Time to shout back at the tea party

April 21, 2010

I attended the tea party rally at the Towson Courthouse last Thursday. I was surprised to see so many mainstream Republicans in attendance giving speeches along with the rabble rousing, somewhat seditious, tea party folk. The hatred of President Obama was palpable. I stayed for the entire two hours, expressing my opinion with my placard and many shout-outs to the speakers at some of the outrageous stuff they were saying.

After a year of watching the rude (to say the least) tea party folk disrupt Democratic meetings across the U.S., I felt entitled to abandon my Southern gentleman upbringing and respond in kind. If Democrats stay quiet, the tea party folk assume they are being successful at intimidating them.

I think the country's economy is beginning to come out of the desperate situation it was in back in October, 2008. I believe the bank bailout that began under the Bush administration and continued by the Obama administration has helped prevent a complete collapse of not just the U.S. economy but also the global economy. I think the strong leadership of both the Bush and Obama administrations deserves credit for the economy now coming back from the brink.

A stimulus program was added to the bank bailout. One third of the stimulus package was tax cuts. Stocks are now up, and the bank bailout is being paid back with a profit to the taxpayers. The hemorrhaging of millions of jobs has stopped. The U.S. and worldwide economies are getting better. The hope now is for jobs to recover. Government spending that has so angered the tea party folk can now trend down. Even health care reform has the potential to corral the cost of our paying double what other developed countries pay for health care.

The conservative/tea party myopic focus on stimulus spending is misplaced while the economy is still teetering on the edge of the cliff. The business economy is beginning to regain its equilibrium. The government's stopgap role can soon begin to stand down. Sounds like good human beings doing the best they can with a terrible situation. What is the real reason these tea party folk huff and puff with anger?

I felt an over-heated undercurrent throughout the two-hour, surreal Towson tea party event. I know the Hitler-mustache-on-Obama placard is not something the many mainstream Republicans in attendance were comfortable with. The placards with anti-government, Marxist, Communist and tyranny slogans don't lend themselves to rational debate. At least the highly toxic, Joker-as-Obama placard did not show this time.

After the six or eight campaign speeches from the mainstream Republicans, it was open-mic time for the tea party folk. One guy ranted about the Obama socialist tyranny and the mandate to take back "our" country. He ended by saying that if the tea party does not have its way in November at the ballot box that he will be getting his guns out. Not completely sure I heard the gun comment correctly, I asked the guy next to me if I heard right. I guess he had not noticed my placard, or maybe he had. He said "Yeah, I got my guns ready." Amazing how owning a gun makes some think they are more competent citizens than those without guns. What about brains? Save your guns for the pea brain wildlife. Our country doesn't need you threatening to shoot up our government buildings because you just don't get it.

This is the 15th anniversary of the anti-government bombing of the Oklahoma federal building that killed so many people. Where is the voice of the vote-seeking, mainstream Republicans to speak out against this potentially violent fringe in their midst? Kendel Ehrlich, the wife of the former governor, and about six Republican candidates gave campaign speeches at the rally. They were there in force to coddle the tea party just enough, and long enough to get their votes in November. I know these Republicans don't support the seditious threat of violence, but these Republican candidates can't be permitted to pursue these toxic votes unchallenged. They must disown these wannabe militia, anti-American radicals. Besides, there are more votes to be had out there with the independents that won't countenance your being handcuffed to the tea party folk.

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