Feb 27, 2009
"Music and Meander" at the Capitol is a bust
LANSING -- It might have been called "Music and Meander" or "Mega Bust," but the so-called "Chicago Tea Party" protest by right-wingers on the Capitol steps at noon Friday certainly did little to change anyone's mind.
The protest was based on the over-the-top, unprofessional rant a few weeks ago by CNBC's Rick Santelli on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to protest President Obama's economic stimulus package, and it did little but illustrate right-wingers are in the minority. The majority of Americans in both parties think a spending stimulus is needed to try and reverse the crisis caused by the Bush Administration policies.
I wasted my lunch hour to hear what they had to say, and all I saw was a maximum – a generous estimation - of no more than 150 people milling about, carrying handmade signs, passing out propaganda and listening to patriotic music. I saw a few of the usual suspects, like Leon Drolet, but not much was going on.
The protest was supposed to last until 1 p.m., but I left after listening to Bruce Springsteen's song "Born in the USA." Just like Ronald Reagan in 1984, these people have no clue what the song is all about. It's like their complete misuse and lack of understanding of what the Boston Tea Parry was for and about.
The song was about the tribulations soldiers experienced in the Vietnam War, and it also protests the hardships Vietnam veterans faced upon their return from the war.
I saw the normal signs with the rightwing talking point about the alleged "socialist Democrats," but even funnier were the ones complaining about the budget deficit. Where were these people when Bush took a budget surplus and turned it into a record budget deficit with tax cuts for the richest 1 percent and spent it on an unnecessary invasion of Iraq. Just think what we could do to rebuild and stimulate our economy with the billions of dollars spent on rebuilding on Iraq and the millions that disappeared because of the lack of oversight and no-bid contracts.
They could have went to the end of the Capitol sidewalk and asked the handful of people protesting the Iraq invasion what they thought. To their credit, they have been there every Friday rain or shine in the two years I have worked in Lansing.
Because my office overlooks the Capitol, I looked out the window at about 12:50, and the "protest" was basically over. If there were any speeches they had to be between 12:30 and 12:50 p.m.
To be fair, it's nice to be with like minded people who think the way you do. I know that's one reason I like political conventions and rallies after so many years of being neutral. The good news is more people agree with the President, and the people on the Capitol steps are a small minority.