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Senator echoes tea party rally cry

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a staunch opponent of the federal government’s increase in size and spending legislated by President Obama’s stimulus package, has issued a call for Americans to stand up – literally – and take back their freedom.

“I would think it’s time to start thinking about peaceful demonstrations,” DeMint said in an interview with Georgia’s Augusta Chronicle. “The power of the people is there. Freedom is in the people’s hands right now, and it’s about to slip through.”

DeMint lobbied his fellow Senators to resist the $787 billion stimulus package’s new federal regulations in the areas of education, medicine, welfare spending and other arenas – all to no avail, as three of his fellow Republicans joined all the Democrats in the Senate to approve the massive spending bill by a vote of 60-38.

Disappointed by the outcome on Capitol Hill, DeMint is now calling on the common people to resist government actions he sees overflowing constitutional bounds.

“Really, I think the hope right now is not in Congress to make the right decision, because they’re not,” DeMint says. “It’s just whether or not the American people are going to stand up and say enough is enough.”

DeMint told the Chronicle despite the economic times that are pressing people into advocating the massive federal expansion, he still sees those that value their freedom over the government’s handout, a group of people he called a “remnant.”

“That’s all it is,” he concludes. “But that’s all it takes. … Freedom is in our hands; it always has been. We’ve entrusted it to people in Washington, and increasingly they have picked our pockets and pulled power from us.”

“People don’t need to look to Washington,” DeMint continued. “It’s the people’s government. And the people are going to have to take it back. They can do it with their voices and with their votes – and they may have to do it with their legs. People are going to have to show that they’re not going to take it anymore.”

What exactly, does DeMint advocate the “remnant” do? Apparently, make a noise in the government’s seats of power.

“I think some of these folks,” DeMint said, “might think twice if they had several hundred people standing outside one of their state offices asking, ‘What in the world are you thinking?'”

DeMint’s comments, as it happens, come at a time when many Americans are responding to a remarkably similar rally cry: the call to a new American Tea Party.

CNBC’s Rick Santelli issuing the “tea party” call at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange

As WND reported, CNBC analyst Rick Santelli became a YouTube sensation after he spoke out against President Obama’s proposed $275 billion deficit-financed homeowner bailout plan and other massive spending measures with a call for a new “tea party” from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

In a nearly three-minute rant that drew approving hoots and comments from nearby traders, Santelli said the Obama administration’s promotion of bad behavior must be causing the Founding Fathers to roll over in their graves.

“We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July,” Santelli told CNBC “Squawk Box” co-anchor Joe Kernan. “All you capitalists who want to show up at Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing.”

And while White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded by downplaying Santini’s argument, saying that “the verdict is in on that” and offering to buy Santelli a cup of coffee, “decaf,” a wave of Americans have decided to take a page out of U.S. history’s account of the Boston Tea Party and take Sentelli up on his suggestion.

An group called Top Conservatives on Twitter, for example, is planning protest “tea parties” for this Friday in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Trenton, N.J., and Lansing, Mich.

According to WND columnist Andrea Shea King, TCOT is planning additional Friday rallies and demonstrations in Washington, D.C., Fayetteville, N.C., Pittsburgh, Penn., San Diego, Calif., Fort Worth, Texas, Tulsa, Okla., Oklahoma City, Orlando, Fla., Omaha, Neb., Atlanta, Ga., and elsewhere in Missouri, with more cities joining in every day.

Floridians Unite is looking down the road and planning an Orlando Tea Party for March 21.

“This will be a peaceful rally to unite our voices and express the love that we have for our great nation and the principles it was founded on,” states the Floridians Unite website. “We want to make our politicians hear loud and clear that we are tired of the bailouts, the wasteful Washington spending and the push towards the socialization of this country! We want less government! We want to decide where our hard-earned money goes instead of the elitist politicians in Washington taking it and using it to buy votes, doling it out to special interest groups and pork barrel projects! We want our constitutional rights preserved and protected, not trampled on!”

At the Pennsylvania Tea Party on April 11, organizers are inviting people to help them reenact the Boston Tea Party of Dec. 16, 1773, by bringing one tea bag each to Point State Park in Pittsburgh with plans of actually tossing the tea into the Alleghany, Monongahela and Ohio rivers.

“Somebody in our government needs to finally pay attention,” said Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck on his radio program last week. “It is what I’ve been talking about that was coming for a very long time, and that is disenfranchisement, which will turn into anger and then turn into God knows what.”

For Sen. Jim DeMint, he’s hoping it will turn into “peaceful demonstrations.”

Rick Santelli is hoping those demonstrations will result in real change.

During the televised segment where Santelli revived the term “tea party,” CNBC panelist Wilbur Ross, chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co., interjected, “Rick, I congratulate you on your new incarnation as a revolutionary leader.”

“Somebody needs one,” Santelli responded. “I’ll tell you what, if you read our Founding Fathers, people like Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson, what we’re doing in this country now is making them roll over in their graves.”