Wichita Tea Party

Below are a few of the pictures I took at the Tea Party in Wichita yesterday afternoon. Officials estimate about 1,000 people showed up, but I’m not sure how they could count them. There was a steady stream of people coming and going the whole time I was there.

The event was supposed to last from4:15 to 8:00 p.m. But by 6:00 most of the interesting speakers had finished, and the crowd was beginning to break up. That’s when I left, too.

It was encouraging to see that many people exercising their right to protest their government. Even so, I fear that unless the Tea Party movement can coalesce around a clearly articulated set of core beliefs — a platform, if you will — it will sputter and fade away. What I heard yesterday was just a bunch of anti-government whining. We need not merely to  complain, but to offer an alternative.

This shot gives a fair indication of the size of the crowd.

This shot gives a fair indication of the size of the crowd.

This gal was riding around the perimeter of the crowd shouting, "The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming!" Interesting, but I suspect she would have drawn more attention by doing a Lady Godiva re-enactment.

This gal was riding around the perimeter of the crowd shouting, "The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming!" Interesting, but I suspect she would have drawn more attention by doing a Lady Godiva re-enactment.

This sign captures the mood perfectly.

This sign captures the mood perfectly.

Notice the sign the dog is wearing. Maybe he should run for Congress -- he's certainly qualified.

Notice the sign the dog is wearing. Maybe he should run for Congress -- he's certainly qualified.

This senior citizen had an eloquent way of expressing his frustration. Notice what he's wearing around his neck.

This senior citizen had an eloquent way of expressing his frustration. Notice what he's wearing around his neck.

Senior citizens weren't the only ones complaining. This sign was a perfect melding of hip and history. But you have to think about it to get it.

Senior citizens weren't the only ones complaining. This sign was a perfect melding of hip and history. But you have to think about it to get it.

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