I went to the Boise Teabagger event tonight; the one at which Walt Minnick spoke. Here's my report. Not that much craziness, but, sadly, Walt disappoints. Daniel may have been going into the lion's den, but, a panderbear isn't at that much risk.
I got there at 4:30 pm (1630). Doors were to open at 1700, so I thought I'd be early to see if any marchers or craziness was happening. I planned to just stay outside and see the marchers, and see whatever ire was vented by folks who couldn't get in. Well, no craziness happened outside, and I got bored, so I went in at about 1705.
No signs, no wacky t-shirts, no one packing, didn't see any of that. Inside, once it got going, there were lots of, well, not-fact-based questions, and some anger, but they managed to control the crowd pretty well. They took questions based on the number on the raffle ticket they gave you when you entered. It was mostly an older crowd. Walt started to speak at 1718, instead of the 1800 announced start time. By 1718 (5:18 pm), a pretty good crowd had formed. I hung until 1835. Can't speak to what happened after, but Sisyphus was there and I'm sure will be able to fill us in.
I counted chairs and heads. There were 14 rows of chairs, 18 wide, or 252 seats. 10 chairs on one side of the aisle, 8 on the other. Not all seats were eventually filled. My guess; about 210, 220, or so. Decent crowd. Ignore all reported numbers over 252; well, a few folks stood at the back, 6,8, something like that, but still, there were a good number of empty seats. 220 tops. Here's the crowd.
In his opening remarks Walt emphasized how we must "pay for" any health care reform, drawing many approving hoots and much applause. Then he said, and this is a near quote: " I've met with lots of groups, (and he named some clubs and political groups) and North End Democrats, and I think that group is more likely to produce a Fox News moment than this group." Laughs and applause. Which kind of put me off, to be honest.
See, he's saying that he thinks N.E. Dems are crazier, or more volatile, then tea baggers. Well, Walt, I believe your wife A.K. used to live in the North End, in the apartments across from the Boise Co-op. How crazy is she? Plus, I guess North Enders are not really in your district, but do you have to diss them as crazier than tea baggers?
More choice moments: Someone shouted "Close the borders!" Walt replied "Actually, that's quite a useful suggestion."
Walt: "I'm enamored of the Senate Finance Committee's bipartisan effort." Kudos for getting "enamored of" right, but JTFC, the Senate Finance Committee's bill?
At 1800, Mike Crapo joined the fray via phone and Walt said "Senator Crapo is the senior member of my delegation." My? Oh, my.
Some guy stood up and talked about how he's a vet, and vet's are wonderful, and the greatest generation and all that, and bitched about euthanizing the greatest generation (no kidding, euthanizing, his words) and eventually asked (paraphrasing) "What are you gong to do about stopping euthanizing the greatest generation? Walt's response?
He praised WWII vets, emphasized his service, and sat down (to hoots of "answer the question!") He didn't point out how the guy was as crazy as a shit-house rat to think that the bill called for euthanization. What he said was, "John [Foster] (his commo director) has the bill, let's look up the actual language. Then he dropped the question and didn't return to it while I was there.
Walt: "This group is terrific."
That's it for me for tonight.
Oh, and in case you think news casting is glamorous, check out this poor Channel 7 guy wrestling with a snake's nest of cable. Note the gloves and necktie ensemble..