Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Rally

It was a Tax Day Rally in Florida, held by

So I attended, with a couple of friends, a tea party meeting in Bradenton. Here's a report on it from the press, followed by a few observations of yrs truly:


It was like an old church revival meeting, combined with a neighborhood fundraiser, combined with a small business card exchange, combined with a political campaign rally, combined with an ancestral worship service.

The dominant interwoven image used by nearly every speaker: fire.

None of which quite captures the odd "spirit" of the small crowd (I estimated about 150, dwindling to 80 after a couple of hours) that seemed both bored, easily aroused to vitriol, and capable of vigorously believing anything the numerous people taking turns at the podium had to say.

In some particular:

1. The MC for this circus was a guy who's an AM talk show host who calls himself "Captain America:"

The Captain

2. Evangelical fervor:

One guy, a Vice Pres. of Tea Party Manatee named Steve Vernon, got the crowd going simply by telling them to shout out their immediate feelings about a series of names:

Obama - Pelosi - Harry Reid - all brought boos, excoriations, execrations. Then, a few TP faves brought raves and cheers, culminating in RICK SCOTT - who is clearly the idol of this party.

Another guy, Eddie Adams Jr., was the sole black - not just sole black speaker, but sole black - at the gathering. He's a conservative AM radio talk show host, and his topic was jobs and the economy. His analysis went basically:

"This is a godly country" (crowd happy)

"A godly country!" (crowd happier - but, because there are no blacks, there is a fatal shortage of "yeah"s "say it"s "praise the Lord!"s and foot stomps.)

"This is the only country on earth that figured out that if you help others it allow us to win!"

"We have a great governor" (YEAHHHHHH!)

"The government doesn't make jobs - people make jobs" (YEAH!)
"The Pet Rock!" (YEAH!)
"That's called Capitalism!" (huzzahs)

3. Dignitaries

A svelte blonde is called out from the podium, identified as an aide to Vern Buchanan, Republican Rep. from Sarasota -- Ford Dealer, All-Around Rich Fellow. She's sitting with a guy who looks like a somewhat less crinkled version of Neil Young if Neil Young were a Tea Party eminence grise and a pundit.

Robin Steublen is called forth and identified as a founder. One who was there at the beginning, way back in 2009. I happen to have known Steublen when he was a verbally outspoken lawn maintenance guy in Punta Gorda trying to run for County Commission back in, like, 1996.

His big thing this evening was "E-verify" - a means of making sure illegal aliens are detected and evicted.

Steublen also advanced the idea that the Tea Party don't need no stinckin' Republicans:
"The RNC thinks we are irrelevant!"

4. Don Baldouf, candidate for something or other:

"States can nullify anything"

A fine point of Constitutional law:

"Feb. 3, 1913 was a turning point in Amurikan History - do you know why? Congress passed the Income Tax - the 16th amendment - It's unconstitutional."

States' Rights is big with the Tea party:

- just create a board of Governors, nullify the 16th Amendment, and say to Iowa, "Florida won't pay for your corn crop storm damage!" etc.

5. Crissie, a founder of 13 Patriots, a Sarasota organization, says fiscal matters matter most, but social things aren't unimportant. We have voters who are ignorant and immoral - they know nothing about Capitalism! They're Athiests!

Crissie invited us to a film called "Agenda: Grinding America Down"
Trailer starts with Reagan:

6. A Young Republican ("I'm Young!") named Bryan Tupper ("a rising star" according to Capt. America) said we need to stop "the Obama Machine." He tweets here.

"I was actually in favor of the government shutting down."

Rising Star

  • Administrative assistant, Marketing · Feb 2011 to present ·Bradenton, Florida
    Basically, I help out around the office and help with the marketing of the business.

7. Paul Galvano, former State Rep., revealed that our tax dollars are being taken by the government.

"We're tired of it" he said, in his best Network imitation. The crowd, having heard this so much it is numb, valiantly tried to rouse itself to care.

"I served on Gov. Scott's transition team"

his closer:

"Frankly, I choose freedom."

8. Robin DiSabatino, Manatee County Commissioner,dist. 4:

"We have to light a fire" (another school board member was introduced as "a little firebrand.")

Small businesses got named in great numbers.

"We've got a railroad!"

9. Dr. Julio Gonzalez MD
Obamacare - sucks.

10. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater

The Big Gun.

There's a yellow flag over there with a snake on it - you see it? That's a rattlesnake - it has keen eyes - and in 1776 etc. 13 rattles "Don't tread on me"

Ben Franklin, Geo. Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams - yep, all Tea Partiers.

Good storyteller - wonderful, absolutely apocryphal story of small biz guy teaching him the truths of Tea.

Debt exceeds 90% of GDP - "Fall of moral strength"

Start brushfires - we're starting 'em

The only book on display:


By Michael Prell

“Michael Prell skillfully exposes how our misplaced emphasis to cheer on the underdogs, especially in the international community, will erode America’s status not only as a superpower, but also as the greatest nation in the world. A must read for anyone who believes in maintaining America’s presence as a global leader."
- Congresswoman MICHELE BACHMANN, (R, MN-6), leader of the Tea Party Caucus

Underdogma is the Rosetta Stone for our time’s most portentous puzzle: Why do so many in this country — including some in leadership positions — abhor our national greatness and seek to diminish it at every turn? Michael Prell has ‘broken the code,’ and in so doing made an invaluable contribution to preserving and strengthening American exceptionalism.” - FRANK GAFFNEY, Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy, Ronald Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy

“Clever, accurate, droll and timely: The meek shall inherit contrariness.” - JOHN BATCHELOR, nationally-syndicated radio host


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