Thursday, April 15, 2010

From the Back of the Crowd in Madison

Since I volunteered to check in (and out) a few folks on busses, I remained at the back of the crowd in Madison--right on the corner.

The crowd was noticeably bigger than last year's; it was dense almost all the way to the edges of the sidewalks, whereas last year, that density was 10 yards further in. Smart capitalist vendors were on the other side of the street selling food and drinks.

There were also 125 Feingold supporters (I counted them) who were across the street holding signs. Four young women marched through the crowd with signs telling me they were abortion supporters, while a box-truck drove around the Square with a very large picture of an aborted baby.

Immediately behind the baby-picture (which was gruesome) was Scot's "One Wisconsin Now" truck--a larger box truck with a VERY complicated flowchart telling us that "we are our brother's keeper." Uh-huh. Suddenly, Scot is a committed Christian, eh?

Three Socialists were handing out literature. Nice kids, but confused. There were Walker, Neumann, and Wall people pushing literature and stickers by the carload.

Saw Rep. Jim Ott (R) and asked him if the day's temperature might not be a sign of the Apocalypse or something; he didn't think so (thank God.)

Tommy was charged up, and the crowd was reasonably receptive (contrary to my expectations.) No new ground was broken in the speechifying. There were a LOT more press trucks around the square than last year, and a more visible Capitol and Madison cop-shop presence, too.

Despite the best efforts of AFT and the College Republicans who assisted, there was a bit of a logjam getting people out of the Square and back to the busses at the airport. Oh, well. We found all our folks and got back in one piece.

And, of course, there was the "small world" occurrence. Spoke at length with a fellow about a number of things before we introduced ourselves; turns out that our families had been friendly quite a few years ago and, of course, he knew a lot of the people I did from 'back when.' He's seen the ---let's face facts---industrial depression in Wisconsin over the last several months, too.

Altogether, a very nicely packaged event with a lot of highly motivated people. The crowd skewed 'old,' but not VERY old; there were plenty of people who were under 40 years of age, and a lot who were in their 20s. Good to see that.


Deekaman said...

I was disappointed in the reception Tommy got, but was pleased it wasn't a campaign stop. 125 Feinie supporters? Seemed like fewer. Many fewer by the end of the party.

I wonder what the carbon footprint for the OWN truck was.

Opposition was pretty weak.

Neo-Con Tastic said...

Everyone bitched and moaned about Tommy and I never disagreed. However, it dawned on me about why he MIGHT have attended.

What if he was simply helping out the TEA party? What if he really want to amp the news coverage and press before (and during) the event? One can easily make the case that the add'l news vans and buzz prior to the event were due to his speech.

I'm not saying the guy doesn't love the lime-light and attention; I'm just thinking there might have been some other positive motives.

Neo-Con Tastic said...

Apologies for the poor grammar - I should really proof before hitting publish...

Jack Lohman said...

Gee dad, and I thought you were a Liberal.

Badger Catholic said...

Hmm, great point NCT

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the pity party exceeded all expectations.

Russell said...

Dad, you really should learn how to count some day. Attendance was a lot lower this year than last, and I can prove it:

Althouse has an even lower estimate of the crowd size than I do, so if you don't like my numbers you'll have to take her on as well. Good luck with that...