Protesters Steep in Chicago

"It's hard to talk when you're teabagging."

So said CNN's Anderson Cooper Tuesday evening in response to a claim made by that network's Senior Political Analyst, David Gergen, that the Republican Party hasn't found its voice in terms of a viable economic policy alternative.  [WATCH]

The GOP has rallied around the grassroots tea parties that have sprung up from sea to shining sea.  The rallies, modeled after the Boston Tea Party of Dec. 13, 1773, are conservatives' (some are calling them "teabaggers") response to the policies of the Democrats in Washington.

"After spending weeks mailing tea bags to members of Congress, conservative activists ... plan to hold tea parties to proverbially, "teabag" the White House," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow quipped on her show last week.  [WATCH]

In embracing the "tea bag" term, Republican leadership only lends more weight to suggestions by critics that they are woefully out-of-touch. But tell that to the party chairman who awkwardly uses slang to show how "down" the GOP is, we pointed out last week.

Steep in Chicago

In Springfield, nearly 400 protesters gathered outside the Illinois State Capitol demanding government change the way it spends their money.

Protesters waved picket signs saying they were "tea'd off" and liberty was "all the stimulus we need." Some carried large yellow flags saying "Unite or Die," made famous in the 1700's before the American Revolution.

In Chicago, hundreds (thousands?) gathered downtown, chanting "USA! USA! USA!" as speakers talked about high taxes and government bailouts.

And in Naperville, some 500 people gathered outside the Naperville Municipal Center, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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