Jenny Beth Martin, founder of Tea Party Patriots, got an early speaking slot on Saturday at the 2013 CPAC. Martin's not a particularly dynamic speaker in terms of oratorical skills -- she's single tone, nasal and stentorian -- but her fervor was enough to shake off whatever drowsiness remained in the morning's crowd.
What Martin offered was, essentially, an anti-Washington rant, with plenty of grievances to go around. "We've been mocked, marginalized and maligned by President Obama" Martin said, criticizing the Democrats' dismissiveness of the tea party. But she also lit into Sens. John McCain (Az.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) -- late of criticizing Sen. Rand Paul's (Ky.) filibuster -- as well. All, Martin said, were "contemptuous of our vision, and our vision is distinctly different."
That vision? Well, Saturday it relied heavily on imagery from "The Hunger Games." The wealthy ring counties of the D.C. metropolitan area were compared to the popular Y.A. novel's "The Capitol," and the future recipients of Obamacare were touted as the equivalent of that novel's "tributes."
Not everything in Washington is terrible, Martin said. She highlighted Paul and Texan Rep. Louis Gohmert as D.C. lawmakers who met her approval. Rep. Steve King (Iowa) also received praise for "challenging the Obama administration" on a regular basis. She led the crowd in lusty boos of Karl Rove, for his opposition to King's bid for the Iowa Senate.
But the salient point is that Martin is really upset with the establishment, and especially their stemware:
"Will you clink glasses with the popular elite?"
"Our will you fight for freedom?"
And so on.