Let's hope 'Tea Party' protests lead to responsible alternatives

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Someone crossed out the "Republican" on the sign marking the river at McCook's Barnett Park, and substituted a cardboard sign, "Democrat" Wednesday night.

It was, doubtless, someone at the "Tea Party" which was hastily moved to one of the picnic shelters nearby after a misguided attempt at a windy-night roadside rally at the other Republican River bridge a mile and a half west.

The cardboard sign was an homage to partisan satirical observation of the river's shallow, meandering route, following the most expedient path. State GOP officials like chairman Mark Fahlson were quick to claim the rallys around the state were aimed at Democrats, Sen. Ben Nelson among them, and their "support of an unprecedented expansion of the size and scope of the federal government and the increased tax burden being heaped upon Nebraskans as a result."

Democrats countered that the tea parties were just "a gimmick to provide some cover to the overtly partisan rhetoric coming from Republican leadership."

Yes, there were probably more Republican than Democrat voters among the two or three dozen protesters at Barnett Park on Wednesday night, and issues like abortion and gun control brought many of them out.

But there was a conspicuous absence of many of the usual local activists from either party. Past Republican administrations took their share of criticism and at least one speaker announced plans to switch his registration from Republican to Independent.

Other speakers decried assaults on the Constitution, lack of appropriate education in the school system and civic ignorance of upcoming generations. While denying racial motives, still others compared Obama's charismatic leadership to the early days of Hitler's rule, complete with a "Hitler Youth"-type compulsory national service.

Such overblown rhetoric wasn't unexpected at a rally where participants carried protest signs and flags declaring "Don't Tread on Me."

But, coupled with hundreds of other tea parties around the nation, the Barnett Park rally is evidence of genuine concern about the sweeping "change" ushered in by the Obama administration and the long-term effects it will have on our nation.

Let's hope the movement results in a real leadership and an actual plan to restore fiscal and moral responsibility rather than simply attacking those who are now in power.

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  • Tee hee hee. Somebody actually edited the sign? I don't know why that strikes me as funny, but it does.

    -- Posted by bjo on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 11:40 AM
  • The rhetoric coming from these gatherings is kinda funny. So much of this is pointed at the new Democratic leadership and much of the problems they are dealing with came from the previous administration.

    It really is time to stop the nonsense at move forward.

    No one really likes paying taxes but we all like are streets and hi-ways, our schools and our police,or at least the peace of mind that they give us.

    The State actually receives back $1.10 for every $1.00 collected in federal taxes. Senator Johanns is fighting to keep the welfare paid to Nebraska farmers with sales of more then $500,000. It seems as if everyone wants to cut spending as long as it doesn't effect them. I say if we want to get out of this mess we all will need to sacrifice a little.


    -- Posted by Meshedup on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 9:04 PM
  • Meshedup:

    How much of that federal money do you suppose goes to fund highways, schools, and welfare programs aimed at people who AREN'T farmers? How much BUREAUCRACY in involved?

    Incidentally, I was the person who pledged to change his party affiliation from Republican to independent, and I did that earlier today. When I did so, I noticed that the registration form had some blacked-out areas on it, and I asked about this. I learned that the form USED to list the Constitution, Green and Libertarian parties, but since those parties failed to get at least 5% of the vote, they lost access.

    Who's up for a petition drive to reverse that? I say competition, even in politics, is a GOOD thing for customers......

    -- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 6:25 PM
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