I read yesterday that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs feigned ignorance (as opposed to other days, when the ignorance is genuine) with regard to today’s gathering of concerned Americans, saying something along the lines of “well, we’re not certain that anything is going on” and asking “what group is it?”
Oh, there is definitely something going on. Thanks to a lingering stomach bug and far too much work to do for school, I’m unfortunately watching it on television. And, honestly, it’s more the stomach bug than the schoolwork — I can fake the reading to a certain extent, but a 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Washington trip without a restroom in my current condition . . . that wouldn’t be good for anybody.
From the look of things, though, there must be at least 100,000 men, women and children there. I’m so gosh-darned proud to be an American.
Just a few notes as the afternoon has progressed:
First, I really like seeing Mike Pence and Jim DeMint there, speaking to and mixing with the crowd. I’ve always like DeMint and, while I was unsure about Pence for a bit, the work that he has been doing with the House Republican Conference shows that he gets it, shows that he’s willing to shape the GOP and push it in the right direction, recognizing that it is the most realistic political vehicle to move once again toward a limited federal government. It’s people like these two, Pence in the House and DeMint in the Senate, that give me pause when folks advocate dumping everyone and starting over. That they have continued to stand fast while nearly everyone around them have been tacking toward bigger government says something about how much they’ll be needed in the future.
“If the Republican Party will carry the banner for the people who are here today, I think that the wide majority of Americans will come with us,” DeMint said a few minutes ago. “I just hope that the rest of the Republicans here in Congress will be smart enough to see that.” And he’s absolutely, positively right. I understand the lack of faith in the GOP and the two-party system in general, but right now remaking the party in the mold of small-government, free-market conservatism will give us a far better chance at saving our nation than would scrapping the GOP and starting over while the Democrats continue to motor along. The key will be staying on top of things and never taking anything for granted once we’ve wrested control of our government.
Mike Pence touched upon that very idea, admitting that “in 2006 and 2008, Republicans did not just lose our right to govern, we lost our way.” The GOP lost those elections, he said, “because we walked away from the principles that have drawn hundreds of thousands of people to the Capitol today, to tea parties all across the country, and to town hall meetings.” That’s why what we’ve seen over the past few months has been so important.
Second, see this write-up from the Daily Mail for some good commentary and great photos. I guess we have to leave it to the Brits to report fairly about what is going on in America. Incidentially, MSNBC and the New York Times have dismissed the number of attendees as merely “thousands,” while CNN, the Daily Mail and some others seem to be measuring in the millions. I love this country!
Third, Here are Pence’s full remarks, as delivered to the masses:
There are some politicians who think of you people as astroturf. Un-American. I’ve got to be honest with you, after nine years of fighting runaway spending here on this hill, you people look like the cavalry to me.
We stand together at a historic moment in the life of the conservative movement and in the life of this great country. The coming weeks and months may well set the course for this nation for a generation. How we as conservatives respond to these challenges, could determine whether America retains her place in the world as a beacon of freedom or whether we slip into the abyss that has swallowed much of Europe in an avalanche of socialism.
While some are prepared to write the obituary on capitalism and the conservative movement, I believe we are on the verge of a great American awakening. And it will begin here and begin now and begin with you.
This Administration and this Congress are getting a badly needed history lesson, starting with just what our founders meant by ‘consent of the governed.’ If silence is consent, it is now revoked.
We the people, do not consent to runaway federal spending. We the people, do not consent to the notion that we can borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing America. And we the people, do not consent to government-run insurance that will cause millions of Americans to lose the insurance they have, and that will lead us to a government takeover of health care in this nation.
This week, the president came to this hill and he gave one more speech about the same bad plan. Mr. President, America doesn’t want another speech, we want another health care plan that is built on freedom.
And we the people, do not consent to Members of Congress passing thousand-page bills without anybody ever reading them. Members of Congress should be required to read ever major bill that Congress adopts. I’ve got to be honest with you, I think Members of Congress should read major bills, but I’d be just as happy if some of them read this just a little more often – the Constitution of the United States.
You know, there is a lot of good stuff in there and it reminds us that we are a nation led by the people, and not the elites and the bureaucrats and the politicians. It reminds us that the powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states or to the people.
And nowhere in our Constitution can you find the word ‘czar.’ It is time Washington, D.C. became a No Czar Zone.
The American people are not happy. But it is not just about dollars and cents. It is about who we are as a nation.
As Ronald Reagan said in 1964, it’s about whether ‘we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.’ My money is on the American people. My money is on freedom. My money is on the future.
This great national Capitol is filled with memorials to freedom’s heroes. Americans whose faces are carved in bronze, whose names adorn monuments, and just across that river, lie the remains of Americans who paid freedom’s price so we could gather here today. In their time, they did freedom’s work as citizens and patriots. Now it’s our turn.
Let us do as those great Americans we remember in this city have done before: let us stand and fight for freedom. And if we hold the banner of freedom high, I believe with all my heart that the good and great people of this country will rally to our cause, we will take this Congress back in 2010 and we will take this Country back in 2012, so help us God.