This afternoon I was checking out the Wheeling UnIntelligencer website and the "Breaking News" scrolled across the screen...
SARAH PALIN TO ADDRESS THE TEA PARTY AT THE HERITAGE PORT
Needless to say, I quickly finished my Halloween costume (a Dolph Santorine name tag that says "Hello, my name is Dolph") and rushed out the door. It said the rally would start at 3:30 and here it was already 3:45pm. I made it downtown in 5 minutes flat. Fortunately, it had just begun. So here are my "unbiased" observations...
I parked in the United Bank lot and walked down. Lots of "Raese for Governor" and just as many "Manchin = Obama" signs littered the walkway. Plenty of vendors selling buttons and t-shirts. Most of the stuff was par for the course. Lots of red, white and blue. Let's get further immersed in stars and stripes. Plenty of abstract themes about freedom, liberty and less government. A few people had flags that read "Don't tread on me." And of course, there was the typical anti-Pelosi/Reid/Obama material as well. Who could have fathomed that one? I'll give the Tea Party credit for one thing - they don't vary much from their talking points. They have a mission statement and they stick to it.
I'd estimate the crowd at about 280 (and that could be a little generous). Considering that the weather was decent (pleasant and around 50 degrees), I'm surprised more people weren't in attendance. Then again, 4pm was rapidly approaching. I'll surmise that most of the crowd was en route to Mehlman's Cafeteria for the dinner rush. The crowd was OLD and WHITE. I did see one black man with a black trench coat and a long braided pony tail who was rather conspicuous. Plenty of people waving American flags and saluting anything in their collective peripheral vision.
What I found surprising was the lack of security. The crowd was calm, orderly and remained seated. Nonetheless, there will only 3 local city cops at the top of the steps. Considering how much this crowd loves their guns, I wondered if anyone at the Heritage Port was armed. I'm guessing maybe a few had concealed weapons. Maybe not. I could have made quite a big splash with my anti Sarah Palin sign. You know, the one that says...
ARE DINOSAURS REALLY
4,000 YEARS OLD?
Seriously, I should have brought it but wasn't in the mood to take in all the hostility. In retrospect, I really should have brought the sign. CNN and Fox were both there and it probably would have caused a commotion. Plus, there were several other signs and much larger flags in the audience. I could have stood off to the side with my elevated sign. In retrospect, I think I'm just growing more cautious with age. In further retrospect, I suck. Honestly, why would I be so lame? And for Satan's sake, it's Halloween!
Anyway, the leader of rally - a local, large housewife initiated the Pledge of Allegiance. The crowd dutifully responded in unison. She introduced John Raese and he was warmly received. He didn't have much to say. Then, all of a sudden, they introduced our knight in shining Armour - or queen of Spam if you prefer... SARAH PALIN! The crowd erupted. Well, "erupted" is a bit strong. Think of the level of excitement that would ensue if they announced 50% off stool softener at a Methodist church bingo.
Sarah looked pretty sharp in her dark leather get-up. She blabbed for about 5 minutes about how much she loves coal, West Virginia and country music. And of course how much she loves freedom, liberty and the constitution. Not much substance with either refrain. Just the typical cheerleading that has cemented her in the hearts of bible belters who love that American Idolesque enthusiasm. Hey, just because you're some old, encrusted bean counting honky from Oakmont or Barrington, doesn't mean you don't get a piece of the action. This afternoon Halloween party's for you!
Anyway, she concluded with standard "God Bless you! God Bless DiCarlo's Pizza! God Bless West Virginia! And of course, God Bless America! As an atheist Jew, it's much harder for me to get ramped up. Then, she was swarmed for about 8 minutes by people seeking autographs. Keep in mind, these were the younger people who didn't have walkers or weren't confined to wheelchairs. Anyway, some other guy got up and started again with the anti Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid rhetoric. God damn, I hope Harry Reid wins on Tuesday. I think he will. I'm not a big fan. Personally, I'd prefer a Senate Majority leader with at least some kind of attitude (maybe a damp kitchen rag would suffice). But for the love of Allah... Sharon Angle is a right wing lunatic. At least she's an idiot right winger and not a Newt Gingrich intellectual. I guess that bodes well for her demise.
Anyway, I came to see the human I hate the most on the planet earth and was successful. I sometimes wonder who is a more dangerous character - Palin or Ahmedinajad? Palin or Robert Mugabe? Palin or Ayman Al-Zawahiri? I'm not joking. The latter are all villains but their capability to inflict immense damage is for the most part, neutralized. Hating her just comes so naturally. Seriously, how can anyone pass on the opportunity to see that finely tuned, shrill Alaskan section of discarded labia.
And I've got bad news for all the tea baggers that showed up for this rally on the muddy banks of the Ohio River...
Aside from the fact that you can suck my dick, Harry Reid will win & Manchin's gonna win too. And I have a strange hunch that Sestak is going to beat Toomey in PA. I can't wait for the election returns on Tuesday night. Republicans will win the House, but there's no way in hell they'll win the Senate. Perhaps some constructive gridlock will be beneficial for the country. But honestly, I doubt it. This country is fucked up. Neither party can save it nor wants to save it. All they want is the notion of control. You'd think I was a diehard liberal. Not really, but compared to that Earl Grey Tea Bagging rally.... YOU BETCHA!