The Tea Party Movement, which came to Madison Saturday, has matured enough in its year of existence to have a sense of humor about itself.
“Welcome, my fellow political terrorists, Nazis and tired old people!” yelled organizer Joe Boone to a crowd of 500 or so area residents who attended the Saturday afternoon rally on the lawn below the Riverboat Inn, next to the Ohio River. The mostly (but not only) middle-aged crowd laughed and applauded in appreciation at his jibe against Tea Party opponents who have tried to depict the movement as exclusively white, old, Republican, and living in the past.
Later, Madison city councilman Rick Berry, a Democrat, greeted the crowd, “Hi to all you right-wing, astroturf kooks!”
But most of the remarks by a number of different speakers were in a serious vein, which drew responsive cries of “Yeah!” and “That’s right!” from many in the crowd. The general tenor of the rally: America has lost its way, is on the wrong track, is being run by a minority of the Democratic party who are dangerous socialists — headed by President Obama — and must be “taken back,” as several speakers put it, by the taxpayers and responsible citizens.
Boone spoke of the huge national debt, which grew under President Bush’s administration and has gotten much worse under Obama’s, and said, “If we don’t leave something for our children (besides a huge debt to pay off), there’s nothing to argue about. That’s what the Tea Party Movement is all about.”
Frank Mingione, chairman of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty in this area, said, “The United States has been unique in this world. From being one of the newer countries, we’ve risen to be the world’s only remaining super power.” He criticized the health care bill recently passed by a narrow margin in Congress and opposed by the American people in most polls; the exploding deficit; and what he called the takeover by the government of some sectors of big business, and added, “This will be the ruination of the United States … They’re spending us into a Third World existence … This is the reason the Sons and Daughters of Liberty was formed.”
Mingione said there are three kinds of humans in the world: Sheep; wolves; and sheep dogs, who protect the sheep from the wolves. “Without the sheep dog, the flock will not survive … Ladies and gentlemen, we are the sheep dogs … The wolf is at our country’s door.”
Addressing his remarks to Obama, Mingione went on, “Mr. President, we are the sheep dogs in the world, and we don’t accept your position in our world.”
Berry said there are two forks in the national road.
“We’ve been on this road for a long time, and we’ve been betrayed by both parties,” he declared to a roar of approval from the crowd. “We’ve been asleep at the wheel, but we’re not asleep any more.” He described the “road to the left” as a politically correct, hyphenated Americans road, adding, “When will we be JUST Americans?” Berry said, “The road to the left is ACORN; the road to the right is a Tea Party!” This brought more cheers and applause from the crowd, which had a number of rally signs but seldom waved them, and which mostly sat on lawnchairs in the afternoon sun.
Berry exhorted the crowd to “Never give up! Don’t let America die!”
Madison physician Dr. Israel said that he “absolutely” believes American health care needs to be reformed. The crowd voiced its agreement. But he said the health care bill passed by Congress and signed by Obama recently is manifestly the wrong way to go about it.
“About a third of our doctors locally will retire in three to five years if this thing remains in place,” Israel declared. He said the massive numbers of Americans scheduled to be covered under the new plan will be “dumped” onto the Medicaid rolls — and the states, which primarily fund Medicaid, cannot afford such a new, heavy load. He said Medicaid’s compensation to health care providers is so little that when he sees a Medicaid patient, “Basically, I have to pay for it.”
Another medical professional, Marilyn Parker, who helped start the Louisville Tea Party Movement, told the crowd, “There’s nothing the liberal piranhas like less than an outspoken, common-sense conservative female!”
Parker said the “socialists” “want to bring the economy to its knees so the government can take over … They want to orchestrate the failing of America so they can ‘rebuild it.’ ”
Mike Sodrel, a candidate for the 9th District congressional seat in the Republican primary, said the American Revolution “was started by people who had something to lose,” citing Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington himself as wealthy residents of what were then the American colonies who nevertheless not only supported but led a rebellion against the Britain of King George III. “Our revolution was fought to achieve liberty,” he said, adding that other revolutionaries such as Marx, Lenin and Mao Tse-tung led revolutions so they could impose tyranny.
Sodrel also pointed out that many members of Congress “refuse to give up power voluntarily.” He contrasted their stance with that of George Washington, who declined to run for a third term as president and retired to his plantation at Mount Vernon.
Concerning Washington, Sodrel quoted George III, who said at the end of the revolution, “If Washington gives up power voluntarily he will be the greatest man in the world.”
Quoting from the Declaration of Independence, Sodrel noted its reference to the British monarchy’s sending “swarms of officers to eat out our substance.” He said the Obama administration at the present is practicing a policy of “taxation, regulation and strangulation” similar to that of King George.
On e personal note, Old Corporal had to leave the gathering during Sodrel’s address due to a previous commitment, but he is confident the remainder of the event will be well covered in The Madison Courier’s Monday edition.
Prior to the start of Madison’s Tea Party numerous, modern-day patriotic songs were played over the PA system, including “They’re Shutting Detroit Down,” “God Bless the U.S.A.,” “If 10 percent Was Good Enough for Jesus It Outta Be Enough for Uncle Sam,” “You Vote ObamaCare, We’ll Vote You Out of There,” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It Any More!”