Apr 17, 2009

Another Astroturf “tea party” post-mortem

As the hyped hoopla fades on the Astroturf “tea parties” organized by corporate friendly rightwing Washington, D. C. lobbying groups, a quick post-mortem is in order.

Washington based “Americans for Prosperity” said there would be no elected GOP officials speaking at the Lansing Republican political rally, despite Republicans speaking at rallies all over the nation. It also didn’t stop Wendy Day, extremist rightwing Republican Howell Public School Board Member and founder of the anti-gay hate group known as LOVE (Livingston Organization for Values in Education), from speaking.

It also didn’t stop former GOP state Representative and director of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance Leon Drolet from speaking. Drolet used the event as a fundraising opportunity as did other Republicans. Drolet also is looking for more exposure because he just acknowledged he is a candidate for Michigan Senate in the 11th Senate district in 2010. It’s ironic that a guy who hates government has never held a job outside of government, unless you count this brief stint at MTA hauling around a huge pink fiberglass pig.

Then it’s puzzling that AFP denied the person who represents Lansing in the U.S. House an opportunity to speak, Mike Rogers. Subscription only Gongwer reported that despite his office issuing a press release that very day saying he would speak, Rogers was not allowed to speak to the crowd, and it was reported “he left the event early after being told he would not have an opportunity at the podium.” It did not say if he left in a huff or why he didn’t stay to hear what the other stellar speakers had to say.

Michigan Messenger reporter and photographer Todd Heywood got some excellent photos, including this shot of Rogers at the event.

At the GOP rally in Chicago, organizers turned down RNC Chair Michael Steele's request to speak in a vain atempt to keep up the farce that it was a grassroots effort organized for everyday people.

In November of 2010 this will all be forgotten, and what will be remembered is the GOP’s association with extremist fringe groups like white supremacists and militia groups.

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