Harnessing Anti-Obama Energy Tough for GOP

Protesters, some with extreme messages, not necessarily leaning Republican
By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2009 4:33 PM CDT
Protestors march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 12,2009, during a rally against the president's health care plan.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Thousands of angry conservatives turned out for protests in Washington and other cities yesterday, but their rage may prove difficult for Republicans to harness, Kenneth P. Vogel and Alex Isenstadt write on Politico. Many protesters not only opposed Democratic policies, but shouted extremist rhetoric and criticized high GOP spending over the past 8 years—sentiments that may divide rather than help the Grand Old Party.

The majority of demonstrators did rage about Obama administration policies like bank and auto bailouts and health care reform—but how to turn that energy into Republican votes? It's rally organizer FreedomWorks, which corrals conservative voters with text messages, that holds the power now, one analyst says: "Really the tea party is in the position to dictate terms to the Republican Party."