Tea Party Report & Crashers: I smelled them before I saw them
Yesterday, I attended my first State Capitol Tea Party. The weather was glorious and spirits were high. I was fortunate to be fairly close to the front, just a bit back from a center camerawoman.
Thousands* of people stood for a few hours in front of the Capitol in Madison, listening to various speakers. The warnings that Tea Party Crashers would infiltrate our ranks didn't seem to apply, at least not yet.
There were many great speakers, some known to me--some new. I was excited that Ron Johnson from the Oshkosh Tea Party addressed the crowd. Johnson is the Oshkosh businessman I am hoping will throw his hat into the U.S. Senate ring to run against Russ Feingold. Ron emphasized the need for Citizen Legislators rather than Career Politicians. He gets it. Ron Johnson's speech.
Area resident Mike Dean** shed his usual cool, calm demeanor, and spoke passionately about how a constitutional government, of limited powers, that unleashes the individual, is in fact the last best hope for mankind...and about individual hard work, reason, self reliance, the human spirit, our God given rights of life, liberty and the sacred duty to use them wisely.
About an hour into the Tea Party, I noticed a woman, carrying a sign, weaving her way through the crowd, toward the front. (Pictures are in slide show) Her sign read: "Cut off my reproductive rights and I will cut off yours." I'm not sure where that is in the Bill of Rights.
As we were watching former Governor Tommy Thompson get around to telling us what a great Governor he was (he also praised the Tea Party movement), I noticed a definite change in the air quality! Someone very near me had been drinking and smelled strongly of rancid cigarettes. I turned to see a couple that looked very out of place. The young woman had a few facial piercings and was holding a "Hooray for Russ" sign.
I really wouldn't have cared (at least we were outside and the wind helped dissipate the odor), but they were talking loudly, keeping me from hearing what I hoped would be Thompson saying he wasn't going to run for U.S. Senate. Some told them quiet down, and they replied they had a right to be there. (They did) Someone asked her if she paid any taxes yet. She replied she had a Master's Degree. (Is that an answer?) I think I muttered that they needed to be respectful of others trying to listen.
She then yelled, "We won the election", as if that justifies rudeness? I was a bit concerned that a ruckus might erupt and turned to video their actions in back of me. Someone touched her on the shoulder and her guy started to say, don't touch her. She then said something to quiet him down and he questioned her with something like, I thought you wanted to raise some (swear word)? Let's just say their actions smelled as much as they did. They left shortly after Thompson finished.
Saving the best for last, Vicki McKenna finished up the speaker line-up. That woman can rouse a crowd!
The crowd was very polite and well behaved--even when dealing with the crashers. The Tea Party closed with 2 rounds of the crowd enthusiastically singing, "God Bless America". I couldn't help thinking how appropriate the words from that song were for the situation we find ourselves in today. "God bless America, Land that I love, Stand beside her, and guide her, Through the night with a light from above..." I think all there would say an Amen to that.
It was a great day. I am glad I went. These people are energized to work on campaigns this fall.
Post Scripts: After the Tea Party, my friend and I moved up front to go into the Capitol. Milwaukee God Squad Pastor David King was still near the podium, so we told him how we enjoyed his speech. After some hugs, he modestly said something about how, the glory belongs to God. That statement made me like him even more.
*We were told the crowd numbered 10,000-12,000, and that we were the 3rd largest state capitol Tea Party in the nation.
**Mike Dean is a member of my church and is part of the First Freedoms Foundation. He appeared at the Tea Party as a private citizen.
Thank God for Tommy Thompson's Family "It's time for new voices and new faces," AMEN!
Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation