As for offensive or racist signs from tea partiers, I worked my way through the entire crowd twice and didn’t see a single one. Members of the mainstream media also conducted a thorough sign-by-sign search looking for anything that could be construed as racist, and as of my latest Google News search this morning, they had nothing.
No memo went out to tea partiers about what signs to bring, or how to handle some clueless college punk with a sign calling them “retards.” They did this without leadership.
The tea partiers don’t need it. They are activism entrepreneurs, self-motivated and self-organizing. Today, for example, there will be more than 100 tea-party events in big cities such as Washington, D.C., and smaller communities such as Lowell, Mass. Their financial reach is nationwide, too, as they find candidates like Scott Brown and pour millions into their campaigns without any prodding from a party or leader.
So how can it be a surprise to the mainstream media that a new New York Times/CBS poll shows that tea-party attendees are better educated than the average American? This is only news to those who’ve never spoken to a tea partier. It also reflects previous research about talk-radio listeners, showing that they’re some of the best-educated and most knowledgeable of all media consumers.
Which is why they’re not bothered that Senator Brown avoided the Boston event. They know it’s about political strategy, and they get it. Many of the Massachusetts conservatives who worked hard to elect Brown in January knew his politics were more moderate than their own, but they also understood the strategic importance of electing him.
And while the Boston crowd treated Palin like a rock star Wednesday, they also know her limitations — as the new poll shows. She may or may not be presidential material, but she does a great job of laying out the failings of this president and the hopes for our next one.
There were many great signs at the event, but the trend that caught my eye was how many of them specifically mentioned November 2, Election Day. These folks have their eyes on the prize. Repealing Obamacare and dumping Washington’s far-left leadership won’t happen in a city park; it will happen in a voting booth.
And the tea-party folks I spoke to Wednesday won’t need an SEIU-organized bus to get there, either.
– Michael Graham is an NRO contributor and author of the new book That’s No Angry Mob, That’s My Mom (Regnery, 2010).