The DC tax day tea party suffered from partisan infiltrators, an oppressive city government, and the kind of weather that usually keeps people at home.
But you wouldn't know it from the turnout - 3,000 people showed up, stomping through the mud in Lafayette Square while holding umbrellas and protest signs in the 50-degree weather. And you wouldn't know it by talking to Patrick, a stay-at-home dad from Oak Hill who attended the event with his daughter.
"We have to pay taxes on the same money 3 or 4 times," he complained, donned in a soaked poncho and baseball cap. "It makes me feel like our government no longer serves us."
In fact, the rain only seemed to harden the resolve of the protesters, reinforcing their belief that something had to be done about the tax-and-spend policies of the administration and Congress.
"If you tax me, I hire less," said Tony, of Washington DC. He said the amount he paid in taxes for his small business serving court summons prevented him from hiring two or three additional employees, and that he was there to fight back. Tony was surrounded with signs with slogans like "Fun with numbers: millions, billions, trillions…" and "For real stimulus, bring jobs and capital back home." Alan Keyes, Grover Norquist, and Laura Ingraham were among the speakers who manned the stage from 11-3pm.
By the end of it, organizer Rebecca Wales was soaked and shivering.
"It is what it is," she said of the circumstances.
Wales had been there since 6am, about the time when DC metro police told organizers that they could not erect the temporary stage in front of the Treasury - one of the two locations where protests were planned - as had been confirmed at 11pm the night before. Then a truck load of tea bags was turned away from Lafayette Square, which organizers had planned on dumping onto a huge tarp to headline the event. The truck didn't have a permit.
"Somewhere out there, a truck full of teabags rolls on, destination unknown, into an uncertain future," wrote Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post.
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