‘Tea Party’ Demonstrators March On Washington, Protesting Health Care, Taxes, Government Spending
The Associated Press: "Tens of thousands of protesters fed up with government spending marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, showing their disdain for the president's health care plan with slogans such as 'Obamacare makes me sick' and 'I'm not your ATM.'
"Throngs of people waved U.S. flags and held signs reading 'Go Green Recycle Congress' and 'Obama Bin Lyin.' Men wore colonial costumes as they listened to speakers who warned of 'judgment day' - Election Day 2010. Other signs - reflecting the growing intensity of the health care debate - depicted President Barack Obama with the signature mustache of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler."
The AP reports that the march was sponsored by conservative groups including the FreedomWorks Foundation, the Heartland Institute and Americans for Tax Reform and included appearances by GOP lawmakers Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. (Syeed, 9/13).
One protest organizer, Debbie Dooley of the Tea Party Patriots, a group that coalesced to support a wave of protests in April, estimated the crowd, which stretched over several blocks, at 1.5 million people, an "unlikely" number, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Revolutionary War re-enactors from Savannah, Ga., led the procession from the White House to the Capitol. Though the rally's stated purpose was to protest taxes and new government spending, "criticism grew to include everything from Obama's health care reform and carbon cap-and-trade plans to his appointment of advisory 'czars.' " (Keefe, 9/12).
For instance, several anti-health reform protestors carried preprinted signs saying "Bury Obama Care with Kennedy," the recently deceased Massachusetts senator, the New York Times reports. Several speakers told the protestors Obama's health plan was socialism. DeMint, the Republican senator, said "This is not some kind of radical right-wing group. I just hope the Congress, the Senate and the president recognize that people are afraid of what's going on" (Zeleny, 9/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.