I served as the spokesperson for my area of North Carolina at a Tea Party that was held at our representative’s office (Heath Shuler) on Thursday afternoon.
A neighbor went with me, but nobody else from my neighborhood accompanied us. We got there early, and were admitted into to the Congressman's office to speak with his public relations guy. I explained that we intended to give him a bunch of letters to the Congressman, written by people in my area, and we agreed to have the 'ceremony' out on the back steps at 12:15. He told me he had received a 'statement' from the Congressman, which he would read, and I thanked him and asked if he would also tell the crowd what he intended to do with the letters, and would the Congressman ever read them since the vote was to be on Friday.
About 150 people showed up, which was more than I was expecting, and I continued going around gathering letters. A lot of folks didn't get the word to bring them, but one gentleman with foresight had brought a stack of note cards and envelopes so people took those and scribbled messages on them. One person even took a tiny page out of my pocket memo pad and wrote something on that. We stuffed it all in the 2" deep cardboard box I had made, which ended up bulging with over 80 letters in it. (I kept a tally on the back of the box because this reporterette who showed up wanted to know how many there were.)
When the appointed time came, we all assembled on the back steps of the Congressman's office. One person gave a short speech, we all sang America the Beautiful and God Bless America, and then it was my turn. I introduced the PR guy to the crowd and then said in my best spokesperson voice:
‘On behalf of these citizens who have peaceably assembled to petition their government for redress of grievance, I present these 80 letters to be delivered to Congressman Heath Shuler, our elected representative.’
That was it. The PR guy then read Shuler's miserable statement which basically said, ‘I haven't made up my mind yet.’ Snort...what a miserable loser. Then he told us that the letters would be faxed to DC that afternoon (before shredding, no doubt).
We all then walked down the hill to the busy intersection below, and held up our protest signs for about 45 minutes. This corner is near the entrance to a main hospital, so there was a lot of traffic. It was my sense that we got a lot more 'thumbs up' this time than in August. I didn't even see any extended middle fingers!
My friend and I left a little early because he has a bad foot (car accident), and we're both old and tired. On the way home we stopped at a BBQ place and pigged out. While we were eating, I got a text message from Erika, the head of the Asheville Tea Party who was up with Michelle Bachmann in DC, asking how it went. I texted her back with "Great! 150 people and 85 letters".
After I got home, got furiously licked by our three dogs (they missed me), I settled in to watch Glenn Beck followed by Fox News to see how it went in DC. I was disgusted to see another ‘balloon boy’ media frenzy over the murders at Ft. Hood. Sure, that was a big story, but why not wait until you actually know something before blaring it all over the airwaves?
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say that Muslim killer chose the time of his attacks specifically for the purpose of preempting all news coverage of the DC ‘House Call’. But maybe it was just the phase of the moon... Thank God for the Internet or we'd never know anything.
So what did Rep. Shuler do after getting all those letters from Asheville and a personal visit from twelve of his constituents who drove all the way to DC to meet with him? He and the other ‘Blue Dog Democrats’ ate dinner with Obama at the White House.
Remember the scene near the end of Braveheart where William Wallace was betrayed by William the Bruce? That's how I feel at the moment: Betrayed.