Well, here I am at the Tea Party Express rally in Birmingham yesterday. That is, you could see me if it weren't for the bald-headed guy in the grey jacket and the lady in the black tee-shirt (toward the right of the image). See that Threeper flag peeking out over her right shoulder? That's me, taking the load off my feet in a folding chair, with a perfectly great view of their butts.
I wasn't going to go, but my buddy Jerry called and provided the ride (my Blazer needs a starter and we're down to one car for a while).
Here's what the Birmingham News said about it:
Tea Party Express makes stop in Birmingham's Kelly Ingram Park
By Robert K. Gordon -- The Birmingham News
November 09, 2009, 3:35PM
An estimated 500 to 600 people converged on Kelly Ingram Park today to criticize President Obama, health care reform and government bailouts.
The Tea Party Express made its way to Birmingham, the 32nd stop on its cross country tour. The grassroots organization is in a get-out-the-vote mode a year ahead of the mid-term elections.
Speakers decried Obama's policies as socialism and criticized the president for ignoring troops in Afghanistan and for his "failure to act against the Muslim terrorist who slaughtered troops at Fort Hood."
The event was part revival and part carnival with songs to liven an already energetic crowd and items for sale such as T-shirts, books, CDs and caps.
"I'm here for freedom," said Pinson resident Tim Emala. "We need to get back to the Constitution. We seemed to have strayed away from it. The politicians need to read it."
Emala said issues such as health care, global warming and government bailouts are all about government control. "I don't see where the government can do better than the people," he said.
It was a great rally, plenty of energy, if a bit short on specifics -- Get out the vote, that sort of thing. One of the national speakers who came in on the bus -- a FOX News contributor, he said -- read the punitive provisions of Pelosi's Intolerable Act and swore that he would disobey it if it came to be law. We need more of that.
Met a bunch of Oath Keepers and handed out a bunch more Oath Keeper cards. I also chatted with the black counter-demonstrators who were upset that someone was dissing Obama in Kelly Ingram Park, scene of many of Bull Connor's police brutality outrages in the 60s. I tried to enagage them, talking about the Deacons for Defense. Didn't make a scratch, they'd never heard of them. They got pissed off when I asked them why they were getting a lesson in their own history from a fat, old white guy who they wanted to eject from their sacred ground.
Then something happened that I thought I'd never see. You know how middle-class folks are so respectful of the cops? Well, the rally ran over and the lady at the mike said we had been ordered by the cops to disperse or else. The crowd, which had been in a good humor, instantly turned universally ugly.
"Tell them to come and make us!" more than one shouted. "Tell 'em to go to hell!" shouted others. Boos and shouts of defiance came from every sector of the crowd. One guy in an NRA cap yelled, "Piss on them!" (Only to shushed by his wife because there were kids present. He looked angry and shamefaced at the same time.)
The rally ended shortly afterward and the cops did not intervene, but I had never seen such folks so immediately ready to confront cops. The pendulum is swinging back the other way, people. Try not to get hit when it swings by you.