Green vs. Tea, Round 1: Party Battle Napa
The Tea Party rally
It was a very upbeat affair all around. None of the hate or racism or ignorance that the Tea Party's detractors endlessly fantasize about. Instead, people broke into spontaneous chorus lines...
...and frantically started waving American flags at the first notes of any patriotic song.
The purpose of the event was to watch a procession of performers and speakers on stage, but I have no patience for that, so I took a stroll around while I waited for the counter-protest Green hurricane to strike.
Many people embraced the Wall Street Journal's (and John McCain's) off-kilter condemnation of Tea Partiers as "Hobbits" -- with this woman declaring 2012 to be the "Year of the Hobbits."
A Nevada Tea Party group even went so far as to name itself "TEAm Hobbit Express."
And yes, they brought Sharron Angle along with them -- the only politician to address the rally. SFGate's Carla Marinucci recorded Angle's off-key rendition of "God Bless America," which you can view here, if you dare.
I have a suggestion: Musicians can stop getting involved in politics, and politicians can stop singing. Deal?
This little gal seemed to sum up the national mood perfectly.
Wow, those are some huge . . . stripes.
According to the CNN article linked above: "Kevin Trout watched the speeches with a Sarah Palin sign leaning on his wheelchair. 'I want Palin to run. She's for constitutionally limited government,' Trout said. 'And she did not kill her youngest child.' Trout was referring to Trig Palin, who was born with Down syndrome. Palin has said that, after tests during her pregnancy, she knew her fifth child would be born with special needs."
This being the Napa Valley, there was of course wine tasting.
I began to lose my patience, waiting for the Greens to crash the event. What's the freakin' holdup?
In frustration, I quit the fairgrounds, saw that the union protesters were already gone, and once again headed over to the Green base camp at Veterans' Park.
As I approached, I saw the crowd had reached its maximum extent -- I counted 65 people!
But when I got there, I was sorely disappointed -- turns out that most of the "new" extra people were nothing more than the same union protesters I had seen earlier, but who had apparently gotten wind of the Green gathering, so had retreated back here after their own small union-only protest.
Things were just as lethargic as they had been earlier. An SEIU member filled his cup with complimentary green tea, as everybody waited around for something to happen. Thrills.
It was easy to identify the people who had originally been part of the union contingent -- they were the ones praising Obama. There was a bit of tension in the air as the true Greens were ranting against the "two-party corporate oligarchy," slamming Democrats and Republicans alike.
(Interestingly, there was also a harder-to-detect rift in the Tea Party side, as revealed in the first comment on this article: "The real tea party does not support the Tea Party Express which is FreedomWorks, not legit. Let them call for a real tea party and you will have thousands of independent people, not some PAC who hijacked the movement in 2009....")
Socialism: ass-punchingly good!
Digital Martyrs are a trio of angry Islamic hiphoppers. The lead rapper's shirt had a picture of a guy holding an automatic rifle.
Their first song contained the phrases "shoot a politician" and "Sarah Palin," but I couldn't make out the rest (Video to come soon!)
Someone showed up with a sign saying "God hates nags." I thought at first that he must be a double-reverse Tea Party counter-counter-protester making fun of the nanny-statism advocated by the Greens, but I soon discovered he was Green Party activist Hank Chapot, and his sign was intended to reference the "God Hates Fags" signs held up by the Fred Phelps clan, and he was trying to associate the Tea Party with the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church. I realized then there was no hope. Doesn't he realize that conservatives and patriots hate the Phelps clan even more than the Greens do? If the first lesson in political strategy is "Know thy enemy," this guy fails.
Over at the Tea Party rally, people were mocking socialism. And, true to form, there were indeed socialist groups at the Green rally. But the Greens here were mocking purported homophobia and racism at the Tea Party event -- except there was no homophobia or racism to be found there. Result: The Tea Party volleys hit their target; the Green Party volleys missed completely. A one-sided battle.
In the desolate de-populated expanse of the Green Party rally, one of the activists wandered around in a Scooby-Doo t-shirt and wild pants.
As he drew closer I became interested in his notepad -- what had he written on it?
It wasn't until much later after I uploaded the photos that I was able to decipher his message by inverting the image in a photo editor, and reading the words which had leaked through from the other side of the page:
THEY WANT TO STAMP BARCODES ON OUR HANDS BECAUSE THEY WANT [TOTAL] CONTROL.
Before you start laughing at the Green kook, note that some equivalent kookery was present at one table at the Tea Party rally.
One of the chapters of the California branch of the Eagle Forum seems to have been taken over by conspiracy theorists. Lined up behind their table were several signs not only warning against one-world government, but also against...
...Smart Meters, and chemtrails! Oy gevalt. Up until this moment, I had only ever seen chemtrail lunacy at left-wing rallies, and was saddened to see the same nuttiness appear at a Tea Party event too. I guess conspiracy theorists know no political boundaries! Interestingly, one of the Green Party speakers back in Veterans' Park cited this as a point of possible convergence: opposition to Smart Meters can be found on both sides of the political (kook) spectrum, he said. Let's join forces! Sigh.
Hey, dudes, it's your signs that are giving me brain damage.
Word of advice to future Tea Party organizers: Exercise a little "message control" and keep the chemtrail conspiracy theorists away from the sign-up sheet!