What will distinguish the San Antonio Tea Party from the hundreds of other tea parties scheduled for that same day in other cities (and the dozens that have previously been held) is that the Mad Hatter himself - far-right talk radio host Glenn Beck - will be at the San Antonio event in an effort to exploit the city’s shrine of liberty - The Alamo - for his partisan political purposes.
While researching this issue prior to writing this post, I was surprised to learn that the person heading up the local event is none other than Robin Juhl, aka Ranten’ Raven, my old blogging buddy and sparring partner.
Raven is the one who (with his lovely wife) planned and organized the one and only San Antonio Blogger BBQ, a pleasant gathering that brought together locally-based political bloggers of all stripes. It was with great sadness that I reported two years ago the demise of Raven’s blog. So I am happy to see that he is still doing well, although not so delighted to see what it is that has been keeping him busy lately.
But I must say that he has done some good work organizing this event as you can see by the website and blog that has been set up. And I appreciate their efforts to keep the gathering as civil and peaceful as possible as evidenced by the “Rules” they have listed on their site:
RULE 1: No Violence
We are not anarchists. We are concerned citizens using the freedoms secured by our nations founders and declared in the Bill of Rights to petition our government. Any who advocate, in general, any act of violence or other active civil disobedience will be told (not asked--TOLD!) to leave our reserved area. Any who advocate, in specific, any act of violence will be reported to the San Antonio Police or to the US Secret Service, as appropriate. Our Founders gave us the Bill of Rights and we will use them. Talk of “battles” must be reserved to the context of “Battle of the Flowers” and “political battles.” We will act in a peaceful, lawful manner, period. PERIOD. Your alternative is to form your own protest, separate from ours. We have no problem with those who want to organize their own Tea Party. Good luck, and may God Bless your efforts.
Of course, if they actually do uphold this rule then they will have to ask Glenn Beck to leave as soon as he shows up. The same goes for that wild-eyed fascist freak Ted Nugent who is planning to show up and butcher the National Anthem on his electric guitar.
As Steve Benen noted today, these tea party protesters seem a bit confused about what they are supposed to be protesting. They don’t like all of the spending and the deficits, but for some reason they didn’t seem to be bothered by it too much when it was going on for the past eight years under a Republican president. Apparently, a Republican president spending hundreds of billions of dollars to repair infrastructure in Iraq is OK, but a Democratic president spending hundreds of billions of dollars to repair infrastructure in the U.S. is not. And nevermind that the point behind the spending boost is to try and pull the country out of the economic death spiral created by the Republican administration’s failed economic policies.
The organizers of this event have gone to great lengths to say that it is not supposed to be a partisan, anti-Obama, anti-Democrat affair. But it is hard to see anyone who supports the current administration showing up for an event meant to protest everything they are trying to do to save our economy.
I guess the thing that disturbs me the most about it is just that - the extreme anti-government tone of the event. It is hard to see how these people can claim to love their country when they seem to despise every aspect of it other than the symbolism. Sure, they loooooove the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, pictures of bald eagles, and so on. But they absolutely hate the U.S. government, even when its being run by rightwing Republicans, and they can’t stand most of their fellow Americans on whom they blame most all of their problems on, whether its the “liberals” or “Hollywood” or immigrants or welfare recipients.