By Kate Zernike
Hardcover, 256 pages
List Price: $25
LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This excerpt contains language some might find offensive.
Inside the summit, Lord Monckton, a British global warming denier, posed for photographs with Tea Partiers carrying Jeff McQueen’s flag of the Second American Revolution. Young representatives from antitax groups encouraged the Tea Partiers to get involved locally to fight property tax assessments. Led by Dick Armey, the Tea Partiers went across Pennsylvania Avenue to join the cacophony of the rally in Freedom Plaza. Steve King was onstage, declaring, "We do not believe in a government that’s oppressive, nor do we believe in a government that confiscates our earnings and rewards people that don’t earn, and eats our substance and drains American vitality. That’s what’s going on in America today.
"Cars," he added, "should be made by Americans."
A sign read:
THE COMPANY I WORKED FOR DOWNSIZED AND LAID ME OFF TO SAVE MONEY. I THINK IT’S TIME TO DOWNSIZE THE GOVERNMENT AND SAVE US MONEY.
Another quoted Bastiat’s The Law on legal plunder:
THE LAW TAKES FROM SOME PERSON WHAT BELONGS TO THEM AND GIVES TO ANOTHER PERSON TO WHOM IT DOES NOT BELONG!
A white flag featured the silhouette of a gun, with the legend "Come Ahead and Take It."
As the crowds gathered again that evening for the FreedomWorks rally under the Washington Monument, the show was a blend of jingoism and grievance. Lord Monckton declared America the land of opportunity: "You can be born in Kenya and end up as president of the United States!" He led the crowd in cheers of "Global warming is bullshit!" and urged people to scream loud enough that the White House could hear. "Albert Arnold Gore," he declared gleefully, "I am coming to get you!" Victoria Jackson, the former Saturday Night Live star, sang "There’s a Communist in the White House" again, with her ukelele. And a group of coal miners from a West Virginia mine where twenty-nine people had died a week earlier ascended the stage, wearing their helmets, to complain that cap-and-trade would devastate their industry by raising energy prices and driving out jobs. SENATORS, DON’T SEND OUR JOBS TO ASIA, read one of their signs. "We’re tired of hearing them talk about change," one miner told the crowd. "We don’t need change. We need to take what’s working in America and keep it working."
Ron Paul spoke toward the end, arguing to repeal the Fed ("We’d all be better off," he said), cut all foreign aid, and end the country’s role as policeman of the world. When he began his standard argument against having so many American military bases overseas and in favor of bringing American troops home from Korea and Japan, people toward the back of the crowd began to object. "God bless the military!" they hollered.
Paul moved on to the need to keep our military strong, and the hecklers began cheering again. Then the crowd sang "God Bless America," twice, following along with the words on two JumboTrons on the lawn. On the stage, the whole Tea Party amalgam gathered: the coal miners, Lord Monckton, Ron Paul, Victoria Jackson with her ukulele, the national coordinators from Tea Party Patriots, Dick Armey, and the FreedomWorks staffers.
Matt Kibbe told the people on the lawn that they would see them again at the 9/12 rally in September. Until then, there was work to be done out in the states.
Excerpted from Boiling Mad by Kate Zernike Copyright 2010 by Times Books. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.