This Independence Day weekend marked the second incarnation of the fabled Tea Party movement, protesting the government's growing involvement in economic matters. And, just like the first go-around, the July 4 protests saw an elected Republican official, undoubtedly hoping to harness some of that the popular unrest, taking the stage to a chorus of boos.
This time the recipient of the unforgiving welcome was Sen. John Cornyn. The crowd yelled at Cornyn, called him a traitor and shouted that he was "the problem" when he took the stage in Austin.
Cornyn was not the first to face such a reception. South Carolina Rep. Gresham Barrett also was booed mercilessly for his support of the bank bailout during the initial Tea Party protests in April.
For Cornyn, the offense seemed to be more than his support for the initial Wall Street bailout, but also his failure to cast a vote on the economic stimulus package. Though, to be fair, it appears as if the crowd pretty much despised any figure from elected office. Here is how the AP described the scene:
Republican Gov. Rick Perry told the Austin crowd that Washington needed to hear them "loud and clear" on a message of cutting spending and taxation and shrinking the government.
Perry also drew some boos on his support of toll roads to alleviate traffic congestion.
Many in the crowd of hundreds in Austin wore stickers that read, "I resist Socialism."
In Lufkin, organizers urged the crowd to call President Barack Obama and tell him "we are not happy, and we are working to make Texas free from his legislation."
Members of the crowd booed as the names of Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were read.
"I believe that President Obama was elected because we failed to lead," Ted Cruz, former solicitor general of Texas, told the Lufkin crowd. "But I also believe that his greatest legacy as president will be that he inspired a new generation of conservatives to rise up and defend our liberty."
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