Had a great time at the Oklahoma Tea Party rally, held at 11:00 AM today on the south steps of the Capitol building here in Oklahoma City. It was a very cold and windy day, but the weather didn't dampen the spirits of the crowd of 300 or so that came out to voice their opposition to our government's out-of-control spending and regulatory growth.
Alan Webb, the organizer of today's event, started planning today's Tea Party barely 48 hours before it happened. He was inspired by the other Tea Party protests that have popped up spontaneously around the nation; those in turn seem to have been inspired by remarks made by CNBC's Rick Santelli, who called for a "Chicago Tea Party" during a live broadcast from the floor of the Chicago Commodities Exchange ten days ago. Most of the organizing for today's Oklahoma City event was done by word of mouth and through Facebook.
Webb told today's crowd, "I'm one of you guys. I'm not a political activist. I'm not a politician." He also said, "I didn't want my little girl to come to me twenty or thirty years from now and ask me, 'Daddy, why didn't you do anything?'"
The Oklahoma Tea Party's agenda was centered around:
- Short-sighted leadership
- An out-of-control Congress
- Irresponsible lending and borrowing
- Influence of lobbyists and special interests
- Debt legacy
Webb had an impressive roster of speakers including Stuart Jolly (Americans for Prosperity), Cheryl Williams (OK Republican party), state reps Mike Reynolds and Lewis Moore, future Republican Congressional candidate R. J. Harris, and former state rep. Kevin Calvey. Local news media including KWTV 9 brought video crews to cover the event, so there should be a featured story on the NewsOK.com website later this evening. (UPDATE: Here's the News9 Link.)
Nationwide, there are about 40 "Tea Parties" scheduled for today and tomorrow. Michelle Malkin and Instapundit are rounding up photos and details from today's protests. Gateway Pundit has more roundups as well. And if you have a Facebook account, you can view the OKC Tea Party event page here.
Here's a Facebook note from Diane Webb, another one of the group's organizers:
Here's a funny for those of you who weren't able to make it, or who arrived after I had stuck my foot in my mouth.
I was handing out the Talking Points to everyone, and at one point I stopped and raised them in the air and shouted, "Who needs a handout?" Of course I meant, who wants a copy of this document?
But NOooooooo...this crowd was much sharper than I can ever hope to be, and they immediately started laughing at me and saying NO, they don't need a handout, because they work for their money and make responsible choices, etc. Everyone was rolling!!!
Needless to say, from then on I gave out "fliers," not "handouts!"
You guys definitely have a clever and fun sense of humor.
More photos after the jump ...