The Tea Party Express made stops in Grand Junction and then at the State Capitol building in Denver yesterday, bringing a message of discontent with the direction of the nation under the leadership of Democrats, most of all President Barack Obama. The cross-country tour of dozens of rallies in dozens of states will end in Washington, D.C., on April 15—tax day. Along the way, supporters wave signs with slogans such as “smaller government!” (via 9News). An estimated 1,000 people gathered at the Capitol, including 55-year-old Brad Hams of Lakewood.

“I’m here because I’m disgusted with the direction this country is going in,” he told The Denver Post.

It was a common rejoinder through the crowd, along with scorn for Obama’s health-care-reform legislation.

Just blocks away, at the Mercury Cafe, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat, held a gathering with labor organizations and health-care groups to celebrate the health bill.

Denver’s Toby Serrano talked about his daughter, who was born with a birth defect that was discovered when she was three. She had many surgeries, but when Serrano lost his job, he lost his health insurance.

“Because health insurance passed,” he said, “she will never have to go without health insurance again.”

But the health bill is a bad thing, insists President George W. Bush’s former go-to man, Karl Rove, who issued a small manifesto of sorts for tea partiers.

“To maintain their influence,” he writes in The Wall Street Journal, “tea partiers will have to maintain their current energy and concern over health care and federal spending. I suggest that to do that tea partiers design a citizen’s pledge and then ask friends and neighbors to sign it with them.”