The Tax Day Tea Party was the hot topic at today's White House press briefing, where Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fielded 5 questions on the protest that took place just across the street, and which resulted in a lockdown of the north end of the White House and Lafayette Park when a protester threw a box of tea bags over the fence.
Gibbs' answers pretty much stressed the line that he began yesterday, pointing out that the President's tax plan benefits the overwhelming majority of the people in that park. Generating sympathy for smokers is about as easy as generating it for billionaires, and Gibbs handled the question well.
The natural question, then, is this: If all of those people in that park are better off under President Obama's plan, what are they all doing there?
I don't think it's just that the "Tea Baggers" aren't getting the message, I think they and the White House aren't getting each others' messages. The President may not do what they demand, but it is important that they be listened to. People don't bring their kids out in the rain for hours for no reason.
I think Gibbs hits the nail on the head when he identifies frustration, but I don't know that the White House is going about dealing with it correctly, or even that it can be dealt with.
In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.