On April 15, 2009, the “Tea Party” organized (with the help of Americans for Prosperity) organized Tea Party “Tax Day” protest across the nation. These protests were viewed as signs of the coming doom for Democrats in 2010.
It was also the unofficial launch for the John Kasich for Governor campaign, with Kasich as the “headline” speaker at the Columbus event. Here’s a crowd shot from the 2009 Columbus event:
The Dispatch, the Ohio Republican Party, and even the Columbus Tea Party said there were 7,000 folks there. It was viewed as a warning shot to the Democratic leadership in Ohio and Washington.
Just last week, the Dispatch reported that 11,000 people stood on the Statehouse lawn to protest Senate Bill 5. That’s 57% more than the Tea Party had at the same city, virtually same time of year. And the reality is that the SB 5 protests have been consistently larger and more frequent than the Tea Party was in its heyday.
By 2010, the Tea Party had another “Tax Day” rally. Reportedly only 3,000 people showed up. Less than half the crowd the year before. And in 2011?
The Columbus Tea Party didn’t have a single thing on their calendar all month. No Tea Party events.
Not the same in Cincinnati. Two years ago, they had 4,000 people. Here’s what they had today:
Huge rally! Packing the square! If there’s 100 people, I’d be surprised.
Mike Wilson was the Republican candidate for the House of Representatives in 2010. He lost (of course.) Wilson says the Tea Party was responsible for the amendments to SB 5. Funny, we have the Americans for Prosperity on video telling the Tea Party it was their priority to get these amendments passed in the House.
4,000 two years ago; maybe 100 today. It’s not just on SB 5. The Tea Party “movement” in Ohio has lost most of its energy in two years. As Rachel Maddow said on her show today, the Tea Party exists more as a political “bogeyman” used by Republicans to justify their out-of-touch, unpopular conservative orthodoxy.
We’ve shown more organizational strength in the past few months than the height of the Tea Party ever did. And we’re not going to go away in two years.
If the 2009 Tea Party rallies foretold of electoral doom in Ohio for Democrats running in 2010, then what do the SB 5 rallies in Ohio portend for Republicans in Ohio in 2012?