Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party 2009

Obama and his jack-booted thugs are about to take away our guns, our country, and our children. This is what I learned yesterday as I joined a crowd of five hundred protesters at a Republican Party sponsored Tea Party on the steps of the Murfreesboro Court House. Standing in the shadow of our Confederate Soldier Memorial the nearly all-white crowd carried signs that insisted America had been high jacked by liberals whose only desire was to sell America to the Iranian leaders of the International Union of Islamic Terrorists (IUIT). I counted two African Americans and one Mexican in the crowd. The Mexican made a point of saying he was here legally, and the two African Americans thought it best not to mention that they were here because of the parents and grandparents of the dead Confederate soldiers in whose shadow we stood.

The rally was supposed to be just like the Boston Tea Party of 1776 when a bunch of Bostonians dressed up as Indians and threw tea into Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation. And it really was just like that except that we were hundreds of miles from the ocean, had murdered almost all the Indians, didn’t have any tea, and were protesting taxes our representatives in the Republican Congress of George W. Bush passed during his last years in office. But other than that it was just like 1776.

As the crowd grew larger and blocked a parking lot a woman in a silver Honda just trying to get home drove at a snail’s pace through the crowd. “Look out! Look out! She’s trying to kill us! Terrorist attack! Terrorist attack!” The screaming was intense and wild and ringing in my ears. But that was because I was the one screaming; the only one as it turned out. But the woman did have an Obama/Biden sticker on her car and people did boo her, so its just a matter of degree. I tend to be more out there, I guess.

As we waited for the Tea Party to start, country music blared from loud speakers. There was one very moving poem about America read by John Wayne and backed by some patriotic country tune. And then everyone joined in to accompany Toby Keith as his recording of “Courtesy of The Red, White & Blue” was played. “We’ll put a boot up your ass; It’s the American Way” was my favorite part of the song.

I turned to the man next to me when the song concluded and said, “Do you think that Muntazer al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush, got the idea to toss his shoes from Toby Keith? Or did Toby get the idea of boots up your ass from Muntazer al-Zaidi in which case it’s really the Iraqi way and not the American way? Or maybe it’s the American-Iraqi way and that’s why were are over there because we both like to use footware to make our points?”

“What are you talkin’ about?” the fellow said and turned away.

After Toby we saluted the flag and prayed to Jesus. The pastor who led the prayer praised Jesus for teaching us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

“What kind of liberal crap is that,” I said to a woman next to me when the prayer ended. “This is an anti-tax rally, we don’t want to render unto Caesar one red cent. Jesus was telling the Jews to pay their taxes, we don’t want to pay taxes. You don’t think Jesus was a socialist, do you? We’re not anti-Jesus are we?”

“Jesus is God,” she told me flatly. “Jesus believed in God, guns, and country. He was a good Christian.”

“Down with socialism,” the person next to me cried.

“Damn right, “ I said. “Where do we go to burn our Social Security cards?”

“What?” he said.

“You know, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid—socialism! Where do we go to opt out of these programs and register our refusal to participate in socialism?”

The man moved away muttering something.

I walked over to a woman whose sign read, “The Constitution is not a living document.”

“Damn right,” I said. “Where do I go to buy a musket for the Murfreesboro militia?”

“What?” she said.

“You know the second amendment. We have the right to bear arms. The founders meant muzzle loading muskets not M-16s, so where do we go to turn in our automatic weapons for muzzle loaders?”

She walked away patting a bulge in her purse. Smith & Wesson no doubt.

The rhetoric of the Tea Party was anything but party-like. These people were angry, frightened, and armed. They were out for bear, though one man actually mumbled “coon” when I made the bear reference. They hate President Obama.

“I want his policies to fail,” another man said.

“Damn right,” I said. “But won’t they fail anyway?”


“You know, we believe that only free market capitalism can succeed and that Obama is an enemy of free market capitalism, so he has to fail. I mean, if he doesn’t fail that would mean we’re wrong, and we aren’t wrong are we? He has to fail because if America thrives under his policies that would mean free market capitalism is not the only way to go, but it is the only way. It is! Isn’t it?”

“Stupid ass,” the man said as he turned away to listen to the next speaker who told us that it is our fault that the socialists have taken over the government. We were asleep for decades, the speaker said, as liberals slowly took over local school boards and city, country, and state governments. While we celebrated the Reagan Era they were plotting the Islamic Socialist state of America under the Kenyan Barack Obama.

“Isn’t that what the left said about the right during the Reagan and Bush years?” I said to no one in particular. “Aren’t we just recycling the same old rhetoric? Isn’t this rally, and perhaps any rally in a two-party system where both parties are run by the same multinational corporations simply a distraction from the fact that we are an oligarchy of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich?”

I saw another man whose sign said he was on the Homeland Security Watch List. “Is that true,” I asked. “You can’t fly?”

“Not that list,” he told me as if I were some dumb immigrant Jew-bastard commie liberal socialist nazi. “I’m on the new Homeland Security enemies list.”

“Who’s on that list?” I asked.

“Christians, veterans, and anyone else against Obama.”

“Damn!” I said. “You think that’s why he is sending more troops to Afghanistan, to keep them out of America, and maybe kill off vets who might otherwise stage a coup and take over the government.”

The man just stared at me. Then he said, “Maybe. Maybe,” and walked away, no doubt to get a magic marker to add my idea to his sign. At last someone listened to me. My work was done.

As I turned to leave I spied a woman who looked just like Ayn Rand. I swear it was Ayn Rand back from the grave. I walked over to her, leaned in close and whispered, “My name is Galt, John Galt.”

Ayn looked at me for a moment and said, “Asshole.”

Maybe I should have dressed up as an Indian.


Sharon Wendt said...

Ha! Toto and coffee . . . great way to start the day. Decided Rachel Maddow would appreciate your Tea Party so sent it to her (now you know why your phone has been ringing off the hook.) Or perhaps it was Obama who sent it to her first, after all he is East coast and probably read it first. Anyway - good you did not stop at 500. I hear the world is a-buzz about Toto - sort of in the same way you hear about things.

George Matusek said...

This one's a keeper, Rabbi. But I wouldn't be too hard on Toby Keith --- he and his country music pals John Rich and Gretchen Wilson sometimes sing right-wing sentiments, but they have a somewhat redeeming sorta anarchist joie de vivre (akin to the Marx Brothers)--- if any of them were asked to name their personal philosopher, I doubt that "Jesus Christ" would be the first name to spring to mind (as per G.W. Bush) --- they're more into rowdy red-neck stuff such as drinkin', screwin', and general hell-raisin'.
Georgie Muse-Devotee

Karen said...

I hope you include this in your book of 200 essays! I can only imagine how much fun it is to have your brain and imagination!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thanks for opening the curtain
to expose the Murfreeboro Tea Party

Both the humorous analysis and enthusiastic participation is/was courageously brilliant.

An amused Sr Jose quite possibly enjoyed an aerial view.

Great work....