It was this...
...on Mercer Island this morning as the group Working Washington staged a roughly 200-person "soup line" protest in front of Republican Congressman Dave Reichert's office. The aim: Highlight Reichert's votes in favor of "$2.9 trillion in tax breaks for the rich" and "ZERO job creation bills."
Anne Martens, one of the protest organizers, said the Tea Partiers—separated from the Working Washington people by a tree-lined street and numerous police officers—had been "shouting really smart things, like 'Get a job!' Which is really funny."
Over at Dave Reichert's nearby district office, located above a bank, those attempting to visit were required to announce themselves to a security camera and voice box—neither of which were accepting visitors. "We're unable to comment at this time," a voice from within the voice box told me. The voice then referred me to Reichert's spokesman in D.C. and gave me a number to try. I tried the number. The spokesman was not available.
"We are going to keep doing this," Martens told me. "We are going to keep doing this until someone starts paying attention. Our only goal is to get people to focus on jobs and unemployment."
I walked over to the Tea Party side of things...
...and tried to speak to this woman, who had a sign affixed to her umbrella that read: "Wealth creation, not wealth redistribution."
She asked me where I was from. I said The Stranger. She said: "Oh, no, you're the one with that bad stuff on the back of that newspaper—about pornography?"
Dave Tegeler, a 66-year-old unemployed Tea Party member from Maple Valley, interrupted her.
"I don't care," Tegeler said, announcing that he would happily speak with The Stranger. "The Tea Party doesn't care about social issues."
Tegeler said he was out today "basically as a counterbalance to MoveOn," which he blamed for the soup line.
"Obama had a chance to recover the economy and instead he punted and went hard left," Tegeler told me.
His personal recipe for recovery: Cut government regulations and cut government spending. "Massively." (In that vein, he's actually upset with Reichert for supporting restrictions on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Cheaper gas by any means necessary, Tegeler told me.)
If Obama would just follow his plan, Tegeler said, he'd no longer be unemployed.
For further questions, he referred me to the back of his shirt: