RUTLAND - With nearly 46 percent of Americans voting for moderate Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential election, there was bound to be a vocal faction of disgruntled voters following the election of Barack Obama - just as there were disgruntled voters after the first election of George W. Bush in 2000. And, according to news accounts, even some pro-Obama voters are expressing doubts about the government's course of action in attempting to reverse the economic downturn.
So, it didn't take long for unhappy 2008 voters to declare the Obama honeymoon null and void - and some have begun an organized protest against what they see as an expanding, "socialistic" government that is raising middle-class taxes to unprecedented levels, "seizing" control of segments of the private sector, bailing out "deadbeat" mortgage holders and propping-up mismanaged businesses.
Taking an eerie nod from the fictional T.V. commentator character Howard Beal, played by the late actor Peter Finch in the classic 1976 Academy Award-winning Paddy Chayefsky film "Network", thousands of voters and taxpayers nationwide are "mad as hell"- and they're not going to take it any more.
Since February the tea party movement, started by real-life T.V. commentator Rick Santelli of the CNBC Business network, has taken off. Santelli-inspired protests have occurred in more than a dozen large cities across the nation.
Santelli criticized the government's effort to refinance mortgages as "promoting bad behavior;" he called for a Chicago Tea Party during a Feb. 23 broadcast. Santelli's tea party idea makes a direct link to the revolutionary Boston Tea Party of 1773.
The tea parties of February and March haven't received much attention in the news media. Despite the cold shoulder by most mainstream reporters, the conservative anti-tax, anti-big government spending movement appears to be picking up momentum, even in liberal Vermont.