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GOP watch: Tea'd off in DC

"Tea party protesters marked tax day Thursday with exhortations against 'gangster government' and appeals from Republicans seeking their grass-roots clout in November elections, a prospect both tempting and troubling to those in the loose movement," the AP writes of the Tea Party's rally in Washington yesterday. "Several thousand rallied in Washington's Freedom Plaza in the shadow of the Ronald Reagan office building, capping a national protest tour launched in the dust of Nevada and finishing in the capital that inspires tea party discontent like no other place. Allied activists demonstrated from Maine to Hawaii in hundreds of lively protests, all joined in disdain for government spending and -- on the April 15 federal tax filing deadline -- what they see as the Washington tax grab." 

"Thousands of conservative tea party protesters rallied at the Washington Monument on Thursday evening as a bevy of firebrand conservative orators railed against Obama administration policies and what they perceive to be excessive taxation and federal regulation," Roll Call reports. "The Tax Day Tea Party, sponsored by the conservative grass-roots group FreedomWorks, capped a full day of protests in the nation's capital and across the country. Several Republican Members of Congress took to the stage by the monument to whip up support for the GOP ahead of the November midterm elections. 'This is our moment,' Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said, throwing her hands in the air. 'Because one thing that we've learned in the last 15 months is that it's not going to get any better with these people.'" 

Lou Dobbs told a group of New York Tea Partiers: "You are scaring the hell out of them. You, my friends, are dangerous -- and I love that about you." 

Meanwhile, "House Democrats used Tax Day to push back against Republican charges that their policies will increase taxes on the middle class, joining a fight sure to last through November's elections," The Hill writes.

And President Barack Obama "struck a hyperpartisan note Thursday, telling Democrats that he was 'amused' by the Tax Day Tea Party rallies," The Hill writes. "Obama, addressing a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraiser in Miami, did little to endear himself to the Tea Party groups protesting around the country, saying 'they should be saying thank you' because of the tax cuts he has signed into law."

In Louisville, KY today, Sarah Palin speaks at the Women of Joy conference, a gathering of Christian women.