Thursday, July 2, 2009

Teabaggers, Part II

America is on the brink of going to hell in a handbasket. At least that seems to be the opinion of the folks who are staging another "tea party" today on the steps of Washington County Courthouse. As you might recall, the tea party gang's sudden realization that all is not well with this great land of ours and that - OH MY GOD - the government is not spending our tax dollars wisely just happened to coincide with the election of our new president last November and the beat-down of Republican congressional candidates from coast to coast. With every passing day, those on the right seem to be getting angrier and angrier about being in the minority. I was at a party (not of the tea variety) south of the Mason-Dixon line last weekend, and I really thought some of the folks there might be planning another attack on Fort Sumter. The latest tea party here will be hosted by Republican Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey, who will be dispensing pocket versions of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, just in case you need a refresher. An invitation stated, "As our Country's values, principals (their spelling) and history become increasingly under attack, now is the time to stand up, take action and show your true American colors!" Our history is under attack? Really? And true colors? I'm guessing that for some of the tea bag crowd, the part of our flag they like best is the white part. And, as always, this gang believes they are the only ones in the country who have values. Seems to me that the "values" of the Republican Party were soundly repudiated at ballot boxes nationwide a few months ago. But of course, McCain wasn't a "true Republican." And now the people with the "right" stuff have decided that George W. Bush wasn't really one of them. He was a member in good standing during the initial butt-whipping in Iraq and when he was doling out tax cuts to the wealthy. You couldn't walk through any parking lot without seeing "W" stickers on the backs of gas-guzzling SUVs. But Bush was tossed out like two-week-old leftover Chinese food when the economy went in the crapper. And it's the economy that holds the fate of the tea party gang's political candidates. If we're still mired in a recession in November 2010, you can expect the Republicans to make gains in Congress. But if there's a turnaround under way, their descent into becoming a regional party of the South could be accelerated. If you miss this tea party, I'm guessing you'll get another chance around Labor Day, because what opportunistic political group could pass up a chance to embrace the “Amurrican” working man and woman? And a friend of mine wondered today whether the tea-baggers will anoint Columbus as a Founding Father so they can have a tea party hayride in October. And then there's Christmas. ’Nuff said. So keep your calendars open and a box of Lipton’s finest at the ready.

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Blogger Ellipses said...

What time is today's pageant?

I wish I would have worn my "I'm here for the gang bang" t-shirt :-)

July 2, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Lauren Kelly said...

Well put.

July 2, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I believe it starts at 5 p.m. Doesn't give the "working man" much time to get there.

July 2, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Jeez! I'll be warming my feet in front of a roaring flag by then!

I can't believe this, though... the post has been up for more than 5 minutes and you haven't been encouraged to move to Luxembourg and take your commie muslim loving liberal homo friends with you yet... It must mean that everyone agrees with you... which means, of course, that the terrorists have won :-)

July 2, 2009 at 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Jesse White said...

Well said, sir.

Do you think they will stage a ceremonial tea-planting on Arbor Day? Hide teabags on Easter Sunday? Give out teabags to children at Halloween?

July 2, 2009 at 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put.
As I mentioned a few months back, the teabaggers' concern about debt was strangely muted when Bush was handing out tax cuts to the wealthiest one percent eight years ago.

If you want decent roads, good schools and the whole array of things government provides, it has to be paid for somehow.

--Brad Hundt

July 2, 2009 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

In previous posts on this blog, I have lamented the fact that there are far too few people who get news and information from only one source. As a rule of thumb, I will generally read two liberal viewpoints and two conservative viewpoints. Then I form my opinion based on the information from both sides. I tend to be conservative, but if a cogent, intelligent argument is made to counter my opinion, I can be swayed.

I also mentioned before that I know a couple who are very conservative and get their information from limited sources. They listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh on the radio while at work or in the car, and when they get home the TV is on Fox News all the time. They flat out refuse to watch or listen to any other outlets. I don't think that's the best way to get your information, but it's their choice whether I like it or not. Brant, you were in the epicenter of that conservative maelstrom at the party.

You wrote that the economy holds the fate of the tea party gang's candidates, and you're right. But that holds true for the other side too. I'm not sure how much longer people are going to tolerate things the way they are. Bush was hardly a fiscal hero, but I'm not so sure that Obama is going to be the savior here. I'm mostly concerned about what happens to the economy in a few years when we'll see the results of what's going on now. But like you wrote, the economy holds his fate.

By the way, I don't want you to leave the country with your commie muslim loving liberal homo friends. Even if it means that the terrorists won, you're still The Man!

July 2, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Thanks, buddy. I'll cancel my plane ticket. ;-)

July 2, 2009 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Whew! I was worried...

July 2, 2009 at 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not some of your best blogging.
You are reaching.

July 2, 2009 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Do feel free to elaborate.

July 2, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Anonymous the anonymous one said...

Brant I don't understand, so if you peacefully protest against Washington blowing our tax money and pushing us towards a socialist nation that makes you a rublican? That makes you a racist? I've seen a lot of dems out there and African Americans. Those must be the bad dems right? Did you form your own opinion? Or did you call Janeane Garofalo (what a joke) and ask for hers?

July 2, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Would you have favored standing idly by while the financial sector collapsed, along with a large segment of the domestic auto industry, leading to the loss of probably hundreds of thousands more jobs and an economic collapse that would make the current recession look like a picnic? And I'd be willing to bet a limb that the vast, vast majority of folks at these tea parties are white Republicans, with some Libertarians thrown in. And, by the way, I look very favorably on the Libertarian Party, because it is not beholden to the Christian right. And I'm perfectly capable of forming my own opinions, without consulting anyone in Hollywood or being brainwashed by the talking heads on television.

July 2, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Washington has been blowing our tax money for the last 40 years or so, and probably was before that, too. Having a tea party makes areal difference.

Sure it does.

July 2, 2009 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These non-events get more ink by those who object than those who support. Move on to more important topics. Why bother even writing about this nonsense?

July 3, 2009 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Janeane Garofolo??? She's about as relevant to political commentary as Perez Hilton is to legitimate journalism.

July 3, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do find it amusing that you have no comment - Brant - on the lackeys from SEIU and their apparent four person rally about health care at the courthouse Thursday. At least the photo in your paper only showed four people.
There was no comment from you, either, about the eight person rally against longwall mining that made the front page of your paper at the coal convention last month.
How many people are needed to constitute a rally? Anything more than two?

July 3, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Anonymous the anonymous one said...

Brant..... B.O. did help bankrupt GM. Sold Chysler, after they both took billions of taxpayer dollars. Ford is taking our money now, I think it has more to do with control. B.O. is a control freak. GM will still make cars don't worry. Here is what makes me sick, we will never see a dime of that money back just like the bond holders. If we are going to socialize the loss,share the gains too.

July 3, 2009 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Didn't a few banks just pay back a boatload of money?

July 3, 2009 at 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1977-79 Carter and the Democratic party run the country, things go from bad to worse
2009- Obama and the Democratic party run the country...
Look, people have a right to protest and Brant and Hundt and whomever remains at the O-R after the last bloodletting can attack them.
But Washington County is trending away from the Democratic party for a reason. Cap N Trade for example which works against the economic interests of this county.
The Democratic party will almost assuredly loss seats, the out of power party always gains (except twice in US history) seats.
Calling people racist because they oppose taxation is not just unfair, but designed for one purpose to incite those that disagree with you.
Brant, you can do better and I have witnessed a sad willingness on your part to behave no better than those that you complain about on talk radio.
Raise the level of discussion, quit the race baiting and name calling.
If you really want a better world and better discussion regarding issues than you have to act like it.
The snarky comments and such only preach to the choir. You can do better.

Ellispes, the reason no one complains much is because those that disagree left for the most part. Great business model.

July 4, 2009 at 3:20 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I don't recall calling anyone racist just because they oppose taxation. I'd like to give less of my money to the government. But I certainly will stand by my earlier statements that among those who have pilloried Obama before he even took office, there's a significant number for whom racism plays a part. And I'm sorry, Cody - oops, anonymous - but I'm failing to see that great Republican groundswell in Washington County of which you speak. This is a party that can't even field a slate of candidates for local elections. Certainly, there is a base of Republicanism in Peters Township, but how many of those people just might bolt for the Libertarians. The Republicans couldn't even find someone to run against a sheriff who shamed the entire county by his actions. And let's not hang our hat on Steve Toprani defeating Pettit. My housecat could have beaten Pettit. However, I do have to say that I've been very impressed with the job Toprani has done since taking office, and I think he has a bright future. And I would also say that Republicans have a golden opportunity to take the majority on the county commission. Bracken Burns has all the appearances of a man who has worn out his welcome. The GOP's best hope is that Burns doesn't get knocked off in the primary. And finally, if you're claiming that those who disagree with me no longer read the blog, then I guess I'd have to say that they're cowards who aren't able to defend their positions. It's like when we have a discussion on religion. People are more than happy to rip me - which I don't mind at all - but they disappear faster than shrimp-wrapped scallops on a buffet when I try to get them to intellectually defend their positions and delineate their beliefs.

July 4, 2009 at 6:06 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Not too long ago, the republican party was full of people like Arlen Specter, Colin Powell, and... well, me.

Those were good times...

Today, though, not so much. Even if I WERE still right-leaning... I sure as hell wouldn't admit it...

The problem with the republican party, these days, is that it's still full of republicans :-)

July 4, 2009 at 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Washington County was the only county in PA to gain in Republican registration in 2008 in spite of the Obama-Clinton registration swell.
Demographic trends combined with poll analysis. Sorry Brant, but these are facts.

BTW you failed to address the point that you can do better. Not surprising.
If the only publication in town was the OR Pettit would still be there.

July 4, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to understand what bothers republicans more: the fact that their leaders looked more like the spending democrat predecessors or that their party has dissolved into having a radio shock jock as their leader.

You had your chance to make change and failed. Let someone else have a turn.

BTW, who will be the top 10 MILFs in Washington County this year?

July 4, 2009 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

"Washington County was the only county in PA to gain in Republican registration in 2008 in spite of the Obama-Clinton registration swell."

Well, at least Palin will carry ONE county in '12


July 4, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee -- Bush did such a great job of not spending our money -- by giving tax cuts to he rich and backing off regulation. That worked really well. I will repeat what I said the day Bush took office in 2001 -- any ass who gives back a government surplus has no grip on reality.

And somehow our anonymous friend who connected Carter and Obama neglected to mention Clinton. The economy did pretty well under him, I recall.

July 4, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Cody (or anonymous poster, as you may wish to be called), you are clearly the king of misinformation. Here's the good news for you first: The number of Republican voters registered in Washington County rose by about 280 voters between last November and this June, while the number of registered Democrats fell by about 370. The problem, for you, is that this is not some great groundswell of people rushing to the Republican Party, nor a great defection from the Democratic Party. The loss of Democratic voters is a result of typical culling of voters from the rolls because they moved, died or did not vote in several election cycles. And when you have a nearly two-to-one edge in registration, as Democrats do in Washington County, you have a lot more culling to be done. Also, the number of new Republican voter applications filed in Washington County between Nov. 10 and June 1 of this year was 455. But the number of new Democratic voters who registered in the county in that same time period is 621. And, yes, Republicans did gain in voter numbers in Washington County last year, but what you failed to mention is that Democratic registration grew by a larger number. The GOP registration rose from 47,226 in November 2007 to 49,011 by last November. But - and here's a figure you'd likely omit - during the same period, Democratic registrations rose from 84,549 to 89,034, a much larger gain in sheer numbers. Currently, even after the post-election culling of voter rolls, Democrats outnumber Republicans in Washington County by a margin of 88,655 to 49,290. What that means is that since November 2007, Republicans have gained a little more than 2,000 voters in the county, while Democrats have gained a little more than 4,000. Those aren't good numbers for the GOP. We could very well see that gap tighten depending on what races develop in the midterm election, and if Obama is unopposed for renomination while there is a hotly contested race for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, but the GOP has a long, long, long way to go, and they also face the prospect that more people, rather than move from Democrat to Republican, will move from Democrat to Libertarian, especially if the GOP insists on remaining a Bible-based political party. Fielding candidates for county row offices and the like might be a good place to start for the local Republicans. There, now I've given you the truth, and it didn't even cost you 75 cents.

July 4, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I didn't realize there were so many anti-american, homosexual, atheist, terrorist-huggers in Washington County...

July 4, 2009 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When it comes to opposing wasting of taxpayer money it seems to all seems to be a matter of what the money is being used for.
I took one hell of a beating from the people at the Washington Wild Thinks because I opposed the taxpayer funding of their new playing surface next year. About $500,000 from the State and another $500,000 from the Washington County Tourism Board!
Why the hell should taxpayers pay for ANY sports teams improvements to their facilities? I’ll tell you why – because that rat Tim Solobay went to the Wild Things and told them everybody else was doing it and that the Wild Things should do the same.
I’m not just guessing that is what happened. I was told that by the Wild Things management.
Now, “Fast Eddie” Rendell is crying about a lack of funds and wants a tax increase.
I know when he can get a fast $500,000! Take back the money the State has been shelling out to buy sports teams improvements for their facilities and, just like that, several million dollars more in the treasury! We taxpayers would be well served, but that will never happen, will it?
I believe there should NOT even be such a fund available. If there is excess money in the State coffers, then they are overtaxing us, and that money should be returned to us! It IS our money! It does NOT belong to the “integrity challenged” Tim Solobay, or to Ed Rendell, it is OURS!
The State needs to retain a reasonable amount for critical services, but not just keep excess funds to spend as they please. If anybody thinks the Wild Things are hurting, I have a bridge to sell you – cheap! The Wild Things are owned, and managed by a bunch of lawyers with “connections”, through with Mylan Labs to the ‘right’ people. Just think about this - Mylan Labs in Canonsburg plus Tim Solobay of Canonsburg, is it beginning to smell just a bit? The probably have enough money to run the entire State! They sure as hell should not be using taxpayer money just because they can get their hands on it!
Since I know that Tim Solobay would NEVER vote for a pay raise for himself (LOL), he would probably like to just spend the money any way he can. Hey Tim, how about helping some of the underprivileged get on their feet instead of helping your good buddies at the Washington Wild Things! You really need to go back to work at The Washington Hospital.
This ‘handout’ crap to the Wild Things, and by the Feds on an even larger scale, is what the “Tea Parties” are all about! Most politicians are to stupid to see that!
Let them all hate me - I don't much care. Our tax money is being mis-used and we should all be angry about it! The really sad part about it is, most of the people I talk to, the ones that are not baseball fans, don't even know about their tax money being used to help the Wild Things!

Ron Wilson

July 4, 2009 at 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at the local level for candidates and see the movement towards the Republican party. Also the point was we were the ONLY county to gain Republicans in a year in which there was massive loss. There was NO misinformation. We never stated that the other party did not gain either.
The point was that this was the only county to gain, period. It meant something and the win for McCain meant something.
Do you believe that if we had a county executive that Irey could not beat Maggi or Burns? I would love to watch that fight. Maggi would have a chance, but Irey is more formidable than people realize.
Also this county was never under 2-1, shall we look at 2000-2009? I doubt you would want to compare those numbers.

The macro situation is being observed all over SW PA and that is why the Republicans are doing better and better here nationally.

July 4, 2009 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Again, if the party is seeing all this growth in Washington County, why couldn't the GOP field candidates for row offices? With the growth in Republican areas such as Peters Township, the GOP SHOULD be gaining members. Yet the party leadership has proven amazingly inept. Their only saving grace is that the local Democrat leadership couldn't pour pee out of a boot if the directions were on the heel. And you can talk all you want about narrowing the gap in registration. At this rate, the Democrats had better really be watching out in that 2060 primary. This is, by and large, a very conservative area, and once the old union die-hards die off, the GOP should gain. But, of course, once the older people who dislike homosexuals and minorities die off, the GOP could lose some folks. We'll just have to see how it plays out. Also, in my mind, only providing part of the facts to make yourself look good is, indeed, misinformation. Why not look at the whole picture? Maybe because it doesn't paint the reality you like? And sorry, your central claim - that Washington County was the only one in the state to see a GOP registration gain in 2008 - is complete and utter bull crap. Here are some FACTS for you. I pulled out numbers on a dozen counties with significant Republican registration. Guess what? NINE of them had registration gains for the GOP between November 2007 and November 2008, including Greene and Fayette right in our back yard.

July 4, 2009 at 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dates were January to December Brant. That information was provided by the State GOP to local parties.
If it is off, I gladly stand corrected. It was provided by the State GOP to us.
Regardless the trend in the SW has been to gain for Republicans and to lose in the SW for Democrats. Are you denying that? It is an overall win for the Democrats in this state.

July 4, 2009 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I don't know how it can be an overall gain when Democrats have added more voters than Republicans over the past two years. Certainly, the GOP has gained since the days when Republicans were few and far between in these parts, but it's certainly not translating into any major victories, apart from Mr. Toprani's win under highly atypical circumstances. As for McCain's "victory" in Washington County, that and a dollar would get him a cup of coffee. Obama won by more than 10 percentage points statewide. And I would bet a body part that if Hillary Clinton had been the Democratic nominee, she would have beaten McCain in Washington County.

July 4, 2009 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is most interesting is that I have grave reservations about many of motivations of many of the organizers of such events as the teabags, but I would not dream of insulting the private citizens that feel a need to protest peacefully against their government.
I have never felt the need nor the desire to attend such events and have condemn the process by which my party has been highjacked by talk radio hosts rather than men of caliber with a philosophy based upon liberty.
I cannot support the Democratic Party as it seems more likely attempt to enslave me in well meaning laws. Though I have had grave reservations regarding Bush and his father long before it was fashionable, I was less afraid of their actions than those of my goverment today.
As others have stated in the past, there can be no rest from those that are determined to rule another's life. They are a cruel master intent on saving each of us from every desire of the flesh that could bring the slightest bit of harm to us. Their world is one of asthetic white. It is also one that I have no desire to live within. I would fight with each breath of my life than to surrender to their cruel but well meaning enslavement.

As a passing note, when this blog both supports comment from all viewpoints and elevates itself to the level that your sharp mind and tongue are capable of doing, then it is quite simply the best of places. I hope that it can become a place of honest thoughtful discussion.

As always I appreciate the effort that you have put into this enterprise and on this (or just past at this hour) 4th of July, let Freedom Ring for all of us.

July 5, 2009 at 1:37 AM  
Blogger Mike Jones said...

Brant, which version of the Constitution was Irey handing out? The original or the one that Bush/Cheney overhauled to fit their War on Terror?

July 6, 2009 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Probably the original, because the GOP doesn't like to talk about G.W. anymore.

July 6, 2009 at 3:26 PM  

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