I missed a recent Tea Party bash in Mill Valley a few weeks ago, and was sorry I did. Does tea actually get served at these things? Or is there some dark ritual that involves incantations and organic Whole Foods free range vegetable abuse?
Actually, I'm sure they're just like any political/social meetings, only without Democrats.
A lot of San Franciscans seem horrified at the Tea Party phenomenon. It's easy and often useful to stereotype people, but rarely very interesting. I'm more interested in the people behind the provocation of conservative thinking right here in the heartland of Nancy Pelosi.
So I invited Bridget Melson, founder of the Pleasanton Tea Party, and Sally Zelikovsky, organizer for the Bay Area Patriots and a Marinite, to come into a largely hostile downtown San Francisco for a friendly chat.
They'd never met, only emailed. Bridget is a family therapist and devout Christian. Sally is Jewish, formerly a Democrat, and - she said off camera - pro-choice. Already they're human, three-dimensional packages.
Here's a few minutes of our conversation.