(CNN) – Thousands of tea party activists gathered Wednesday outside the Capitol in loud protest of the Internal Revenue Service, seeking to keep the beleaguered agency's scandal afloat nearly six weeks after the news first broke.
A range of congressional representatives and popular conservative speakers took to the podium as they fired off zings and digs at the IRS and the Obama administration for close to four hours.
"Anybody want to fire some IRS agents? Why don't we start with the 16,000 IRS agents that are going to implement Obamacare?" Sen. Rand Paul charged at the beginning of his brief speech.
With the crowd straining their necks and smiling broadly as Paul took the stage, the Republican senator from Kentucky said he was "horrified that my government has gotten out of control."
IRS officials have repeatedly said that the scrutinizing of tea party groups was not done out of political bias.
But the activists gathered Wednesday were not so convinced.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gained big applause when he declared that the IRS needs to be abolished. "And I've got a second idea: We need to take every one of those IRS agents and put them on our southern border," he said, drawing laughs.
"Now that's mostly a joke," he continued. "But I got to admit that if you were coming over illegally and you crossed the river and saw an army of IRS agents, you'd turn around and go home."
Conservative personality Glenn Beck unleashed a stream of fiery rhetoric. At one point he used a harsh anecdote about how slave owners learned to maintain control over their captives by watching circus masters chain and abuse elephants.
"Frederick Douglass was lucky enough to grow up in a house where he was taught to read, and to write, and to think. He knew that God did not make men to be masters over other men," he said.
"It is time that Americans remind themselves of this truth again, and rise up against the intimidation before the handful of peanuts from our new political circus masters are considered kindness, instead of the symbol of evil cruelty which they are," he added.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, chairwoman of the House tea party caucus, stated it's been 100 years since the beginning of the U.S. tax code. Firing up the crowd, she asked, "Don't you think that a century of oppression is enough?"
The four-term congresswoman, who's not seeking re-election next year, described herself as an "insurgent" as she talked about her former job at the IRS as a tax lawyer.
"I believe if you understand the enemy from the inside out, that's the best way to defeat them!"
Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, came up with his own definition of the IRS.
"Somebody asked me recently, 'well what's the IRS mean?' I said, 'It's Really Sickening. That's what it means to me. It's Really Sickening'."
While organizers were promoting the rally as the tea party movement's biggest event since 2010, the turnout was smaller than expected. Many blamed the smaller audience on the fact it was happening midweek on a Wednesday.
"The tea party never went away," said Bob Mason, one of the attendees. "We just paid more attention at home."
Mason was dressed in colonial garb with a bright blue jacket and matching tri-corner hat. Most attendees though opted for the traditional yellow "Don't tread on me" t-shirt.
– CNN's Eric Marrapodi and Erin McPike contributed to this report.
The only poll that mattered was the one last November!
Keeping with Jeff Foxxworthy's them, you might be a tea partier if you:
Wrap yourself in the flag, while advocating armed resistance to the government or secession from the Union!
Find that rational thoughts and facts give you headaches!
Can never remember the difference between socialism and fascism!
Protest taxation without representation in front of Congressional building!
Think the answer to illegal immigration is to jail em all and let God sort it out!
Think Sean Hannity is going soft!
Think John Boehner has a really great tan!
Carry a handgun into church to listen to the sermon!
Think Fred Phelps is generally right in his ideas but just comes on a little strong!
You forgot this one: Thinks liberals are all haters, all while telling them how disloyal, stupid, ignorant they are and that they enjoy killing and eating babies.
Democrats only believe polls that are in their favor.
What tickles me the most about this is that several prominent representatives and senators were out there, while drawing their tax payer salaries for doing nothing, complaining about being taxed. What a hoot! These people can't be for real.
I find it UNETHICAL that Darrell Issa is wasting tax payer money going on this witch hunt and not providing the public the WHOLE TRUTH about what's in the transcripts. I think the House Committee on Ethics needs to investigate him!
California, we don't feel sorry for Republicans for being stupid, because Republicans like it that way.
The only loser is the one who looks to the govt for "jobs bills" rather than being responsible for themselves and making it happen all on their own.
So........was it a dream in the final poll that Obama won? lol
The Real Tom Paine –
You might me a liberal/communist if your all inclusive argument is telling someone they're a racist.
They also took on immigration.
I saw a little of what Bachman, Steve King, Louie Gohmert and Glenn Beck said, on the news.
They acted like a pack of rabid dogs, foaming and spewing as much hate as time allowed.
When Rubio was mentioned, the crowd booed.
Wow, these people are scarey!
You might me a liberal/communist if your all inclusive argument is telling someone "It's Bush's fault".
You might me a liberal/communist if you can't take responsibility for your own actions.
Those "irresponsible" voters living in red states living off the government teat!
Jeff Brown in Jersey
Why aren't these people working?
Because they are from Red states and thus on welfare, food stamps, medicare, and accepting hand-outs from their new benefactors (besides the government that is) the Koch brothers. That's why they can be bused into DC in the middle of the work week to protest against their sole source of income: the government and the soshualist programs that keep them glued to their mailbox every first of the month.
You can't make these idiots up.
Patriots my third foot.
You might me a liberal/communist if you believe everything is everyone else fault.
What is with Glenn Beck always alluding to slavery. The man is a buffoon. When are they going to get it through their thick skulls this had nothing to do with the President. The folks were really trying to do their jobs (unlike Congress) and they messed up – plain and simple. Nothing nefarious. I don't recall all this hoopla back when the IRS was quite specifically targeting progressive groups, e.g., the NAACP. Hypocrites!
People in this country are stupid. There just is no hope.
You might me a liberal/communist if you believe everyone else should pay your way in life.
You might me a liberal/communist if you believe in murdering babies.
You might me a liberal/communist if you think every illegal in the world should get amnesty.
Did Beck come with charts? Just goes to show that only in America that an uneducated drunk can make millions off of the stupidity of others. He and his cohorts, Sean and Boss Hogg, are laughing all the way to the bank! Rush could make even billions perhaps if he had a program on Donuts, Drugs and Divorce. That's the only subjects he knows anything about!
Sniffit: "Next, they completely ignore today's Pew poll results, despite citing Pew all the time, which show Obama's approval rating is remaining stable and which greatly call into question the CNN polling that showed a massive drop, which CNN was gloating over yesterday. Third time's the charm...what'll it be, CNN?"
Oh, but Sniffit. CNN isn't about to reference a poll that is not "in line with CNN polling suggesting ... blah, blah, blah"
And, in following this article: Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, came up with his own definition of the IRS"
Perhaps Mr. R-Ohio will be authoring bills which will stop the media feeding frenzy of inaccuracies by introducing legislation which will help control 501...c... tax exemption qualifications based on a bipartisan level of cooperation? The TeaParty is absolutely political (using this article as reference). ALL of "them".
Did they get to the protest via public transportation?
Tea partiers at a rally against the IRS? And these groups aren't politically motivated but expecting tax exempt status? lol
$70 Million in IRS bonuses.
Let's face it dems want free money all the time.