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Los Angeles Times- By Kathleen Hennessey and Ashley Powers

March 28, 2010

Reporting from Searchlight, Nev. – Gathered amid the dust and sagebrush of the Nevada desert, thousands of conservative “tea party” protesters responded Saturday to their critics with what might be called the young protest movement’s unofficial motto.

Don’t tread on me.

Dozens of yellow flags bearing that defiant message, along with the image of a coiled snake poised to strike, whipped in the wind above the crowds rallying in the tiny highway hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Along with repeating familiar tea party themes — government is too big, the healthcare overhaul is socialist — the protesters pointedly answered critics who say the group’s rhetoric has fueled violence and threats against Democratic lawmakers in an increasingly poisonous political climate after the passage of healthcare legislation.

“Don’t ever let anybody tell you to sit down and shut up, Americans!” said former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. A hearty crowd huddled in a dirt lot for the “Showdown in Searchlight” cheered.

The rally was originally intended to stir up opposition to Reid’s bid for reelection this fall.

But the parade of speakers seemed equally focused on defending the young protest movement from its detractors, an acknowledgment that any association with the vandalism, threats and slurs reported by Democrats could harm tea party aims and drive away allies.

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Screeching Dingbat Delights Group of Teabaggers

WONKETTE– 9:56 PM on Sat March 27 2010
By Ken Layne

Oh well, here she is, Miss Also America, proving once again why nobody would give her a job as a local-teevee-news announcer because GAH nails on chalkboard, etc. Your editor almost drove out to the southern Nevada mining town of Searchlight to witness this public-speaking abortion. But, honestly, being in the same town as Sarah Palin once was more than enough.

As Frank Rich writes in tomorrow’s NYT: “At least four of the House members hit with death threats or vandalism are among the 20 political targets Palin marks with rifle crosshairs on a map on her Facebook page.” So, the Wasilla Grifter is doing about as well with this as she did with winning the vice presidency, or sticking with her job as Alaska’s governor.

Let her pack up her bags of money and tacky leather dresses and go back to Alaska, forever. Fucking idiot crook. [Los Angeles Times]

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