I recently heard a story on NPR where Kate Zernike traced the origins of the Tea Party movement to a specific moment: a protest at Westlake Plaza in February, 2009. About 200 people showed up.

Our studio overlooks Westlake Plaza and the building entrance makes it impossible to miss rallies, and they aren’t uncommon. But I remember this one: it was lunch on Presidents’ Day and I was a bit annoyed at so many signs with anti-Obama messages that didn’t really pick an issue. It seemed to me a pointless, angry reaction the the jubilance of the election. The crowd was also more…rural than most. There were overalls.

But I found my way around on my way to the market for food and only rolled my eyes. In hindsight, I feel like I should have done something to stop them. I was at the genesis of an epidemic and failed to notice.

I posted this in November 2010 during week 1914.

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