A "suspicious package" thrown over the fence into the White House's North Lawn today was a box of tea bags, the Secret Service reports, part of a national movement to protest President Obama's tax plans. Though the tea parties—meant to emulate the Boston Tea Party and sparked by CNBC host Rick Santelli's February call for tea-themed protest—have been hotly anticipated and attracted the enthusiasm of many on the right, turn out has been rather light: About 1,000 people showed up in Washington DC and 100 gathered on Staten Island. Some 300 protests have been scheduled in 50 states, including restaging of the original Boston Tea Party in Boston Harbor. But is this grassroots populism, or do the tea partiers' commands come from the top? Democrats argue that, not only do most of these protesters stand to receive tax cuts from President Obama, but their movement is being organized by traditional Republican leaders.
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