I slept three hours the night before the 9/12 Tea Party march to the Capitol, and the forecast was for rain, so I was going to roll over and stay in bed, grumbling that they moved the seat of federal government from Philadelphia to a swamp three hours south. But Norma was persistent, so we went again, second time in two weeks to Washington, D.C.
As Emily Belz reported last night, the crowd was smaller than Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on August 28, but it was still formidable. Another similarity was the cleanliness of the gatherers. I don't know if "cleanliness is close to godliness," but I know now that it's close to patriotism-slash-conservativism, because once more, when the tide of humanity receded from the grounds before the beautiful domed edifice that houses the House and the Senate, it left behind no detritus. The southerner who was sitting next to me on the wall had trash bags and descended like a Jersey shore seagull on the slightest sign of a gum wrapper.
But one big difference between the rally yesterday and the one two miles west at the Lincoln Memorial 16 days ago was the signage. Glenn Beck had told folks to leave their picket signs at home, and they did. But yesterday they more than made up for their August self-restraint. I list below---to give you a flavor of the Tea at yesterday's party---a sampling of the cries of the heart scrawled on homemade signs and Tea-shirts
"Party like it's 1776"
"Time to clean house---and Senate too"
"Political dissent is not racism"
"For Sale: USA. Obama Realty"
"Soaring Debt---Where's my "change"?
"No mas" (Spanish for "no more")
"Don't believe the liberal media"
"Ayn Rand Institute"
"The people say you're fired"
"What happened to the first trillion? You want more?"
"Socialism: trickle-down poverty"
"Voting on bills before reading them is dereliction of duty"
"So America, how's that hoax and chains working for ya?"
"America is too big to fail"
"Your kids are China's debt slaves"
"Maybe you didn't hear: The oath of office says support and defend"
"Government is not your mommy"
"Your family owes China $416,113 and change"
"We're steamed" (with a hand-drawn teapot)
"Bad donkey. Bad donkey"
"Bureaucrats make lousy doctors"
"I'm from the government and I'm here to help you"
"Over-stimulated and angry"
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have"
"You were bought with a price. Do not become slaves of men (1 Corinthians 7:23)"
"Socialism is legal theft"
"Brother can you spare 50 billion?
"Who's in your wallet?"
"Just say No to tyrants"
"Silly liberals. Paychecks are for workers."
"Government expands, liberty contracts"
"Don't spread my wealth"
"What do you think now, Nancy? Astroturf?"
"It's not a party thing, it's a grandma thing"
"Keep the tea and dump Obamacare in the Potomac"
"One nation under debt"
"Cut taxes, not deals"
"Expansion of federal government kills private industry"
"America, wake up and smell the Socialism" (with a drawing of cup of coffee)
"Obama, I am not your ATM"
"Don't spread my wealth, spread my work ethic"
"Airfare to D.C.---$250. Hotel room---$300. Get rid of tyrants---priceless"
"My God---not my government---shall supply all my needs"
"King George ignored us too"
"Less Marx, more Jefferson"
"Jesus Christ is my savior. Too bad Obama is yours"
"'Deficit-neutral'---Obama, you lie!"
"Where's the transparency?"
"If you cap us, we will trade you"
"Reduce your government footprint"
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17)"
"Congress is guilty of treason"
"Where the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. But when a wicked man rules, the people groan (Proverbs 29:2)"
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When people fear the government, there is tyranny"
"Things to do: Pray. Buy ammo. Vote"
"Obama and his court: here a czar, there a czar, everywhere a czar, czar"
"Got buyer's remorse?"
"If my people seek my face then I will hear from heaven (2 Chronicles 7:14)"
"You think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free"
"China called and the rent is due"
"HR 3200 is making me sick"
"Go green. Recycle Congress."
"Read my lipstick---no more taxes"
"You have run out of our money"
"Cut government in half. End IRS."
"Hope" (with picture of Jesus)
"Candidate Obama---$800,000 spent to block release of birth records"
"USA---born 1776, suicide 2008, resurrection? Your choice. Vote Nov. 2."
"Give me liberty. Keep your change."
"We came in peace this time"