Yesterday, at the Capitol Square, there was a big Tea Party rally, starring Sarah Palin, but it was opening day for the Dane County Farmers' Market. We pass a farmer's meat stand, and then we get to the signs. (Oh, it was a hard day yesterday, as I just indicated to myself by typoing, for "signs": "sighs.") There's a woman with a fish sign, blaming Walker for some piscine woes. There are a couple of anti-Prosser/pro-Kloppenburg signs alarming us about the possibility of election fraud. As Abe Lincoln strides across the green, the rally comes into view. I gotta feeling... despair is not an option.
At 0:40, we arrive at some "shame... shame... shame..." chanters. These are anti-Tea Party people, and maybe they're ashamed of themselves for not making it clear what the shame is. What's shameful about a Tea Party gathering? Be clear, folks! This chanting is inarticulate, unless your purpose is that we should all just feel terrible about ourselves. Is self-esteem passé? "Despair is not an option" but shame is the only option. I know you want to manipulate our feelings, but I can't even understand how you want me to feel... except very, very tired of you.
At 1:04, a woman's "Recall Walker" chant is hilariously half-hearted. Maybe we could just recall him a little. Let's not recall him. Let's reminisce about him.
At 1:07, we jump to the middle of that 14-year-old girl, speaking from the podium over clamorous chanting and heckling. Last night, I put up an edit of the video Meade shot during her speech. This is my video, from a different place in the crowd. There's an older woman in purple who yells "Corporate thief!" after the girl says "the debt... in my future is overwhelming." There are periodic outbursts from this woman, including "Koch suckers!" Imagine yelling "Koch suckers" at a 14-year-old girl.
At 1:46, I talk to the guy with the sign that purports to be "hand printed in union blood." (He should meet this artist who works in used Band-Aids.) (I guess the AIDS scare is over.)
2:15: "That girl was 14-years-old and she made more sense than Barack Obama," says the announcer.
2:25: The voice is Vicki McKenna, the local talk radio personality, who has no trouble powering over the "You lie!" characters in the union T-shirts.
2:53: A rag-tag band that had been at the corner gets the idea to march straight into the back of the Tea Party crowd, apparently with no idea of the danger of pushing into the back of a crowd. If people in the front were getting crushed against a barrier, these self-involved musicians would not realize what they were causing . To them, it's just brash, youthful misbehavior, fun-loving japery — shutting up the people who need to be shut up.
3:36: The voice is Andrew Breitbart, who gets to the point where he tells the counter-Tea Party protesters to "go to hell." As you can see, they laugh at him.