Seven long years: The spark that ignited a tea party inferno

By Tom Tillison

Lest we forget…

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since CNBC’s Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and called for a tea party.

The “rant heard ’round the world” on February 19, 2009, launched the tea party and while this unprecedented movement lost its way long ago amid the din of ferocious opposition and self-ambition, it is still shaping politics today.

“The government is promoting bad behavior!” Santelli screamed. “How is this, president and new administration, why didn’t you put up a website to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages; or, would we like to at least buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give ’em to people that might have a chance to actually prosper down the road and reward people that could carry the water instead of drink the water.”

“…We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July.”

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