A friend emailed me this note a few hours ago and it got me to thinking. I have been to several Tea Party events. They have been progressively getting smaller and less confrontational. Here in Texas, we have a budget problem caused by a structural defect in revenue acquisition. In other words we make Texas open for business by being one of the lowest tax states in the country.
As such our education budget, healthcare budget, transportation budget, security budget, and every other governmental programs critical to the middle class and most citizens in general are being cut draconically. As Texas races to the bottom in services to its citizens the companies it attracted will leave as soon as it uses up the pool of citizens that were educated and invested in by previous forward thinking Texas governments.
Interesting enough not even Paul Ryan can get support for his budget from the Tea Party. You see, these guys want small government till it takes away a program dear to their hearts.
By Andy Birkey | 04.25.11 | 3:33 pm | More from The Minnesota Independent
Last weekend’s Tax Day Tea Party rallies in Iowa and South Carolina featured Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, respectively, and by all accounts, attendance at the events was off. Bachmann carries the tea party mantle, although some activists resent her de facto leadership title, while Pawlenty is having trouble garnering the support of tea partiers even at his own events.
In Iowa, Pawlenty and fellow presidential contender Herman Cain greeted about 200 tea party supporters in Des Moines at a Saturday, Apr. 16 Tax Day gathering of tea partiers, according to the Associated Press. Last year, the rally drew an estimated 2,000. Last weekend’s event was chilly, windy and wet, which may have hampered attendance.
The Union Leader put Pawlenty’s April 15 Tax Day Tea Party rally in Concord, N.H., on Friday at about 300 people, which is in line with 2010 when the Boston Herald put the number at “hundreds.”
Bachmann drew a similarly small crowd at an appearance in Columbia, South Carolina, at a Monday afternoon Tax Day event for tea partiers. CBS News put the crowd at about 300.
Will Forks, a prominent South Carolina blogger wrote, “Only 300 people (including a horde of Palmetto political operatives) attended the event in downtown Columbia, S.C. – which is a generous estimate in our book. That attendance figure – confirmed by other media outlets – amounts to less than one-tenth the size of multiple crowds that have gathered at the S.C. State House in recent years in support of parental choice.”
He added, “It’s also roughly a tenth the size of the crowd that attended this same event in 2009.”
That blog post allegedly drew fire from Bachmann’s people, which prompted a terse response from Forks on Twitter:
“@michelebachmann’s people are pissed at me for not showing her any love. awwww. puddin. draw more than 300 people next time”
The low attendance at the Pawlenty and Bachmann events mirrors a national trend over the Tax Day weekend. Rallies across the country saw significant drops in tea pary attendance.
While Bachmann and Pawlenty failed to draw large crowds of tea partiers, they are also facing some grumbling from tea party leaders.