The first was a gathering of a few thousand Tea Partyers opposed to healthcare reform. Overwhelmingly white and middle-aged, some shouted racial epithets and anti-gay chants at members of Congress forced to pass through them. For those of us who hoped the days of openly racist politics were behind us, it was a sad demonstration that they are not.
It was interesting to note that a few House Republicans stood on a balcony during the Tea Party demonstration, egging on the protesters, holding up signs saying "Kill the Bill." Other Republicans sought to distance themselves from the group.