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COLUMN: Above all, Tea Party people dislike Obama's color

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By Joan Burke

It is strange to me that the Tea Party folks waited until after the presidential election to start marching around, even though they say they are just against bad government, which supposedly includes both the Republicans and the Democrats.

They say way more other stuff, and it all looks loosely stitched together under a big banner of dislike for Obama.

Let’s see: they really oppose the tax hikes (only there haven’t been any since Obama took office) and they have a fight with the stimulus package, even though the economy and local governments have really benefited from it.

Someone is telling them that the boogie man is coming for their guns, ammo and their first-born child.

OK, I lied about the last part. But it appears that you can belong to this group as long as you are hopping mad and have some beef with Washington, especially the president.

“[They say they] want a revolution, well, you know. You oughta free your mind instead.” It is ironic that they play this John Lennon song on their website.

They recently met with the GOP and Michael Steele, the leader of the party, who has been courting this “grassroots movement” (as they like to think of themselves) to get on their bandwagon. In fact, the Republicans are slavering to have this bunch on their side of the aisle. Sarah Palin spoke at their first official convention.

What I find frightening is they have gathered near Obama events, and a few of them showed up with firearms openly displayed. I remember one in particular — Aug. 17, 2009 at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. I saw a man on TV standing outside the building where the president was located with a weapon strapped to his body.

This has happened in states where it is not against the law to carry a weapon as long as one has the license to do so. But it is an obvious message to Obama and the Democrats that they will try to bully and frighten those on the other side of the fence by displaying these rifles, hand guns and even automatic assault weapons, especially in places where the president will be making an appearance.

They hold up signs that say “Hands off my Medicare” and draw Hitler moustaches on pictures of Obama. Yes, Obama is just like Hitler as he works to help people get health coverage that have none. The Third Reich has made a near comeback while he fights against insurance companies to get them to change the pre-existing conditions rules that prevent sick people from obtaining health insurance.

As far as their worries that government will mess with Medicare, Bill Maher, comedian and political activist, said in a recent Comedy Central presentation, “Who do they think runs Medicare, Sears?”

Bill Maher believes, as do I, that this is not about taxes, Medicare, guns or anything else mentioned above. This is about people who are very upset and angry that somehow our country managed to elect a black man for president, and I’m sorry to say it, but that is the very bottom line.

Look into the crowds at the Tea Party events on television … how many African Americans can you count? I counted zero.

I have no problem with people who feel that the politicians who run our country are not doing the job they were elected to do, and they should be speaking out about it.

The United States Congress and the Senate haven’t made a major decision about any huge issue for some time now. The special interest groups have control of so much, and the two parties are so divided that the wheels of government seem to have come to a sludgey stop, as it was not exactly moving along well to begin with.

This kind of protest is different than what I’m hearing and reading about in regard to the Tea Party people. In the end, constructive criticism is just a very different thing from a picture of our president on a board, high in the air, with a Hitler moustache drawn on his face.

Joan Burke is a Lawrenceburg resident and guest columnist for The Anderson News.