Thursday, April 16, 2009


These teabaggers! They're everywhere! or so it was yesterday, when they all came together for a local and -so we are told - grassroots demonstration. Well, before y'all think that was some kind of popular miracle, that ordinary folks all came together in one big ole popular protest, y'all might want to take a look at this interesting article:

Miss Vero was very fortunate this week to get a visit from our old friend "The Tallahassee Tipster", who was also kind enough to attend the local goins on and put together a little article for the Beach House.

Hi there, Miss Vero!

Glad I was able to pay a visit to the place they were smart enough to name after you. I'd heard there was a rally brewing, literally, in your little burg. Sure enough, politics and tea raised a crowd. Or rather, the GOP rallied the troops under the star-spangled banner "Stop government spending!" That'll get you a cheer. I mean, who's for spending by the government? Oh, all those pikers on Social Security. Them.
Still, the patriots rallied, and I took lunch hour to drift among the righteous. Here's my take of-

The Indian River Tea Party, April 15, 2009

Indian River County, Florida, is composed of two majorities – retirees and republicans. Both were in heavy attendance today at what turned out to be more a patriotic rally than political statement. It began with “God Bless America,” the Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem. This followed by a salute to veterans. Can you say Apple Pie?

“Capitalism – Yes! Socialism – No!”

Yeah, baby!

The event – attended by about 600 people – was "not related to any particular political party." The only speakers, however, were GOP, the keynote speaker was Bill Posey [ask Stephen Colbert about him]. A real “Boston Tea Party” should have been about that ole taxation without representation, but Posey’s well-guarded presence was welcomed by most. That one sign “Term limits – Change You Can Believe In!” was not visible while he spoke.

Speeches were long on "Take control of the government!" and short on specifics until the end.

Some sign makers, however, hadn't gotten the memo about "non-partisan."

“Pelosi is a Disgrace!”

“It’s all Barney’s Fault!”

"Impeach Obama!"

Local builder Toby Hill said his wife made him do it. Paul Tanner [resident of Pointe West and President of Sonshine Audio-Video of Arkansas] said they were new to the political rallying experience. [Both, however, are not new to politics and campaigns.] They spoke of their families [Tanner has 4 kids, he was proud to note] and their ties with the community, then elicited cheers about stopping government waste and deficit spending. “As debt increases,” said Tanner, “ we work harder and longer to feed a government who spends without restraint!” He rallied the crowd with a chant of “No more!” I missed the "Down with Social Security! or "Ban Medicare!" hoopla.

Wandering through the crowd, desperately dodging tea-bags, several religious groups were handing out literature – I liked the million-dollar “bill” which asked "the million dollar question," will you go to heaven or hell when you die? The criteria -- have you ever told a lie? Have you ever looked with lust? Wow, no Catholics here! They didn't mention tea-bagging. Is that a sin?? My guess is yes, but I'm no expert. Likely few at the rally would know. Send them to gawker, Miss V.

One woman was doing a crowd estimate. She put her numbers at 3 to 4,000. She may have been new to the task.

The Democrats' signs? “Health care and Education ARE Economic Issues!” and “Tea Party? Wake up and smell the Coffee!”

John Moore, a local tax attorney, made fun of the people who showed up in the Target parking lot after Hurricane Wilma [which he said "only grazed Indian River County"] looking for free ice and MREs. The masses jeered. Just more socialists on the government take!

Posey’s speech condemned the administration, and not much else. The crowd started to drift away while he gave statistics, so the organizers took the microphone back. The final rallying cry was to find “the next Jefferson,” and a plea went out for people to run for office, people like the wonderful Mr. Posey. In the end, the bags were steeping mostly republican tea.

Some of our favorite signs? "Now Deal with the Pirates in DC!!" That was seen at several rallies. "Throw Them ALL Out!" As a matter of fact, lots of the signs seemed to have been repeated all over the country. I guess the many [Many!] conservative lobbyist groups got the marketing sent out early. Not exactly grass roots, but hey, it looked good if you didn't compare rallies.

Well, back to our little Capitol, where your taxes are spent with abandon -- by the people YOU elected!
Your friend and a proud member of the Cocktail Party,
Tallahassee Tipster!

A very sincere Thank You, for a fabulous guest post!



Jeremy W. said...

I'm really disappointed that the tea party looked like a GOP thing. I really believed in the single, cross party, principle of protesting massive government spending.

I'm not happy with the Bush administration and how it handled our economy. I'm also not happy with the Obama administration and how it is handling the economy. So I thought these tea parties were people like me-- unhappy with both Dems and Reps, and united on the single issue of spending.

I certainly don't mind paying taxes. In fact, I don't mind paying higher taxes. Especially if I had confidence that the Federal Gov't was going to use it truly for the greater good, and not political favors.

The problem is I don't have that confidence.

I hear someone screaming, "So change it with your vote!" Well, I would, but how can I be confident my vote makes a difference when in the last several years, neither Dems nor Reps have done a good job with economic policy.

I'm very frustrated with what Crist is doing with the state budget, he's Republican right? I'm unhappy with Obama's ecomonic policy too, he's Democrat, right?

In the days before April 15th, I really hoped that the tea parties would cause politicians to realize that people want more say in how and how much the government spends our tax money. That maybe some politicians would change, or new ones emerge, with platforms that I would feel confident voting for. Maybe that some politicians would really stick to the principles that caused people to vote for them in the first place.

I think, and I hope, that maybe, originally, some people felt like me and so started the tea bagging. Remember, the Boston Tea Party was NOT a protest against paying taxes, it was against paying taxes to a government in which you don't have any voice. I don't agree with the destruction of property that occurred in 1773, but I agree with the spirit of that protest. I had hoped the Tea Bagging would have the same principle (sans property destruction), but it appears to have been drowned in the mud of everything else people are passionate about.

I want to feel like I can make a difference with my vote, and right now I don't. I've been let down by both parties.

I didn't attend yesterday's tea party, I wanted to, but I had meetings at work and could not break away. I wish I had, because I'd like to know the truth, was it really a GOP rally? Or was it truly people with beliefs like me and truly cross party. Yes I know Bill Posey was there and spoke, but did he stick to the principle of the Tea Party? Or did he let GOP cruft creep in and taint the whole thing?

Can we ever have a truly non-polarized, non-violent, pro-government grassroots movement about being heard? Yesterday this was my dream, today it seems that it's just a fantasy.

Charlie Wilson said...

You did not go to the same Tea Party I went to. These were people with heartfelt concerns and beliefs. Maybe we need to have a little more of that open mindedness we hear so much talk about.

LDouglas said...

Thanks Tallahassee Tipster. It was nice to read a different perspective and one that I'm guessing is female. :-)

To comment on Jeremy's post at the same time, I think the tea party meant different things to different people. That's fine as far as I'm concerned. It's a step to finding common ground even though we may still be on opposite sides of a line drawn in that ground. I hope it gets people that wouldn't have acted on their own to speak up more often. I also hope it eases up some of the frustration people feel because they don't feel like they're being heard or part of the conversation.

As far as it changing things now? I'm doubtful or maybe some but so miniscule as to be barely visible.

But if it has any effect at all, my hope is it'll be a wake up call to politicians. See what the internet (with a few talking heads) can do? We can mobilize whenever we really want to.

Today it may be an issue (excessive spending). Tomorrow it may the politician's themselves. When that happens, then you'll see change.

BlessUrHeart said...

I agree with you, Jeremy, the spending thing concerns everyone. But I was there, too, and really had hoped it would be the non-partisan rally. It wasn't. Although I think many who came wanted it to be, and were sincere in their concerns, the organizers gave not one word against any republicans but ran down the new administration plenty. They certainly did not welcome the democrats who were there, nor did they reach out to them to make it "non-partisan." That would have been "open-minded," non?

It would also have been easy to ask people not to display the anti-Dem signs, but they were abundant. to John Moore's credit he at least spoke about how the deficit really hit the fan in 2005, but he sure didn't mention whose fault THAT was. ;-)

We do have to pay taxes, and we have representatives who make those decisions about how they are spent. Why this rally didn't happen while Bush was running up such big bills on the war and spending TARP money, I can only guess.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing was hijacked by the Fox Klan.
Obama has been in office for a whole what? 60 days....and he is attempting to remedy the looting of America by the Republican gangsters, led by Reagan. We have become a Banana Republic, because of the very people who were happily paying less then their fair share of the bill, racked up by the leadership of the Republican party and the willful ignorance of their counterparts in the Democratic party.
We need to have a real tea party with a real political force, could it be, dare I say, real patriots, who care about the future of America?
This was not anything to be proud of and certainly had nothing to do with the ideals and efforts of the the original patriots.
I am ashamed of how we have allowed this hijacking of our heritage, and am hopeful that we can look at what real patriotism means. Not some bastard version.

BlessUrHeart said...

Here's a great piece, btw, that points out the same missing info that many need to hear:

Agree, anonymous, that the looting started well before this administration stepped up. The GOP is good at spin, that it keeps proving over and over.