What We Saw at the 9/12 Tea Party Rally in DC


On September 12, 2010 in Washington, D.C.,  FreedomWorks sponsored its second annual 9/12 rally, based on the theme of "Remember in November." Among the speakers were FreedomWorks' Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe (go here for's interview with them about their best-selling Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto); former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (go here for an interview about his Our America initiative); "Tito the Builder," a Colombian immigrant and contractor who is an outspoken defender of free enterprise; Deneen Borelli of Project 21 and Tom Borelli of the Free Enterprise Project; and new media impresario Andrew Breitbart of Big Government.

This year's event drew a smaller but arguably more intense crowd than last year's demonstration. Attendees' attitudes toward President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress were sharply negative and sometimes strayed from the Tea Party's traditionally narrow focus on curbing federal spending to issues such as illegal immigration and race relations. Yet there was no mistaking the main thrust of the day's event, which was, as Matt Kibbe stressed, that "November 3 is even more important than November 2." As Andrew Breitbart put it, "The beauty of the Tea Party movement is watching it hold Republicans accountable…These people are not going to stop holding their government and elected officials accountable, especially those that claim to represent their values."

Approximately 5.30 minutes. Shot and edited by Dan Hayes and Jim Epstein. Interviews by Michael C. Moynihan and Nick Gillespie.

Watch's coverage of last year's 9/12 rally here and Glenn Beck's August 28, 2010 "Restoring Honor" rally here. Go to for downloadable versions of all our videos.

NEXT: "Let us not fail to recognize that this week we witnessed Christian extremists behaving in ways made infamous by a monster fascist."

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      1. Credit where credit is due.

        Weigel’s blog at Slate is well worth following despite whatever you might think of the douchebag.

        1. I tried, it didn’t work out.

    1. Moynihan must be purified of all Weigel remains before posting!

  1. This year’s event drew a smaller but arguably more intense crowd than last year’s demonstration.

    Like a jar of urine left in the sun: less volume, but more concentration.

    1. As long as it’s diabetic urine then we’re okay, cause that means stronger whiskey.

  2. Good job staying undercover, infiltrator in the tri corner hat. I guess you get what you pay for.

    You get to change one thing? Always pick the U.S. Tax Code. So much evil there. Wipe that fucker out.

    1. I’d have to go with the Social Security Act.

    2. End the Fed. If they can’t print money then they can’t run a welfare state, warfare state, or control state government (thus subverting federalism/nullification).

      1. Exactly!

    3. The FDA is always #1 on my hit list.

    4. Rather than changing a law, I would venture to change the way the Interstate Commercuse Clause has been interpreted by our benevolent overlords. Think of it more like AllBran cereal, keep things regular.

    5. I can only pick one thing? Its like being a fat kid in the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory.

      And then Obama sends out his oompa-loomaps to sing about how ending government entitlement programs and boondoggle bureaucracies is bad.

  3. “November 3 is even more important than November 2.”

    Sean Hannity’s been making a similar point lately on his radio show. It’s good to hear someone besides libertarians seem to be serious about shrinking government.

    1. I’ve got a problem with tea-partyers; do they want to shrink the government or expand the government when it promotes their view of morality?

      1. The latter

        1. Evidence?

          Not one tea party rally I have seen or heard of suggested expanding government into some sort of social morality enforcement machine.

    2. Keyword: “seem”.

  4. At least someone in that video realizes that Americans are getting butt-raped by the Two Party Corporatocracy. I predict it’s going to have to get even worse before it gets better, perhaps after people finally recognize that they aren’t getting a reach around for the umpteenth time in a row. I swear our collective assholes can really take a pounding!

    Oops. Let me zip up my fly. My apathy is showing…

  5. Well, at least there was progress. You didn’t piss off the big black dude with a towel by calling him African American. Who says you guys can’t don’t learn?

  6. There’s a tea party HQ a few hundred feet from my house. They are following me! *dons tinfoil hat*

  7. i like this video, and think it does a good job at representing the rally pretty objectively… but for one detail:

    i noticed that, after featuring the “black and white must unite” crowd – those gathered to demonstrate that the tea party is not “racist” – the ability to locate those of non-white decent diminishes drastically (i think i saw a black cop wandering in the background around 4:45). more importantly, everyone featured as speaking into the mic or holding a sign – that is, given a voice in the video – after the “black and white must unite” crowd was of european descent.

    are we to believe – as this video suggests in its coverage anyway – that those rally-participants of non-white decent were only there to discuss race?

    that seems kind of marginalizing to me… just as marginalizing and unfounded as the left’s claims that the tea party is “racist.”

    if you’re going to criticize the left for an unsubstantiated claim, don’t perpetuate that claim by limited coverage… unless, of course, the coverage was representative, which would undermine the claim that these sorts of protests and rallies aren’t racially segregated after all.

    1. i should add: this limitation of non-white coverage is with the exception of tito “the builder,” featured briefly as a speaker at the event.

      1. Why the hangup on race and ethnicity?

        Perhaps I should be asking Nick and the Swedeboy.

      2. So by your standard, the tea party should begin some sort of affirmative action program to get more people of color into the rally?

        People were at the tea party rally, not blacks, not whites, not hispanics. PEOPLE.

        It seems that all the hype about America being “post racial” is a bunch of crap. People who benefit from racial division have not gotten past race and for most part, those people are the ones who insist a person or movement is racist in an effor to marginalize it because they oppose their own political views.Most of those people are on the left, the same left that pretends to be the bastion of multicultural tolerance. Well that fucking turkey just wont fly.

    2. How did the video suggest that they were only there to discuss race?

      1. Because, you dope, in the video the guy says “We’re at war – It’s a class war in actuality…”

        Those are just code words for RAACISM!!!

        The codes can be downloaded at

        Besides, anything not on TV didn’t happen.

      2. i was referring to the way in which these protestors were represented in the video… not the reality of their reason for being at the rally. i have no doubt they were there to protest all the issues, but my question remains why did only give them a voice when it came to their thoughts on the myth of tea-party racism? why not also ask them their views on government spending or immigration? the video implicitly and unintentionally demonstrates what it sets out to disprove.

        1. You said it yourself. The fact that they were there suggests they support the broader tea party agenda. These people aren’t going to sierra club meetings and Greenpeace save the fucking whale sit ins to prove that those movements are racially diverse, they go to the tea party rally because they support it. Just because the video segment only covered race doesn’t mean that Reason.TV is trying to suggest that is the only reason they were there because the fact that they are there stands on its own. They also Showed Tito the builder talking about jobs and the free market, does this imply that Tito is only there to talk about jobs and doesn’t support the broader agenda?

  8. Our Debt Is More Than All the Money in the World…..oney-world

  9. I’d have to ask “Why don’t the blacks attend” There is an open invitation, the tent is large. Look up and watch “The Runaway Slave Movie” before you reply.

  10. Where’s Nick’s leather jacket …talk about racist.

  11. “The beauty of the Tea Party movement is watching it hold Republicans accountable…These people are not going to stop holding their government and elected officials accountable, especially those that claim to represent their values.”

    They had no problem for 7 of Bush’s 8 years – I fully expect them to be consumed by the machine or broken or marginalized sooner rather than later.

    1. We did have a problem with Bush, but we had a bigger problem with the Dems. Many of us disagreed with his immigration policies and his spending. The big difference was that there was never any doubt about W’s love for America and his devotion to the troops.

      1. Yeah, he loved the troops so much he sent ’em off to die in yet another dusty shit hole. It’s enough to make ya start drinkin’.

    2. I like how you assume that all tea partyers are Republicans. I am an INDEPENDENT and have been for 20 years. Given 2 choices for POTUS, I prefer Bush over Al Gore or John Kerry, but all three men are fucking morons, and to be clear, John McCain had even less to offer my libertarian sensibilities, because he had more in common with Obama than Bush did.

      We cannot allow this country to be forced to choose between just two options. We need more options or we will ALWAYS be fucked.

  12. Hmmm, the links at the bottom to last year’s 9/12 and Beck’s rally are broken. They return a 404 page.

    1. Yes, thank God. To continue to illuminate that Corporate Pig really shows where Reason has no reason.

      1. I bet you have no problem with liberal billionaire George Soros, though. Beck writes a book and donates all the proceeds to charity. Soros sells out his fellow Jews to the Nazis, purposely destroys the British pound, and bankrolls illegal donations to the Dems, and you probably think he’s just dandy. Give me a break.

        1. ++++++1

          Fucken right. When will liberal assholes realize this guy is a profiteerting pirate who destroys more lives than Wal-Mart in ONE fucking day.

  13. And once their side wins, they’ll transform back into the usual “dissent is treason” and “support our troops” idiot that they are.

    1. Dissent is a First Amendment right and what’s wrong with supporting our troops? They are the ones who have fought and died for your right to spout any idiocy you like.

      1. I would prefer support in the form of getting me out of these stupid wars.

    2. *idiots

  14. Change one thing, and all people can think of is the tax code, etc? Eliminate McCulloch v. Maryland – the original font of bureaucratic expansion.

  15. I’m only Canadian but I’d bring back ‘Rockford Files’ on prime time.

    Now that’s change.

  16. They had no problem for 7 of Bush’s 8 years

    Google “Porkbusters”, the proto-Tea Party group. I think you’ll find it goes back further than 2008.

    1. I think you’ll find that every time a Democrat is in the White House, a right-wing countermovement materializes out of thin air, helped along with corporate donations, a fawning right-wing media, and all the usual suspects. The Tea Party is the John Birch Society, period.

      1. Fine. I also happen to agree with them, regardless of whether or not your fantasy is even remotely near reality.

  17. “I’m not a racist but…”

    Always a slide downhill.

    1. ain’t it though?

    2. What did she say that was racist?

      Her statement is a defense against an over sensitivity to any conversation about race that does not outright embrace leftists concepts of race.

      All the woman is saying is that she is sick of hearing about how certain races are not able to make it in this country, I am sure there are black people who would repeat that sentiment. . . oh yeah, there were a bunch of them that said practically the same thing in the very next shot.

  18. thank you reason for presenting a fair and honest representation of this movement. I am more and more turning to you for news, and not just because i agree with LP ideas. Thanks

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  20. Isn’t Tito the Builder married to Jenna Jameson?

  21. As an outsider in the UK where we are slashing every area of spending apart from health I just wondered what the Tea Party is for? The left seem to want to spend the right want tax cuts and no reduction in defence spending. Is the Tea Party for REAL cuts? I mean REAL. That HAS to include Defence and Medicare. It just has to. Do they really stand for that? If they do, I can respect it. If they aren’t then they are no better than any politician.

    1. While many members of the tea party are mostly for cutting domestic spending, there is a good contingent that are also for reducing defense spending (myself included). The members who were on the right are moving more libertarian every day, but there are many libertarians in the movement. There is a good dialogue going on and old “issues” that would generally be met with cognitive dissonance, but that dissonance is being broken down more and more each day so things like war spending are being viewed through the same lens of liberty as domestic spending issues.

      1. Sorry, my sentences were all cut up. I’ll try to pay attention to what I am typing next time.

  22. Thousands of Tea Party activists from around the US gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin speak on the 37th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech.

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