As I walked among the crowd of 2,500 or so that had gathered last night at the U.S. Custom House on East Bay, I kept asking myself two questions.

One, is that the smell of booze all around me or is it cheap perfume? My first thought was that it was booze. After all, the Custom House is right across the street from several of the peninsula’s most happening bars. For some reason it just didn’t seem right. I mean, I would show up at a political rally a few pints into a good a beer run, but this crew?

They all looked so straight-laced and suburby, like the monthly neighborhood watch meeting in Pleasant Oaks. You know the Mt. Pleasant development I’m talking about. The one where Bob and Carol Taylor lives, Kaitlyn Taylor’s parents. She so cute. You should ask her out. Remember we went there for that Super Bowl party; it’s a two-story house on the corner of Spanish Moss Way and Palmetto Drive, the one with the really pretty yard. Bob’s won yard of the month three times last year. Well, he had his car broken into and someone stole his GPS. Nowhere is safe anymore. When I grew up we never used to lock our front doors. I hear his daughter may have a pill problem. Last week, they had an intervention, and it didn’t go so well. You don’t think she…? And after they fired their maid too. Oh well. She was probably here illegally.

On second thought, maybe it was the booze. You can’t live in Sod and Automatic Sprinkler System Hell and perserve your sanity without hitting the bottle. You’d simply go mad if you didn’t imbibe every day.

The other question that bothered me as I passed by posters reading “Atlas Will Shrug,” “A President Is Not A King,” and “My Piggy Bank Isn’t Your Pork Barrel,” exactly who are these guys so pissed off at.

President Obama, who pushed the stimulus package?

President Bush, the guy who pushed through the bank bailout?

The bankers and investors who played roulette with money they didn’t have?

Their next-door neighbors who bought houses they couldn’t afford and who racked up entirely too much credit card debt buying big screen TVs and gas guzzling SUVs and every single item in the Disney Princesses catalog for their very own little pink-obsessed, portly preschool princesses?

Bill Clinton and Saddam Hussein?

And then the answer occurred to me. Everyone here was mad at Jim DeMint. Which was really frikkin’ odd since the organizers had invited him to this damn thing.

But then DeMint confirmed it himself during his speech. Not once, but twice. Maybe even three times.

While he was standing before all the Tea Baggers, DeMint had this to say:

“The problem is that you got 535 Congressmen and Senators who every couple of years take an oath to the Constitution, which is specified as a representative form of government, and they walk away from that ceremony, and they forget the Constitution. And they forget all their good intentions and they use your money to do every good deed that they can possibly imagine whether it’s their earmarks or their special projects or their special favors.”

Later, DeMint told the crowd, “Let’s don’t leave it in the hands of politicians. Let’s change things by starting and continuing what we are doing here today. We’re going to take back our country.”

As he was leaving the event, DeMint spoke to reporters, and he had this to say, “I go to Washington and get drained every week because everyone is just trying to spend as much money as they can to buy votes.”

Everyone, Jim. But you are one of those guys in Washington. You are one of those 535 Congressman and Senators, who you say swear on the Bible at the start of their terms that they will uphold the Constitution and then later say, “F.U. Constitution. I’m going to earmark whatever I want.” You are a politician. Wow, man. That’s freaking noble of you. To stand in front of an angry crowd and say, “It’s my fault. I screwed up.”

Wait. I think I’m wrong. On second thought, Jim, I’m guessing you’re into some kinky shit. I’m talking about some gimped-up good times in Miss Patricia Pain’s dungeon. Which is why I’m thinking you probably know a thing or two about safe words, that thing you’ll tell the dom whenever you’ve had enough and you want them to put down the cat o’ nine tails.

But this time, you’ve encouraged your partners to start the beatings without establishing any ground rules. When it comes to safe words, I recommend “strawberry.” Don’t use “socialism,” that’ll only get them more riled up.

It’s one thing for you to take the blame for the problems facing America, which Gov. Mark Sanford says, is at a “tipping point,” a place which, I imagine overlooks a long sad fall into the abyss of, hmm, a European-style socialized democracy. But if you want to invite the rabble to “take back our country” from those bastards who farked it all up, you need to consult with the other 534 people in Congress before kick-starting a revolution. It’s just polite.

And before you say stuff like about this great nation of ours, “We’re to the left of Europe right now … We couldn’t even get into the European Union,” like you did to reporters behind the Custom House, think about your co-workers in D.C., the men and women who you share an office with. I’m sure many of them don’t feel the same way you do.

And I’ve got the sneakiest of suspicions that some of them might have a paddle or something even worse in their desk drawers. Thwack.


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