Tea Party Protest in D.C. on Thursday

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 29 2011 1:47 PM

Tea Party Protest in D.C. on Thursday

It's been too long! Tea Party Patriots, Smart Girl Politics, Let Freedom Ring, and the Institute for Liberty announce a "Continuing Revolution Rally" for Thursday, outside the Senate side of the Capitol.

"Members of Congress have abandoned their service to the people by passing continuing resolutions instead of cutting the $100 billion they pledged," said Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, National Coordinators of the Tea Party Patriots.  "Is it lack or leadership? Is it a lack of courage?  A real budget will spark a national debate on the role of government, and that’s what the American people want."

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The announced speakers are the old reliables -- Bachmann, King, Gohmert -- joined by RSC Chairman Jim Jordan. And I'll make a pretty safe prediction. The speakers will welcome a government shutdown if it's the only way to get the full CR passed, with policy riders that ban funding for NPR and Planned Parenthood. Dick Morris, who'll be there, said as much at his 2010 speech at the Americans for Prosperity summit in D.C. I was there, but Media Matters has the video.

This... sort of complicates the Republican message of the moment. Republicans have been saying that it's only Democrats -- only Steny Hoyer and Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid -- who are talking about a shutdown. Republicans have passed a budget, and Democrats failed to, so they can either take this deal or inform voters that they're willing to let Washington collapse in order to save cowboy poetry and Nina Totenberg. But on Thursday you're going to get hot new video of Tea Party activists saying they're open to a shutdown. If you don't see that, it would be a miraculous work of message discipline.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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