"I asked one woman whether she'd been part of "9/12," as tea partiers call the great taxpayer march on Washington, D.C., last September. No, she'd missed it, she said, and "felt really guilty" about doing so, but she and her husband had been on vacation.
"Where did you go?"
"We spent a week in Amalfi, then we toured Tuscany, then we spent a week in Rome."
Another woman, hearing my accent, told me about her and her partner's second home in Torquay, England, which they visited three times a year from their base in Atlanta, and about their thirty-five-foot powerboat, in which they'd crossed the Channel to Le Havre and cruised down the French canals to Marseilles.
Most of us were political novices. When we were asked how many attendees had never been involved in politics before joining the Tea Party movement, roughly four out of every five people raised their hands. On the outside balcony where the smokers gathered, I was joined at a table by an intense, wiry, close-cropped, redheaded woman from southern Virginia who dated her conversion to hearing Sarah Palin for the first time.
"She was me! She's so down-to-earth! If Sarah was sitting here with us now, she'd be just a normal person like you and me. You could say anything to her. She's not like a politician—she's real. And Sarah always keeps her word. If Sarah promises something, you know she'll do it. She's just am azing." NYRB
I believe I know that woman from southern Virginia. pl