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    Tea Party Report

    April 16, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    Our local TEA Party was a huge success yesterday. In fact, attendance was much greater than I had anticipated. Si’s event at noon had close to 500 participants, and the evening rally had thousands.

    Thousands.

    A good day, for sure.

    I thought I’d share some photos of my husband from the noon rally. He really did a wonderful job. I was surprised at the media attention, and was amused to watch him being interviewed by local television stations, and even The Huckabee Report.

    My husband loves the story of America’s republic, and he was able to share a bit of his vision for our country in his speech yesterday:

    Speech Closeup
    Giving a Speech
    {made possible by the kind folks at KERN radio,
    who provided the audio equipment}

    Crowd Shot
    Part of the Lunch Time Crowd

    Inga Barks
    Local Talk Show Host Inga Barks Giving a Speech of Her Own
    {Inga Barks: it’s not just a name; it’s a sentence.}

    Si Bull Horn
    Si Using a Bull Horn
    {This was after the City turned off the audio. I kid you not. This required three officers. Apparently using audio in front of government buildings without a permit is a crime. No comment.}

    Si on the News
    Si on the Local News at 5

    Both rallies were peaceful but passionate. It was nice to have some actual action items, the most important probably being to vote no on Proposition 1 {A-F}, which is being advertised by proponents as a budget reform initiative but in reality extends the new tax hikes for another two years, plus attempts to punish representatives who aren’t on the take {1F}.

    Non-Partisan

    Si and I both encountered some interesting insights into what is considered partisan and non-partisan. For instance, at one point Si’s event being called “partisan” because a local Republican leader spoke at the event. Si’s argument was that this event was primarily focused on taxes and out-of-control government spending. Proposition 1 is a tax proposal, and this man was the most qualified to speak on it and explain it to the people. There were also accusations hurled at Inga Barks during her morning show because she was speaking at the event. This was somewhat connected to the idea of partisanship as well.

    Si and I are classical liberals. We often vote Republican and we are registered as Republicans because there is, in our opinion, no other useful option in our state. {No, we have no Constitution Party here, for those of you who are wondering.} There were likely few Democrats qualified to speak at this event, but this is not because they are Democrats, but because they are not typically against higher taxes and excessive government spending. Again, this has nothing to do with party affiliation, but rather with the purpose of the event.

    With that said, my assessment is that the definition of “partisan” is often twisted to suit the user. My hunch is that some people simply didn’t like the choice of speakers, and that is fine because you can’t please everybody, and only crazy people would try. But to say that an event is partisan because a Republican spoke at it is nonsensical. This would then need to be extended to where only Independents were qualified to speak at nonpartisan events, or perhaps only unregistered voters as they are the only ones without party affiliation.

    A Glimpse of Local Politics

    Oh, the stories I could tell. However, I think my husband would frown on my telling them, so I will be respectful. I will just tell you what I learned from what I witnessed this week: We should not be surprised at the culture in the Beltway. D.C. is made up of officials elected on the local level. If the man a city elects is more interested in his own self-promotion than he is in respecting the wishes of the citizens who he claims to represent, that city should not be surprised when he doesn’t always represent them. After all, self-promoters represent themselves, first and foremost.

    And if every city elects a self-promoter, guess what? We, a collection of cities making up a collection of states, have created a selfish D.C. culture. Remember, the culture is defined by the sort of people who make it up, which, in the instance of Washington D.C., is to say the sort of people that we elect time and again.

    If you want to change D.C., you have to start at home. You have to stop voting for the guy more interested in himself than he is in the Republic, regardless of his party affiliation.

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