Cross-posted at Eclectablog.com
It must be tough being an MI-07 Republican these days. After organizing a March 11 "CODE RED!!!" protest against Rep. Mark Schauer, they ended up being out-numbered by Schauer supporters at least five-to-one on the day of the event.
I think this sign says it all:
Michigan OFA Director, Garrett Arwa (left) and friend
Yes, folks, it was "CODE RED!!!"
"On the verge of ramming their version of health care reform through Congress!"
"Bending the legislative rules and subverting the will of the people!"
"Stop the liberals from a radical government takeover of healthcare!"
"CODE RED! MUST ACT NOW!"
But, when you went to the Michigan GOP and Jackson GOP website, there was strangely no mention of the protest to be found. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that when the protesters arrived at Rep. Schauer's office in Jackson, Michigan, this is what greeted them:
Health ins. reform supporters in front of Rep. Schauer's office
Health ins. reform supporters outnumber protesters across the street
Health insurance reform supporters outnumber protesters on the other corner.
By 4:30, the official starting time, all four corners of the intersection were filled with sign-waving, chanting supporters of Mark Schauer and health insurance reform who over-whelmed the handful of protesters who came to stake out their position that it's perfectly fine that we have tens of millions of uninsured Americans in this country.
At one point one of the cheerleaders shouted, "Do we want health care for our children?" "NO!", shouted one of the protesters.
Seriously? You're reduced to fighting against health insurance for children? Good luck with that at the polls, my friends.
Some of the protesters were, of course, very loud and intrusive. This gentleman, caught in a rare moment when spittle wasn't flying into the face of the supporter he was shouting at, ironically sported a hat with a Canada flag on the back. Note Scott Brown sign. I guess you take your victories where you can get them, even if it's in a state several hundred miles away...
Protester shouts at a Schauer supporter
Another guy, who I called "Mr. Pink" because of his pink sweater, followed around supporters who were chanting "Health care now!" and "Everybody in! Nobody out!" shouting his own version. "Health care now! We support the commies! We hate America! We love Obama! We are losers! We love big government unions!" It was amazing to watch a grown man acting like a spoiled, petulant brat in public. He seemed determined to get a Schauer supporter to take a swing at him, and I think it took an amazing amount of self-restraint by some of the union factory workers there not to clobber him. But nobody rose to his bait, thankfully. However, every time someone said he needed to get out of their face or he'd be sorry, he ran over to the police on hand who seemed mostly amused by the childish man.
The union folks were well-represented at the counter-protest
One of the things that really stuck out for me was how happy and smiling Schauer supporters were and how dour, pinched and unhappy most of the protesters were. The woman in the middle in this picture was posing and wore a rare smile. The Teabagger lady to her right was more representative of the angry/sad faces most of them wore.
Protesters demanding no health insurance reform
Tim Walberg, the far-right former Baptist minister who is running for the Republican nomination in MI-07, showed up briefly. Walberg held the seat for just one two-year term before being unseated by Rep. Schauer. Republican Joe Schwarz said recently that Mark Schauer has done a better job representing MI-07 in one year than Walberg did his entire term. You read that right: Schwarz is a Republican.
Tim Walberg showed up for a few minutes then left
Jackson County Commissioner Phil Duckham showed up again, too. You might remember him. He's the guy that showed up with a swastika sign to a similar protest last summer. His sign originally had just the swastika but he later added the circle with the line through it some time during the rally:
Duckham was a bit more restrained this time, holding a simple "Kill the Bill" sign as he walked around talking to the handful of protesters.
Jackson County Commissioner Phil Duckham (left)
I love the sign the guy on the right is holding. As my friend Abby asked, "What's dictatorship by the majority called again??? Oh yeah -- DEMOCRACY!"
Speaking of Abby, here she is with former Democratic candidate for Congress Bob Alexander (left) and Russella Davis (right), the OFA Regional Field Director from the Detroit area, both of whom stopped by to show their support.
Bob Alexander, Abby Clark and Russella Davis
Death showed up, too. Here he is getting perilously close to OFA Regional Field Director Chris Wolff. Death's sign says "Death to for-profit health insurance".
OFA Reg. Field Director Chris Wolff faces Death
And finally, no Teabagger protest is complete without a few nonsensical signs, right? Here are three that really had me scratching my head:
I get the "Obummer" part. That's a slam against the President of the United States, right? (We'll assume you scraped that "Support the President and the troops" bumpersticker off your car.) And I get "Out of touch." You think he should bend to the will of a small minority of angry fearful conservatives. Got it. But "Coward"? Really? Coward?
Okay, I know there was the Holiday Inn commercial where a guy was operating and said this quote, suggesting he could do anything if he was well-rested. And that's apropos in the context of this protest how exactly? Sometimes the dumb just goes sailing right over my head, I have to say...
And, finally, this one. This one I just do not get.
Is it just me or does it seem like the guy lost track of what he was trying to say about four times while he was drawing his sign? Oh, wait, he's quoting Webster's dictionary definition of socialism! Finally I get it! Man, these teabaggers are just so danged clever...