Brian Pannebecker of Shelby Township asks a question at a Tea Party meeting in St. Clair Shores on Tuesday. The gathering had no special agenda. Still, about 150 people attended. (WILLIAM ARCHIE/Detroit Free Press) .I'm the dumb looking guy in the far left corner.LOL
This T-shirt expresses one man's views at a Tea Party meeting in St. Clair Shores. The movement could have
There's plenty of evidence to support the everyman theory of the Tea Party, expressed above by the chairman of the Metro Detroit Freedom Coalition, a self-styled Tea Party organization. His comment came at a packed meeting of the group Tuesday evening in St. Clair Shores.
On a snowy, midweek gathering with no special agenda, people still showed up -- about 150. Tea Party demonstrations in Michigan and around the country have routinely drawn hundreds, sometimes thousands of participants. National polls have suggested the general public views the Tea Party, which is not a formal political organization, more favorably than either the Democratic or Republican Party.
And its members have become the public face of voter dissatisfaction and have been given a large measure of credit for delivering a body blow to President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats for the role they played in the upset victory of Republican Scott Brown in the special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts last month.
Since the Brown election (coming on the heels of Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey last fall) politicians of every stripe have been less inclined to dismiss the Tea Party as a phony grassroots outfit of fringe bigots and haters, as some on the left did when the movement took off last spring and summer.
Republicans, meanwhile, have tried to enclose the Tea Party in a warm, albeit self-serving embrace. State Senate Majority
Leader Mike Bishop, a Rochester Republican and 2010 candidate for attorney general, was on the agenda of speakers in St. Clair Shores. His speech was peppered with kindred-spirit language.
"It's our responsibility to take back our country."
"This is America right here."
"You all have to stand up and say, 'No.' "
'We have a common goal'
In Oakland County, 9th District GOP Chairman Glenn Clark has taken on an alter ego as a Tea Party activist, organizing protests mostly aimed at the district's Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Peters. Clark said it's a natural fit. The Tea Party, he said, is "bringing together the former pieces of the Reagan coalition."
an impact on the 2010 elections. (Photos by WILLIAM ARCHIE/Detroit Free Press)