Tea Party supporters holding up signs in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
The much-hyped tea party rally in Washington today turned out much lower crowds than expected. This was the supposed to be a glory-filled moment in the movement’s short history. Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Mike Pence and Rep. Steve King all spoke at the event. And tea partiers were going to demand Republican allies standby their 2010 pledges to slash $100 billion from the current federal budget — and not compromise with Democrats. They’re attitude: "cut it or shut it."
Instead, only about 200 people showed up to the U.S. Capitol. And Politico estimated about half of that number were journalists. It was dreary outside, but it’s no winter in Wisconsin; hundreds of thousands stood outside in the freezing cold to protests new labor laws. (Just sayin’).
Slate’s Dave Weigel, a guest on our show tonight, said there was a sense of victory in the air, despite the crappy turnout. According to Weigel, Rand Paul said the Democrats' increasing concessions on spending proved that they were "reading the tea leaves, so to speak."
A new poll out suggests 47 percent of Americans now have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party.