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April 18, 2009 [LINK / comment]
Tea parties in the Valley
Just a few days in advance of Tax Day, April 15, "tea parties" were organized in Staunton as well as in Fishersville. I was unable to attend, but I heard first hand about what happened at each event by some folks who did go to both of them. The Staunton tax protest at Gypsy Hill Park (outdoors) was spirited and well-focused, but the cold rain sapped the participants' enthusiasm to some extent. In contrast, the Fishersville tea party was such a joke that it made Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" radio show. Someone named "Pam" from Augusta County called to complain that the guy running the Fishersville tea party ignored the tax and spending issues, and instead started talking about 9/11 conspiracy theories, black helicopters, etc.
What surprised me was the apparent lack of involvement in the tea parties by the local "SWAC" Republican leaders. Since their big issue is taxes, I figured it was their perfect opportunity to mobilize and recruit more supporters.
According to the News Leader, about 200 people showed up for the Staunton tea party. The leader of the Staunton event, Scott Batten, and David Karaffa both emphasized the importance of the U.S. Constitution, which few people seem to appreciate or understand these days. It's very encouraging that people are spreading the word about saving our republic before we lose our personal freedom and our financial freedom for good.
Chris Graham at Augusta Free Press scolded the local papers for their lack of coverage, but his depiction of the tea party organizers as a bunch of "wingnuts" was badly misplaced. Granted, there are a fair number of "conservative" activists whose grip on reality is often shaky, but just because you oppose Big Government doesn't mean you're a nut.
On the national level, I was pleased with the positive tone of the tea parties. With these sorts of spontaneous expressions of "grassroots" sentiment, there is always a risk that some kooks (such as in Fishersville) or infiltrators will mess things up. Seeing Newt Gingrich and other Republican honchos with grins on their faces was a refreshing change of pace. The scant coverage of the events by most of the mainstream media is typical, about what you would expect. The CNN reporter who got in the face of a guy at a tea party was incredibly rude and unprofessional.
Shad plank report
Steve Kijak went to this year's Shad Planking, in Wakefield, Virginia. Among the groups he talked to were the Virginia Energy Independence Alliance, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the Campaign for Liberty, and of course the NRA. Maybe one of these years I'll have time on my hand and be in the mood for some "schmoozing"...
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 19 Apr 2009, 12: 45 AM
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January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
May 3, 2009 (Very) Big Spring Day, 2009
June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
June 16, 2009 Home runs in New Yankee Stadium
June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
October 16, 2009 Health care polemics heat up
November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
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