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As Long as We Remember...

September 14, 2009

9/11 Rally Meets the Tea Party

Steven R. Berryman

The convergence of local politics with national is impossible to escape now, even to the casual observer. With the timeframe overlap between the newest “Tea Party” style rally, the observances of 9/11s “Patriot Day,” and municipal primary elections tomorrow in Frederick, the relationship between party and constituent becomes even more blurred.


Saturday’s Washington Post led with “GOP Sees Protest As an Opportunity” in the best possible position above the fold:

Searching for ways to compete with Democrats after two consecutive electoral drubbings, Republicans have moved past earlier uncertainty about the protesters, who organized nationwide rallies this summer that have threatened Democratic health-care plans and eroded President Obama's standing with the public.”


Perhaps so, but I contend that the “Independents” currently supporting protest movements around the country still gravitate to the GOP, but – for various reasons – they are still very much “up for grabs.”


Flash back to last Friday, to the newly renovated Baker Park band shell; Tea Party Number Three got into full swing at 3 P.M. in the pouring rain. Six hundred faithful shuffled in and out over the next two hours.


I showed up a tad late, but the event was broadcast live so I missed nothing… and thought to wear my FDNY hat, a souvenir from Ground Zero in New York; American flag pin attached. And I was prepared to say a few words should the opportunity arise.


Tracking comments on a related Frederick News-Post article, I had been concerned about naysayers claiming a protest was not apropos for a 9/11 anniversary. They could not have been more wrong, as real patriots were in attendance, and were worried about the unbridled growth of government, the related consequences, and divergence from our Constitutional founding principles.


Much like the last two efforts, this local protest rally was hosted by WFMD radio’s enigmatic afternoon host, Blaine Young, and was coordinated by We Surround Them – Frederick’s Mark Kreslins and Joshua Lyons, the group’s founders.


They both gave rousing speeches that can be found on


Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins gave a key invited speech, and appeared specifically as the sheriff, and made a note of it.  Our sheriff is a faithful Republican, but that fact was not germane to the conversation at hand.


“The elected official closest to the people” – as he rightly puts it – arrived with a montage speech that begun with covering the origins of the 9/11 attacks, a solemn remembrance, and managed to blend it into aspects and consequences of our current Constitutional overreach.


His concerns for a federal government run amok include our new financial liability, resulting in a vulnerability, with the Communist Chinese owning so much of our national debt, while selling us cheap goods at WalMart.


The undeniable cause of the above being the reckless spending of TARP bailouts, faux stimulus to select economic sectors, and energy “cap and trade,” which is vainly masked wealth redistribution for political gain.


“We are doing to ourselves, what a radical regime has already tried to do; to bleed ourselves to death with wasteful spending.” Later Dr. John Vitarello confirmed that the attempted HR3200 healthcare reforms would easily add $1.7 trillion to our national debt.


Fiscal conservatism surely has more value and relevance as an issue today than ever.


The creation of a brigade on the home front by our Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bothered the sheriff.


Although not quite the “brown shirts” of a National Socialist Party from another day, the ominous overreach is redundant, and oversteps local law enforcement, which is already in place and willing to adapt to contingencies such as national emergencies.


Who remembers still when President Barack Obama promised us a Civilian Security Force to match our National Guard in strength? Is this some prelude to internment camps for dissenters?


The unanswered questions give one pause.


How well did an engorged Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deal with Hurricane Katrina? Imagine how this type of oversight would impact a Johns Hopkins medial facility!


On healthcare reform, the rally featured an in-depth half hour talk by one of our finest local surgeons:


Outspoken cardiologist Dr. Vitarello is adamantly against a healthcare reform that would create a public option. His vision of a plan that would serve the people consists of one in which “the patient is the customer, and it’s all about the patient.”


There is no savings in a public option; quite the contrary!


The good doctor brought two patients with him to the band shell of Baker Park, along with a team of nurses to assist. This was to emphasize a quality of life issue that would not have been covered under “Obama Care.”


What some hystericals had unfortunately termed “death squads” empowered the counter-opposition, but…the “medical advisory board” created under the socialized plan in question would inevitably end in care rationing; same result de facto.


Only one doctor would sit on this board, and that would be appointed by the White House! Don’t forget that this president’s current science advisor has supported mandatory abortions in the past.


The other members of this board would include health insurance executives, actuarial staff, and non-medical personnel. It would be an easy vote to overrule a stint option by a financially incentives group with only a minority doctor’s opinion to influence.


The crowd was in awe of the doctors first hand knowledge, and line-by-line understanding of the pending legislation. Patriots at the rally were now better informed than the politicians themselves from this point forward, and were suitably empowered.


Save Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who gave a fine supporting talk with Constitution in hand. He had earned his opportunity to speak at a venue where few politicians would have been welcomed!


He reminded us all of the old story of Davy Crockett; confirming that even charitable giving is not a valid function of the government of a Constitutional Republic.


So…where do these new ranks of “independent thinking” regular folks now come from, who dare to speak truth to power out in the rain at non-partisan political rallies some think in vein?


Chris Cavey, Maryland State Republican Party 1st Vice Chair, wrote for The Tentacle last week:


“The other large portion of the unaffiliated voting block is those who are disgruntled with their “former” party. Democrats, who feel their party has left them, however, are too embarrassed to become a Republican. Or perhaps Republicans, who feel their party is full of right-wing hypocrites, yet would die in shame to tell their friends at work they ever registered as a Democrat.”


We are surely now living in the heyday of the “concerned citizen” as opposed to a particular political party. Which party will reach over to join with the citizens instead of attempting the reverse?


We shall see.


But in the end, they say all politics is local. And we were very local last Friday.


The people’s yearning to get all the way back to the grassroots movements that began it all is becoming irresistible. The yearning is with ample cause.


Which party will adapt to this new reality best?




Postscript: My two reminders are simply:


1)     Vote in your Frederick municipal elections tomorrow, or stop complaining.


2)     Listen to “The Forgotten Men” radio program, new for Saturdays       on WFMD am930 12:00pm!


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