It certainly wasn’t the “flash mob” organizers were hoping for, but a small but determined group of Tea Party Patriots gathered on the Capitol Lawn this morning to protest the announcement of a final House health care reform bill.
TPMDC counted about 10 Tea Partiers holding signs denouncing a “government takeover” of health care and looking with disdain as House Democrats gathered on the Capitol Steps. They stood in a larger group of protesters from other groups, mostly focused on abortion rights.
Joann Abbott, a grandmother from Northern Virginia, made the drive to the protest this morning after seeing the email sent by Tea Party leaders last night. When asked if she was part of the “flash mob,” she laughed. “I’m here on my own,” she said, looking around at the scattered protesters around her. “If this is organized, we suck.”Lisa Miller, another protestor, said she was an organizer with a D.C. tea party group. She insisted that the event wasn’t organized by a national organization, despite yesterday’s email which was signed by a group calling itself “Your Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Team.”
“People keep reporting we’re a single group,” she said. “But we’re not — we’re all separate.”
“It’s like we’re in different cars but we’re all going in the same direction,” Abbott explained.
Those details out of the way, the pair turned back to the crown gathering on the marble steps about 50 yards away. Capitol Police kept the protesters too far from the event to see it, but the strains of a U2 song played as background music for the gathering Democrats drifted across the plaza to within earshot.
“Look at their king-like behavior,” Miller scoffed. “They’re re-introducing the same sham they’ve been pushing for years. It’s evident people in this building don’t care about us.”