Monday, July 6, 2009

Shurtleff's Tea Baggers vs. Clarity, Focus, Dignity and A Message

I love populism. Citizen activism is the most inspiring thing a political junkie can ever see or be a part of. On the flip-side, unhinged idiocy, backed by confused anger, and politicians eager to exploit it (Yes, you, Mark) is simply comedic. From the July 4th "tea parties": Beware the Seat Belt Laws!

In Bemidji, Minnesota, a headline speaker for their "Freedom Over Socialism" rally was state Rep. Mary Seifert, one of the leading Republican candidates for Governor, who warned of government taking away everyone's personal freedom: "Now suddenly we tell you that you have to wear your seat belts or someone is gong to come racing down the road and fine you." Another speaker, former state legislative candidate John Carlson, spoke favorably of the Articles of Confederation.

The tea party in Boiling Springs, South Carolina, featured a colorful cast of characters. The headline speaker was Alan Keyes, who has been a leading name of the "Birther" movement. Lead organizer Michael Brady came dressed up as Thomas Paine -- who in real life was a left-winger in favor of progressive taxation and opposed to traditional religion. One attendee took out a flyer that said, "Zelaya today, Obama tomorrow," but said he was advocating impeachment of Obama after he was asked directly whether he was in favor of a coup.

Proving once again that it's not enough to meet in angry mobs. You actually have to be saying something. Preferably something rational.

And when Sen. John Cornyn and Gov. Rick "Let's Secede!" Perry are booed for not being Wingnutty enough... well, your movement's future is not very bright (pun intended).

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