Indeed, it’s hard to think of the last time conservatives have come out in such numbers for anything—Wednesday’s rally topped 3,000 in Washington, and some 700 other such parties attracted tens of thousands nationwide.
Ah, come on now, Christopher Beam, surely you can think of something? Let’s go back to 2005:
Where many of the protesters who stood in prayer had arrived days ago – and some weeks ago – quite a few arrived Wednesday, traveling great distances to see the spectacle they had only previously witnessed on television and in the newspaper.One man, carrying his banjo, arrived Wednesday from the east coast of Florida. Another drove from New York on Tuesday, with his trumpet. A family from Georgia migrated with silver bowling pins and tennis balls.
“I felt like God said come on down, I want somebody out there juggling,” Nathan Dorrell said.
Terry Schiavo’s death and 2005 and those kids standing in rows with LIFE plastered over their mouths seem so long ago, but at the time they seemed to mark conservatism learning how to look cool while protesting. Their initial efforts to adopt the cool aura of 60s protests, hadn’t gone so well visually. The Tea Party protests seem to subtly reclaim the Republican Party for the nutty, secular and anti-government, as opposed to the nutty Christianist and anti-abortionist. Indeed, the Tea Party doesn’t seem so much like the affirmation of conservatism in the face of defeat, so much as the ascendance of one wing of the party over another.