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Palin rallies tea party with anti-tax message in Boston

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sarah Palin gestures Wednesday while addressing a crowd during a stop of the Tea Party Express in Boston.
(CHARLES KRUPA ~ Associated Press)
BOSTON -- Sarah Palin rallied the conservative tea party movement near the scene of its historical inspiration Wednesday, telling Washington politicians that government should be working for the people, not the other way around.

Addressing roughly 5,000 people, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee accused President Barack Obama of overreaching with his $787 billion stimulus program. She also criticized the administration's health care, student loan and financial regulatory overhauls.

"Is this what their 'change' is all about?" Palin asked the crowd on the Boston Common. "I want to tell them, nah, we'll keep clinging to our Constitution and our guns and religion -- and you can keep the change."

Tea party members planned to meet for a final rally in Washington today, coinciding with the federal tax-filing deadline. Local events are also planned in Oklahoma, Ohio and other locations.

Palin put her own spin on Tax Day, saying, "We need to cut taxes so that our families can keep more of what they earn and produce, and our mom-and-pops, then, our small businesses, can reinvest according to our own priorities, and hire more people and let the private sector grow and thrive and prosper."

She also played to the crowd by trotting out a trademark line as she lobbied for more domestic energy production.

"Yeah, let's drill, baby, drill, not stall, baby, stall -- you betcha," Palin said, though Obama recently proposed to expand drilling off the Atlantic, and Gulf coasts.

The gathering intended to hark back to 1773, when American colonists upset about British taxation without government representation threw British tea into the harbor in protest -- just a mile from the site of Wednesday's rally.

The modern tea party movement claims both Republican and Democratic members.

Several speakers protested suggestions of racist undertones to the movement, which sprouted as the nation elected its first black president. Nonetheless, virtually the entire speaking program and audience were white.

An exception was the singer of the tea party anthem, Lloyd Marcus, who made a point of describing himself not as African-American, but American.

One person in the crowd, John Arathuzik, 69, of Topsfield, Mass., said he had never been especially politically active until he saw the direction of the Obama administration.

"I feel like I can do one of two things: I can certainly vote in November, which I'll do, and I can provide support for the peaceful protest about the direction this country is taking," said Arathuzik, a veteran who clutched a copy of the Constitution distributed by a vendor.

Michael Brantmuller, a 40-year-old unemployed carpenter from Salem, N.H., said he appreciated Palin's speech but added: "I don't know whether she's the right spokesperson, because she's such a polarizing figure."

A festive mood filled the air. A band played patriotic music, and hawkers sold yellow Gadsden flags emblazoned with the words "Don't Tread on Me" and the image of a rattlesnake.

Small groups of counterprotesters urged civility, as well as respect for gay and minority rights. They noted some members of Congress alleged racism after voting for Obama's health care law.

"Public discourse is great -- there's room for the tea party -- but there's no room for racism or homophobia or any other negative discourse," said Susan Leslie, a member of the group, Standing on the Side of Love.

Absent was Sen. Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Republican who in January won the seat held for half a century by liberal icon Edward M. Kennedy.

He cited congressional business, which included hearings about the Iranian nuclear program.

"That's a heck of a lot more important than him being here right now," conservative talk show host Mark Williams told the crowd.

While the movement claimed partial credit for his victory, Brown has kept his distance. If he gets too close, he risks being aligned with the tea party's more radical followers.

He is up for re-election in 2012, and most of the state political establishment remains Democratic.

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Hmm sounds like more of the same politicians claiming to not raise taxes, otherwise, more of the same. Before you know it the Tea Party movement would want some program that would require our money.

-- Posted by almighty on Thu, Apr 15, 2010, at 11:14 AM

SHE IS SUCH A JOKE!!! Why cant we get rid of her, she is like a annoying little fly that never leaves

-- Posted by Mom 01 on Thu, Apr 15, 2010, at 12:19 PM

Agreed. Palin is a 'celebrity', much like Obama was touted as by John McCain, who ironically is probably not President right now partially b/c of her.

-- Posted by almighty on Thu, Apr 15, 2010, at 4:17 PM

I wonder if there were signs calling her socialist? As governor of Alaska she raised taxes on big oil, and gave the revenue to the people. You betcha she did! She is just another know-nothing gasbag who feeds on peoples fears and anxieties to enrich herself and it works too, apparently.

-- Posted by Le Cercle Rouge on Thu, Apr 15, 2010, at 5:14 PM

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