Best guess is that the number of protestors at the Capitol during the lunch hour today peaked at somewhere between 1,000 and 1,200 people. Fewer families with children for sure. Fewer costumes (I miss last year’s guy in the velvet suit and the tricorner hat).
Estimates from others I know who covered the event last year is that this year’s numbers were only one-fourth to one-sixth of last year’s total. Possible causes include:
- COMPETITION THIS WEEK – Too many competing events at the Capitol this week (Tea Party Express Saturday night, Right-to-Carry on Tuesday)
- COMPETITION TODAY – Too many competing events around the state today (Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo & who knows where)
- NO CHARISMATIC SPEAKERS – Joe the Plumber (last year) turns out to be a bigger draw than Attorney General and Gubernatorial Candidate Mike Cox (this year)
- ROSS PEROT FOLKS ARE DYING OFF – The folks attracted to the Tea Party are mostly angry old white guys and maybe Obama’s death panels are doing the job?
- RACE – White folks can’t stand this much sun this early in the year
- IT’S OVER – The Tea Party movement has peaked (I hope)
NOTE TO RICH MICHAELS: Michaels was one of the featured speakers at the rally. He energized the crowd with his observations about our Founding Fathers, including that they were home schooled (he made no mention that many were slaveholders). But he went on to claim his “Second Amendment” right to free speech (oops) and he called Lincoln a Founding Father (oops again). I thought the Tea Partiers are supposed to be better educated than the rest of us? Rich, what happened to you?