With Glenn Beck's August 28 "Restoring Honor" rally just days away, the tea party rank and file need to be aware of places they should and should not venture out to in Washington. Thankfully, the Atlantic Wire has picked up on a guide written by Andrew Ian Dodge, the Maine coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. Apparently there are a lot of places his brethren need to avoid!
But first, the essentials. Dodge is aware that a true party member can't go to a rally without a good caffeine buzz on, and they've got to read some ranting blog posts while they're at it. But he warns readers that while most Starbucks locations have reliable Wi-Fi, Caribou Coffee should be avoided because it "restricts your access to 'adult' sites."
For those who come to D.C. for the celeb-watching, he recommends West End Bistro, where the lucky tea partier may see "Nancy Pelosi, Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell, Clint Eastwood, and other notables, good and evil."
He then lists some of his favorite dining spots. There's also a link to a Virginia economics professor's restaurant-review site. Surprisingly, Dodge decided to include the site even if the academic turned amateur food critic is only "Libertarianish."
But not all of D.C. is star-studded, delicious, and full of unrestricted Wi-Fi! In fact, Dodge claims that a large portion of the city is dangerous enough that one shouldn't "chance it" and stray from the "safe" area. (It's illustrated in the map above, which was put together by D.C. blogger Laura Olin.) Dodge even goes so far as to recommend staying off the Green and Yellow Metro lines entirely.
Adam Serwer at The American Prospect reads between the lines when looking at the guide's restrictive map, and says that it "basically goes out of its way to impose on Tea Party activists the necessity of not accidentally visiting any of D.C.'s mostly black neighborhoods." He goes on:
But generally speaking, I'd say a white person walking into a rough neighborhood is probably the safest person there. Most likely, someone's going to care if something happens to you.
Whether or not Serwer is correct, and whether Dodge's shortsightedness is racist or simply misinformed, there's no doubt that the tea-party member who precisely follows the guide will miss out on some of the best things Washington, D.C., has to offer. I mean, honestly — what's a trip to a Glenn Beck–led "Restoring Honor" rally without a trip to the world-famous Ben's Chili Bowl, which is located squarely in the "danger" zone? But, then again, maybe the attendees can't quite bring themselves to eat at a place where President Obama eats for free — no matter how good those half smokes are.
Tea Partier's Warning-Filled Guide to D.C. [Atlantic Wire]
The Tea Party Guide To Avoiding Black Neighborhoods. [American Prospect]