And you thought tea and chile didn’t go together

The Santa Fe Tea Party was a resounding success. There were more people than I had dared hope would come, and far fewer protesters. I heard there were a few, but the only one I saw was a grim-faced man who glowered at us as he walked around holding above his head a sign that read, “Pay your taxes, be grateful, and shut up, you morons.”

Democrat John Grubesic got resoundingly booed for telling us that we really don’t pay too much in taxes after all, because in Sweden they pay 51%. Gosh, if it’s good enough for the Swedes, I guess it ought to be good enough for us. I saw that train wreck coming when I read this story in Heath Haussamen’s blog the other day. Steve Terrell has the whole text of Grubesic’s speech.

The other speakers were great. Former Gov. Gary Johnson was wonderful — he almost makes me want to get rid of term limits so we could elect him again. SFRWF President Sheryl Bohlander, who worked incredibly hard putting this event together, made an inspiring call-to-arms speech. General Greg Zanetti, commander of the New Mexico National Guard, made a sincere, heartfelt speech that was very well received, and boded well for his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

I saw a number of friends there. One of them called me earlier in the day saying her husband didn’t want to go because he thought there’d only be about six people there, Santa Fe being Santa Fe, and it would be just too painful to watch. I assured her that would not be the case (and hoped like anything I wasn’t being a cockeyed optimist) and they did come. Truly, considering what an overwhelmingly liberal Democrat city this is, the turnout was nothing short of amazing.

This may be the beginning of a beautiful realignment.

Update: Cordelia is on the front page of the New Mexican!

Steve Terrell’s story accompanying the picture already has 59 comments (and it’s only 8:00 a.m.). I only read the first page, but many are spouting the Democratic talking point that the Tea Parties were all orchestrated from the top by the GOP and Fox News, and are not grass roots events. I know the people who organized the Santa Fe Tea Party, and it was a grass roots operation. I was at one of the sign making parties along with other ordinary citizens, and donated money (not to the GOP, but to the organizers personally) to make it happen, as did a lot of other people. This party was strictly a home grown affair.

One comment ended with

I would appreciate it if the Republicans would cease and desist with their incessant anger, hatred and bigotry. Please do not make April 15 a national racist day.

How protesting higher taxes and excessive government spending makes you a racist I’m not sure, but then again, it’s become standard operating procedure on the left to call anyone you disagree with a racist, and consider the argument won.

Comments 17

  1. Dan wrote:

    Yes it is ever so much better to call anyone you disagree with a socialist.

    I enjoy the irony of this one: teabagger wastes thousands in public funds while attempting to protest spending of public funds:

    I’m still wondering where these teabaggers were when Bush was running up giant budget deficits that didn’t even include the extra $300-400Billion per year being spent on his various middle eastern wars.

    Keep pretending the teabaggers were grassroots as much as you want Brigette but the fact remains that the whole thing was orchestrated by FreedomWatch which is a PAC headed by former GOP House MajorityLeader Dick Armey and was incessantly flogged by Fox News and other forms of right wing partisan media.

    And after all that, the turnout was somewhere between sparse (Washington DC) and pathetic (everywhere else). I guess there’s only so many conservatives wealthy enough to whole day off in the middle of the work week for a partisan protest in the middle of a recession while the rest of the country is working overtime every day hoping to keep their jobs. Way to further drag down the economy conservatives!

    I must say though I find it hilarious that conservatives are so naive and sheltered that they chose to call themselves “teabaggers” without even knowing what the phrase means. Will your next protest be against illegal immigration and called “dirty sanchezing”? Maybe you can buy a train to cross the country on a whistle stop tour and name it the “Cleveland steamer.”

    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 2:45 pm
  2. Dan wrote:

    correction: Dick Armey’s PAC is named “FreedomWorks”, not “FreedomWatch”.

    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 2:46 pm
  3. Towanda wrote:

    Hi Brigette!

    I’m so happy to find your blog! Wow another conservative blogger in Santa Fe!! HOORAY!

    We probably saw each other at one of the sign parties. You report on the tea party is great!

    I am hoping this is the start of a continued grassroots effort … DESPITE what the commenters in the newspaper have to say today. I think they just don’t get it.


    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 4:02 pm
  4. Dan wrote:

    FreedomWorks’s astroturfing exposed:

    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 5:06 pm
  5. JT wrote:

    Your report on the Tea Parties and your position on the Democrats and their scripted lies is dead-on.

    If there is a conservative grass roots movement gaining steam it is orchestrated and if the conservatives win a close election it is stolen and if Rove is still breathing he must be behind it.

    I hate stupid people of whatever stripe (and I know the GOP has them too) but unfortunately the idea of leaving the weak and useless to die of exposure on a hill somewhere has fallen out of favor.

    Now to be popular or with the popular team is to be smart and valued. No wonder we now have a President anointed by a talk show host. That should not be read as dislike of Obama, though I did not vote for him. He is a nice, intelligent guy who never ran a thing before but that’s not his fault. If he screws things up it will be the Congress, not him to blame.

    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 7:09 pm
  6. JT wrote:


    Is your Dad Somoan and your Mom Mexican?

    Just wondering.


    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 7:28 pm
  7. Dan wrote:

    Is your Dad Somoan and your Mom Mexican?

    Just wondering.


    Is your Dad White and your Mom White?

    Just wondering.

    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 8:20 pm
  8. JT wrote:


    I already said what my parents are but I will say so again. My Dad is Greek Cypriot (that is a form of white person who derives from the Mediterranean region which is very far from here – ask someone to show it on a map) and my mother is 3/4 Spanish and 1/4 Russian from the Ural region (they are also, generally considered white people and the term “Caucasian” actually comes from the nomenclature for people of that region). My mother’s family name was Pechorin and my Dad’s and my own is Tripodous.

    I hope that clarifies it for you. I am sorry that you have a thing against white people or maybe wish you were one or more of one, but I assure you one is as good as another if you make it so.

    If I am wrong about that – and I admit I could be – you should not call others racist while being indirectly racist yourself. But at least you tried to hide it. Your mother obviously taught you something right.

    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 10:23 pm
  9. JT wrote:

    Sorry Dan I mis-wrote. My mother’s 1/4 portion is from the Caucasus region. I was thinking of Dr. Zhivago, one of my favorite books. The specific area is called Stavropol. The Spanish side is from Barcelona, though they were not Catalans.

    Posted 16 Apr 2009 at 10:27 pm
  10. Brigette Russell wrote:

    I can’t speak for the tea parties in any other cities, but there was no Astroturf on the Santa Fe Plaza. Ours was strictly home grown. As I said, I know the organizers, know how this one was put together, was there at one of the sign-making parties where there were only local people, no Dick Armey operatives.

    Ordinary people are mad as hell about the corporate bail-outs and the hemorrhage of government spending, and a lot of those ordinary people were out at the Plaza the other day.

    A lot of people who feel the same way weren’t there, and when I talked to them afterward they had various reasons and excuses, but they were completely in accord with the protesters. The people out there protesting were just the tip of a very large iceberg. Hopefully, they will give the excuse-makers courage to get out there and take part next time.

    Posted 17 Apr 2009 at 2:11 pm
  11. Dan wrote:

    The local organizations may be local and I have no doubt are very sincere but the movement itself was centrally planned and orchestrated by GOP operatives.

    For those sincere believers I again find myself wondering why they weren’t having teabagger parties during the outrageous and irresponsible deficit spending of the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II years.

    Posted 17 Apr 2009 at 2:59 pm
  12. JT wrote:


    Do you REALLY not see the difference between now and the earlier times you mentioned in that last post? Do you read the papers? Did you live in a cave until recently? Do you remember Jimmy Carter? Did you not have a problem with his spending and his ideas? By the way, I always thought he was a nice, if misguided, fellow, though now I think he is probably more of an anti-Semite than I would have guessed in the past. But, again, maybe he has cause to be.

    If you really don’t see the difference between now and then you are DEFINITELY lying about your age. You seem to be a fairly intelligent fellow but everything you post is stuff I have either seen on MSNBC or some leftist-driven blog. That is not to accuse you of cutting and pasting. Your failure to use terms within their meaning is also indicative of someone who does not think for himself enough, which is funny as that is what you like to think others do. I almost think you watch Olbermann and Maddow (the former is a clownish moron, the latter smart and funny, though I disagree with her on most political issues) and take notes. You really – I mean REALLY – shouldn’t talk about what is or is not a grassroots movement because you are buying your own thoughts (as represented in your posts here) wholesale from some national org or other or, worse, some tv show. A grassroots movement can be embraced by a party or disavowed by a party and that does not change the local nature of the movement. Do you know of any instance where a grassroots movement wasn’t? I am VERY angry about increases in taxes while bailing out banks and Insurance companies and creating more government programs we do not need. That does not mean I am against real infrastructure improvement but we don’t need a rail line from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and other nonsensical things like that. The GOP is a party and not some nefarious organization any more than the Dems are a nefarious organization. How could you really buy into that nonsense? It just screams from your posts. By the way, I say the same thing to Republicans when I hear that kind of nonsense from them – and I heard it OFTEN during the Clinton Administration years.

    So you have no problem with high taxes, no problem with the current spending (vs the current intake and forecasts) because it was done in the past in MUCH better economic conditions and completely different geo-political circumstances (and I am a fiscal conservative and don’t like high spending in the best of times) OR you are against the current spending but don’t think others – WHO PAY THE TAXES – have a legitimate, even if sincere, right to bitch about it or are puppets of some national party org because it has been done before, though never on a scale even close to this or in such an unprecedented socialist fashion. Maybe you aren’t a socialist, but if it walks like a duck…

    You are clearly one of those people who spent all their time at websites like Bushlies and truthout and other moronic anti- sites. The right has them too but they are never right (meaning correct) and are selling a lie, which you appear to have bought. What is bad about you is that you actually think you know how and why other people think what they do – THAT is the dead give-away. Jokes aside, you have no idea what I think and I have no idea what you really think except as displayed in your posts. You think I am a racist because I never met a Native American who wasn’t a drunkard or a lazy bastard, OK. I can accept that and I have no problem with it. My position is based on reason and a lifetime of experience. One of my best friends as a child was Native American and I thought the world of him until he was charged and went to prison for getting drunk and raping his sister with the aid of his father.

    You might well be a decent guy but something does not add up in your rhetoric.

    Posted 17 Apr 2009 at 6:14 pm
  13. Dan wrote:

    I don’t know what keeps prompting this long rambling screeds from you JT but it would help if you could organize your thoughts before clicking the post button.

    I don’t even get MSNBC (I’m on Dish Network and about a year ago I cut my subscription to the bare minimum when I realized that the only thing I watch on TV anymore is sports). I’ve never even heard of the blogs you’re accusing me of reading.

    Its funny that you keep railing about (your particular) definitions of words or phrases but you don’t even know what grass roots means in a political context. Grass roots movements are created from the ground up, not from the top down, as the teabagger movement was. FreedomWorks blatantly manufactured the teabagger meme and the fact that it caught on with real people (after strenuous promotion by right-wing mouthpieces) doesn’t make it any more a grassroots movement.

    I don’t know where this idea that Carter spent irresponsibly came from. He *never* ran a deficit that even approached Reagan’s smallest deficit. Prior to Reagan it was well understood that deficits should be run in order to pull the country out of economic downturns (A foundation of Keynesian economics.) Reagan took office during a recession and followed the Keynesian model of deficit spending (mostly through cutting revenue via tax cuts but also through huge increases in military expenditures accompanied by much smaller cuts in domestic spending.) The problem was that after the recession was over, Reagan continued deficit spending, with larger deficits every year. In his eight years in office, Reagan compiled more federal debt than all the thirty-nine presidents that preceded him *combined*. George W Bush did him one better, compiling more federal debt than all forty-two presidents that preceded him combined (yes, including his father’s and Reagan’s humongous debt accumulations.) That is why I find the tea tantrums so hypocritical. The combination of Bush and Obama has indeed produced the largest single year deficit in history but it is in response to potentially the largest financial disaster in history. Both the Bushes and Reagan ran gigantic deficits both in times of recession and economic boom, which is fiscally completely irresponsible. The sheer hypocrisy of continually spouting small-government and fiscal responsibility rhetoric while constantly growing the government and acting fiscally irresponsible is staggering.

    Posted 17 Apr 2009 at 9:14 pm
  14. JT wrote:

    Wow! I apologize, Dan. You are not a socialist and I will accept your word on the blogs/MSNBC but your positions did sound exactly the same. You can check and see. I have seen so much of that on the blogs and tv that it just angers me and I see that I should not have made that assumption, regarding you.

    I was not railing about my particular definitions at all but was making the point that definitions mean something and you were not using them as defined (not defined by me), or widening them to incorporate your position.

    I see where you are going on the grassroots matter but I disagree with you that the matter was top down. That simple and I can respect your opinion on it. My Dad was screaming mad and wanted to kill somebody and he doesn’t listen to a soul on tv and has no internet. He would have protested had their been no party at all. I believe it was grassroots, though it is unfortunate and quite funny that it got the name it did. Tea Party would have been better and more evocative of the Boston party. I should note that I didn’t attend any such parties but agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment and held that view under Bush as well.

    Reagan did spend too much, especially in the second term, as did both the elder and younger Bush, but the latter increased spending in accordance with wars that many (myself included) saw as important and in an atmosphere where the economic threat was also far from minimal, especially in the financial sector. The problem, and I agree that it was a BIG problem, was that the spending continued at ever-increasing levels even though the threats to the economy were greatly diminished and the promise of ever-larger revenues was diminishing, though they routinely beat the “forecasts”, which always gave me pause as to who the forecasters were. Then when the economy tanked Bush went F-ing nuts and started throwing even more good money after bad. I did not support that at all and support(ed) letting the people who made bad bets fail, especially those who had previously made huge profits from their bad bets and crazy financial products algorithms. This idea that the world will end if we let business fail is just insane. I admit the hit would be much harder now but we are only delaying (in my opinion) the hard hit for our kids. I also am dead set against lending money to people who cannot afford to pay it back for the sake of ANY community as that is crazy on its face. Banks are and should remain businesses for profit and not for enabling people to live beyond their means for the sake of the “American Dream”.

    Have a nice weekend and the same to everyone else.

    Posted 17 Apr 2009 at 10:12 pm
  15. Brigette Russell wrote:

    The local organizations may be local and I have no doubt are very sincere but the movement itself was centrally planned and orchestrated by GOP operatives.

    Then good for the GOP operatives! About time they got off their lazy asses and did something constructive for a change.

    Posted 18 Apr 2009 at 2:06 am
  16. Pot War wrote:

    Tea Parties? They could have gotten more people to show up to pot parties if only they’d do the right thing and make it legal. Seriously, what did these parties accomplish. About as much as a midget lucha libre wrestler at a KKK rally.

    There’s a third of the country on the left and a third of the country on the right that would vote for their party’s candidate no matter now dumb he was. Exhibit A — that Dirty Hombre Bush! As for the left, well I can’t think of one right now. The fact that a third of one percent showed up for a tea and crumpets party is really a nonevent.

    But if it makes the disaffected feel well, more power to the powerless!

    Posted 18 Apr 2009 at 2:34 am
  17. JT wrote:

    Pot War,

    We prefer to be referred to as “Little People”, though I see you meant no harm. I am an achon (Achonroplasia is the condition) and “midget” is an offensive term to many.

    Also, I will have you know that many little people make excellent wrestlers and one of my cousins, with the same condition, was involved in the founding of the Micro Wrestling Federation and could likely have pinned a normal person in no time flat, though admittedly he was unable to break into Lucha Libre or the WWFederation (now called something else). He was killed in a bar in St. Paul, Minnesota after he made the mistake of punching an armed man in the groin after being insulted about his size. I think my cousin, who was a hot-blooded Greek like me but with a penchant for cocaine (unlike me), may have fondled the guy’s woman, but I can’t be certain.

    Brigette, I didn’t see this link when I was looking before and I do see that my post was not lost. Pardon my error.

    Posted 18 Apr 2009 at 4:33 am

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    […] of them had attended the Tea Party, and were energized to see so many other like-minded, concerned citizens in a city where the Obama […]

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