caffeinated, gave it to American workers. Think of the productivity we'd see on Tax Day!

On second thought, the people organizing the Tax Day Tea Party probably don't need any more caffeine. This grass-roots movement has grown surprisingly quickly. A lot of people are comparing it to Obama's use of the Internet in 2008 to increase enthusiasm for his campaign. Except, with Obama, there were a lot fewer teabags. And fewer unfortunate inappropriate jokes. (I'm not explaining it. Look it up.)

A Web site called Tax Day Tea Party purports to be the online headquarters for the tea partiers. A "revolution is brewing at a city near you" they say. Besides being clever at wordplay, the site's creators have also done a good job of listing Tea Party events occurring in every state.

Over on her Web site, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin has a playlist of songs for the Tea Parties. I recommend the reader-suggested rendition of "American Pie."

If you cannot make it out to a local Tea Party, the Republican National Committee has a way for you to participate. Go to their Web site and you can mail a postcard to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Harry Reid or Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Best of all, you can choose one of four varieties of tea bags to send along with your postcard.

At the White House briefing Tuesday, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he is not sure if Obama knows about the planned parties, but Gibbs said he personally is not monitoring them.

If the Tea Parties don't work, perhaps some other famous event in American History can be re-staged? A flash mob to cry that the British are coming or a re-enactment of Washington crossing the Delaware?

If nothing else, all this flash-mobbing will improve our collective knowledge of this country's history.

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