From The Arizona Republic:
The “Tea Party Express” was greeted by about 1,200 to 1,500 supporters as it rolled into Phoenix on Sunday, the third stop on a three-week, cross-country tour that ends in Washington, D.C., on April 15.
Activists from across Arizona and from as far as Seattle gathered at the Arizona State Capitol complex to sing, chant and voice their distaste of taxes, health-care reform and big government.
U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told protesters that a rancher in southern Arizona had just been found shot to death on his property near the Mexican border.
While admitting that “we do not know who perpetrated this attack,” Hayworth strongly suggested “illegal aliens” were to blame.
The federal government failed to protect that rancher, who was “one of the good guys,” Hayworth said.
Original movie poster
Oooh! It’s the Battle of the Expresses–the Tea Party Express vs. Captain Underpants’s Straigh Talk Express. It’ll be fun watching them throw each other under their respective buses.
Tea-party activists often bristle when described as an “angry mob” or as being “on the fringe.” But Levi Russell, communications director for Our Country Deserves Better political-action committee, said he could see how such statements could lead to that sort of perception.
But the core principle of the movement is simply “reducing the intrusion of government in private lives,” Russell said.
The rally in Phoenix with 1,200 to 1,500 participants was the lowest attended of the first three Tea Party Express stops, Russell said. At least 8,000 people were at the kickoff event in Searchlight, Nev., and about 5,000 people attended the protest in Henderson, Nev., organizers said.
The Tea Party Express plans to stop in 39 more cities, including Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Mo., and Boston.
So, lemme try to get this straight. The Teabaggers want less intrusion of the government, but they’re complaining the government didn’t intrude enough to save that rancher’s life (even though nobody yet has any idea why he was killed). And guess who else was in attendance, kids! Joe the Plumber! From the same article:
[T]he Phoenix rally also addressed issues specific to the border state.
Joe the Plumber, whose real name is Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher, of Ohio criticized liberals for what he called lax enforcement of border security.
His solution? “Put a fence in, start shooting,” Wurzelbacher said.
The plumber also said the federal government made a mockery of the military by choosing to “coddle terrorists.”
“Line up every last terrorist and I’ll torture them myself,” he said. “And I’m not just talking.”
And Joe the Plumber is an expert on the subject, because he comes from the border state of Ohio! And he has every right to diss the military, because he served, dont’cha know? Princess Sarah Palin said so! From the October 29, 2008 New York Times:
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Speaking at a campaign rally 25 miles outside Toledo, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska was well into her riff on tax policy when she paused.
“You know,” she said, smiling playfully. “There’s someone here who really gets it when it comes to this issue.”
The crowd, anticipating the surprise guest, started to clap and cheer.
“He’s a fellow Alaskan, and he’s a fellow military man who served our country proudly,” Ms. Palin said. “I’d like you to meet him! Please welcome Joe the Plumber!”
I did a little digging to see what theater of war he served in so valiantly. This is what I found THE TUFTS DAILY (November 11, 2008):
Question: There has been some confusion amongst the media with regards to your name and occupation. Could you provide some clarification?
Answer: All right. Well, my name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. I go by [my] middle name Joseph and shorten it to Joe and have gone by that since I was born and have always been called Joe. With regards to my occupation, I was a plumber in the military for the United States Air Force. I used to teach plumbing in the military.
Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, Joe the Plumber, military strategerist extraordinaire.