A Glenn Beck Fan’s Guide to Washington, D.C.
The District is bracing for yet another gathering of Tea Party activists, seemingly furious about the very existence of the federal government and complaining about "taxation without representation." (Though, honestly, we in D.C. know from taxation without representation, and none of these grouches from states with two senators and voting House members really impress City Paper much for disenfranchisement.) On Saturday, Glenn Beck will do his best Martin Luther King, Jr., impression, addressing a rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of King's 1963 March on Washington. Beck has a dream, too, you know. And it doesn't necessarily involve a Christmas sweater.
But Washingtonians aren't the only ones preparing for the invasion: The Tea Partiers are girding their loins for their imminent arrival in the District. A visitor's guide posted on a Maine Tea Party group's website has gotten some attention for advising the anti-government activists avoid Metro's Green and Yellow lines—a warning that's "even more important at night"—and stick to certain areas of the city for safety reasons if on foot, in a cab or a bus:
Bethesda, Arlington (preferably north Arlington), Crystal City, Falls Church, Annandale, or Alexandria, or in DC only in northwest DC west (i.e. larger street numbers) of 14th or 16th streets, or if on Capitol Hill only in SE Capitol Hill (zip 20003) between 1st and 8th Streets, not farther out than 8th (e.g. 9th, 10th etc). (Or stay on the Mall and at the various monuments.)
It seems unlikely many Tea Party activists will take this advice completely literally; a lot of them have been showing up here pretty often since President Obama took office, anyway, to scream about how unfair it is that the government will soon be helping people without health insurance get coverage, among other perfidies, so they may have learned their way around town by now.
Which is a good thing—because this visitor's guide would put quite a few sights off-limits. Among them:
- The National Archives, where—thanks, no doubt, to a socialist plot—the beloved Constitution now resides, best reachable by public transit via the Green or Yellow line;
- Ur-Republican Abraham Lincoln's cottage on the grounds of the Old Soldier's Home, located dangerously northeast of downtown, in Petworth along North Capitol Street;
- The Washington Times (if it's still publishing by the weekend), whose op/ed page unflaggingly supports Tea Party goals from its home off New York Avenue in Northeast;
- Baseball at Nationals Park, on the Green line—fortunately, both "mom" and "apple pie" stick to safer transit options;
- Target, in Columbia Heights, which faces a MoveOn.org-organized boycott over its political contributions to a business group that's given money to opponents of gay marriage in Minnesota;
- The street named after Tea Party heroine Sarah Palin's turf, Alaska Avenue NW, which runs northeast from 16th Street NW to Georgia Avenue NW.
Where else might Tea Party types want to go, or not go, this weekend? Leave your suggestions in the comments. And if you spot a Beck acolyte on any Metro line this weekend, remember—their farecard only covers 66 percent of the cost of their ride. The rest? Paid for by the government!
Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr/Creative Commons attribution license