This is the first year - maybe ever - that I actually prepared, paid, and filed my federal and state income taxes well in advance of April 15. I, therefore, spent the day feeling very, very superior, and walked up to complete strangers to tell them I had done my taxes weeks ago.
They, for the most part, appeared to be very impressed. Well, only one guy said he was impressed but he was hawking some Lyndon LaRouche pamphlets, so it is just barely possible that he was being nice to me so I would stop and let him harangue me about Dick Cheney for the next 90 minutes.
Therefore, for me, yesterday was not a date which will live in infamy, but was just another day.
There were thousands of Tea Partiers in Washington protesting "tax day" and I'm all for that. As you know, I am something of a Constitutional scholar having read it from front to midway through Article III once in college.
I know that the First Amendment (about which we chatted on Wednesday) says in part:
Congress shall make no law … prohibiting … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The Tea Partiers assembled peaceably and made no secret of their grievances so they appeared to have met the Constitutional test of First Amendment protection.
The New York Times estimated that "5,000 to 10,000 people attended" the event on the Washington Mall. If it had been a pro-Liberal-cause demonstration, the Times would have estimated the crowd at between 750,000 and 17 million people, which would have caused a major portion of downtown Washington to be blocked off to accommodate the demonstrators, who would have had access to the Washington Metro system at no charge.
Alas, protesting high taxes comes at a price; the price of a subway ticket which, during rush hour, is a minimum of $1.75.
According to the Washington Post:
In addition [to the demonstration in Washington], more than 1,500 smaller protests were staged alongside state and local government offices nationwide, tea party organizers said.
I'm not certain who the "tea party organizers" are, nor how they would know there were 1,500 protests around the country, but hyperbole was not an orphan yesterday.
Jonathan Weiler, who bills himself as a "Professor of International Studies at UNC Chapel Hill" which he may, in fact, be, wrote in the Huffington Post about "the ugly underbelly of the tea party movement - the degree to which it is animated by racial resentment and a more general antipathy toward outgroups and difference."
I would be shocked if Prof. Weiler has ever descended from his safe haven in Chapel Hill to actually speak with, or be around, a tea partier, but the First Amendment protects freedom of speech whether the speaker has any idea what he's talking about or not.
Which is how cable news shows stay on the air.
My favorite sign was one which read: "You Can't Fix Stupid."
If the Left thinks this thing is running out of steam, they are likely to be very surprised on or about November 3 after the mid-term elections.
It is a little too early start going District-by-District to predict how many seats the GOP may pick up in the Fall, but it will not longer be a shock if Nancy Pelosi comes to work on January 3, 2011 as the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives.