Wednesday, April 07, 2010

From Rockford: An inside look at the Tea Party Express

"You're either on the bus...or off the bus."
Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

That was the metaphor from Wolfe's 1960s classic: If you were on the bus, you were hip. And thanks to Andrea Shea King, I was "on the bus." Literally and symbolically. There I am on the left, next to me is Levi Russell, the communications director for the Tea Party Express, and Joe Wierzbicki, who Andrea Shea King describes as the "All Around Wonder Man."

Yesterday the Tea Party Express held a rally in Rockford, Illinois.

There are three motorcoaches in the Tea Party Express fleet, I'm on the red one, the communications bus. The buses have cozy--as in compact--sleeping quarters, a microwave, a refrigerator, and a plasma television. Here's a tidbit for you conspiracy theorists: Glenn Beck's show was on while I was on the blue bus.

It's not a tea party without a rally. And speakers. After Diana Nagy sang the "Star Spangled Banner," Lloyd Marcus kicked off the event with a couple of songs, including his anthemic "Twenty Ten." Sacramento talk-radio host Mark Williams gave a rousing talk, and offered conservative Illinoisans some assurance that they're not alone by living in a Democratic-state. "I moved from the frying pan into the fire," Williams said. He used to live in Massachusetts.

Rockford's Davis Park was an ominous setting for the TPX. Until recently it was Illinois second-largest city. An abandoned Amerock factory towered over the park, and there are many more vacant factories in Rockford, the town gives off the feeling that somewhere on Bruce Springteen's "The River" album, there should be a song about Rockford. The city has a twenty percent unemployment rate.

Andrea Shea King gave a spirited address about the latest bad news to come from the White House--President Obama's decision to radically restrict our nuclear first-strike capabilities. Shortly before she took the stage, she was given an onerous task--inroducing Adam Andrzejewski, a recent Republican candidate for Illinois governor, who would follow her. Which meant she had to pronounce his name. I coached her--I told her to remember it this way: "Angie-Effski." She must have--she got it kielbasa-korrect. Andrzejewski threw some tasty red-meat at the crowd, attacking such Illinois dragons as state House Speaker Michael Madigan and his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The Tea Party Express part of the rally ran for about two hours, the local portion preceded it--I missed most of it, but I'm told the highlight was Republican Congressional candidate Joe Walsh's speech. He's running against Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL), the coward who refused to hold town hall meetings last summer.

About 1,500 patriots attended the rally.

As I've stated many times before, the Tea Party Express puts on a fun show, click here to see its upcoming stops.

Enjoy these other reports from Rockford:

Andrea Shea King
Publius Forum
ThirdWaveDave, who attended via cell phone.
Power and Control
Chicago News Bench

Related posts:

Photos: Tea Party Express comes to Rockford
Donate to Tea Party Express III--Just Vote Them Out
Andrea Shea King embeds with Tea Party Express
Tea Party Express announces "Shame on Stupak"

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you