Members of the Tea Party movement scheduled a “die-in” at Senate offices on Tuesday, intended to dramatize the sorry fate of “patients waiting for treatment in government controlled medical facilities.”
The protests didn’t exactly come off as planned. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted that “for all of the photogenic promise of this event, it was actually sort of hard to find today.” Lawrence O’Donnell, substitute hosting on MSNBC’s Countdown, showed some clips and remarked, “I’m laughing at these people.
What it lacked in actual impact, the December 15 event may have made up for in nostalgia. In remarks to his followers before they invaded the halls of Congress, organizer Mark Meckle even managed to double the alleged number of attendees at last September’s Tea Party event between one sentence and the next, claiming first that “we put over a million people in DC on September 12″ and immediately afterwards that “roughly two million people came out.”
“That 9-12 march is getting bigger and bigger all the time,” Maddow commented with a chuckle. “Originally park police estimated the crowd in the tens of thousands. And then, according to Senator Jim DeMint, it was hundreds of thousands. Then the organizers of the event revised that up to 1.5 million people — which Fox News’s Glenn Beck promptly upped to 1.7 million people. Now, today, it finally hit two million people!”
“The further away we get from the 9-12 march, the bigger its legend grows,” Maddow concluded. “At some point, I will have been there, and you will have too. It will be like Woodstock.”
On Countdown,, O’Donnell asked Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, “Have they pushed their … image to the point that they are actually laughable?”
“These die-ins are pretty offense on multiple fronts,” Kofinis replied. “They don’t seem to care about fixing the problem. … Where they really have an impact, I think, is in … freezing a lot of these Republicans … from potentially working with Democrats. … They have, if you will, terrified the Republican Party into paralysis.”
This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Dec. 15, 2009.
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Dec. 15, 2009.