Now, I have no illusions that Romney has much of a chance in California: in 2008, Obama beat McCain 61%-37%, and California is considered one of the Democrats’ safest states. But nationwide the race is still close, and if Californian libertarians and conservatives are already rallying behind Romney, then I’m quite sure the same thing will happen in swing states, despite the spinmeisters’ and the media’s best attempts to foment dissatisfaction and discord in the Republican ranks.
They say all trends start in California, so let the trend of Romney Realism sweep the nation!
The irrepressible Sally Zelikovsky, head honcho of the San Francisco Tea Party (a.k.a. Bay Area Patriots) brought together a coalition of local Tea Party groups for the event, and energized the crowd between speakers.
What were my favorite signs of the day? Here are a few:
“(The) Politics of envy lead to SOCIALISM.” This is the key meta-message that we must not be afraid to shout at every opportunity.
A classic from the early days of the Tea Party, but it rings true eternally.
Why pussyfoot around? Sometimes bluntness drives home the point in a way that nuance can never do.
The new “Three Stooges” film had just opened nationwide, so this spoof rendition was particularly au courant. Note the clever detail: Instead of saying “American Voters present The Three Stooges,” the sign actually says “American People resent The Three Stooges.” Zing!
Sally introduced “The Deficettes,” a crowd-pleasing Rockettes parody troupe who highlight the jaw-dropping size of our national deficit with a humorous dance routine.
Unlike the Occupy Wall Street movement, the crowd neither burned nor stepped on the flag, but instead waved it enthusiastically. This was a little disorienting for someone like me, who generally only witnesses flag abuse at political events.
Speaking of Occupy: Where were they on Saturday? Why did they let the Tea Party “occupy” San Francisco unopposed?
Strangely, there was no organized counter-protest. Despite the fact OccupySF was holding their all-hands-on-deck “General Assembly” just two blocks away at the exact same time as the Tea Party event, and despite the fact that local left-leaning media tried its best to goad Occupy into a counter-protest, practically no Occupiers showed up at all, and the few who did were not coordinated. Why is this?
I have several possible theories. One is that Occupy likes to control the narrative of any event they attend, and don’t want to be present in any situation where they don’t have Total Narrative Domination. Alternately, they don’t even want to acknowledge the Tea Party’s existence, because to do so would only grant more publicity to their ideological rivals. And the third theory is more intriguing, and gibes with my earlier SF Tea Party/Occupy report “Tea Party and OWS Protest Side-By-Side Against Obama in San Francisco“: that the Occupy crowd around here has a secret affinity for the Tea Party that they may not even want to admit to themselves. Both groups oppose president Obama (one from the left, and one from the right, but with some overlap, such as opposition to growing police state tactics); and one half of Occupy’s schizoid socialist/anarchist split personality agrees with the Tea Party’s opposition to government intrusion into our private lives. In truth, the anarchists are a better ideological fit with the Tea Party than they are with the socialists, whether they consciously realize it or not; but this may help explain why there would be little enthusiasm among the Occupiers for counter-protesting a group whose positions they don’t entirely disagree with.
Anyway, there were a few wildcat counter-protesters, which we’ll look at here.
Near the beginning of the rally, a lone leftie jumped up and started shouting something vituperative in front of the stage, but the small contingent of SF cops assigned to monitor the rally swiftly moved in and explained to the guy that the Tea Party had a legal permit for the rally, and as a result he had no right to disrupt it, since he lacked a permit. He was quickly escorted away and the disruption ended. As you can see in the photo above, the Tea Party “Infiltrator Identification Squad,” which was so effective at outing hoaxsters during 2010 rallies, was back in action; but aside from this one incident, they didn’t have much use for their trademark pink signs.
Next up was this Occupier with a sign advertising their upcoming planned invasion of the Wells Fargo shareholders’ meeting, but after exchanging too many heated words with attendees, he too was told to tone it down. And so he went over and joined up with…
…some newly arrived potheads, who perhaps showed up looking for some Libertarian love at the rally; but they didn’t seem to have any takers (or tokers, for that matter).
Blogger “John” of “The City Square” published his own report about Saturday’s Tea Party event, and included these photos of the front and back of a sign held by a camera-shy and angry Occupy infiltrator who wanted his own agenda represented at the rally. Taken out of an “Occupy Wall Street” context, his messages (which feel perfectly normal within an Occupy political milieu) are suddenly revealed to be completely absurd and incomprehensible out in the open air.
The most brazen Occupier walked around handing out what I generally dub “kook manifestos”; but most of the Tea Partiers he approached, like the guy in the hat, wouldn’t even give him the time of day. (For which the kook gave them a stern lecture.)
Every now and then someone made the mistake of accepting one of his flyers — but that only led to more confusion, as they vainly tried to decipher his worldview.