Bristol Parade Committee Tells Tea-Party Folks To Take A (Tax) Hike

UPDATE: The RITP has taken a liking to Matthew’s post: It’s a full-fledged comment war!  The questions at hand include: Are all homosexuals  Democrats, or vice versa?  Are people who kill abortion doctors conservatives, or communists?  Did Matthew graduate from the first grade, and if so, how?  Please join the fray.

ORIGINAL POST: The Rhode Island Tea Party, the folks who advocate for the reappropriation of centuries-old events in order to forward a kooky agenda about how we shouldn’t be paying taxes, will not be allowed to participate in next year’s Bristol Fourth of July Parade. Presumably this is a devastating blow to the Party, since Bristol is the nation’s oldest Independence Day parade and the Tea Party are, you know, really big into the colonial theme.

According to the parade organizers, the Tea enthusiasts broke parade protocol by passing out leaflets to people along the parade route. The Tea Party people say that it was copies of the Constitution that were passed out, and that people unaffiliated with the party that were doing the distributing, anyway. This came as a surprise to the Bristol folks, who were thrown off by the fact that the so-called unaffiliated people were walking alongside the Party and wearing the same matching t-shirts as everybody aboard the float.

As the ProJo reports, this decision (rather unsurprisingly) ended in tears and the mass distribution of people’s personal cell phone numbers.

35 thoughts on “Bristol Parade Committee Tells Tea-Party Folks To Take A (Tax) Hike”

  1. I agree with many of your ideas(some I’m hazy on). I think that many people do get caught up in the parties and just shut out many good ideas like your own that are more Libertarian than anything. I just feel that people just don’t pay attention(until it’s too late) or follow our politicians blindly. The GOP does not represent me and others. I feel it’s easy to bash the Tea Party Groups on both sides. The Left tries to make them out as crazies and people like yourself say they go about it the wrong way(which some do because they are at a local level organized by working class people). However, at least they are doing something and they are the closest thing out there that I can identify with. People that have good ideas in times like this must do more besides just mention them. I’m looking forward to any more ideas you have though.

  2. Like many movements PR work would help a lot. People with true ideals who try to do it the right way sometimes get smudged by people that go about it all wrong. You say we need “concrete ideas of how to bring about change”, Marc’s post below touches on many I agree with. I just didn’t feel it was worth the time to mention on this post the specifics since it would take too long. I think what many Tea Bag Groups and others want first is what is left of the Stimulus Package to be taken back and any more talk of a second to be squashed. Only around 10% of the first has been used and unemployment keeps rising. That was a definite scam(it can’t be tracked and the Federal Reserve answers to nobody). Spending more and more is not going to get us out of this situation and continuing to print trillions of dollars overnight will make it a disaster. Our dollar is a joke now compared to what it was before.

  3. Well, it seems intimidation and 185 angry posts to their website and untold hate calls made to personal cell phones have taken its toll, although there are some pretty “lawyerly” statements being made. Who thinks they will be “invited” back?

    Tea Party accepts Bristol parade chairman’s apology
    3:35 PM Wed, Jul 15, 2009 | Permalink |

  4. What bothers me about this whole thing isn’t the handouts at the parade (hey, handing out the constitution and dec. of independence at a 4th of July parade shouldn’t get them more than a slap on the wrist, really). What bothers me is how quickly people run to their sides of the battle, as evidenced in the above conversation.

    I work hard, I pay a lot of taxes here, and I think Rhode Island’s taxes -are- high, and they are driving out businesses, but I’m -never- going to stand by the stuff I see being said by some of the Tea Party folks. It seems as if the Tea Party people want us to stop spending -altogether-. I see a lot of complaining, and very little policy coming from them.

    While every single Rhode Islander I know wants to consolidate services and collapse some municipalities into larger units, I have not seen a -single- plan that includes any real substance.

    While I see the Tea Party folks all angry about their property tax bills, I don’t see them making the leap to innovating policy that would lower expenditures.

    I’m pretty discombobulated today (hence the poor writing, coffee machine at work is broken), but here are some ideas for Tea Party readers:

    1. Push for rational, results-based changes in education and policy-making. This means doing metrics on crime vs. police expenditure, education outcomes vs. school spending, fire response times, etc. and then writing policy that reflects the best bang-for-the-buck. Griping about having to ‘pay taxes’ and complaining about how schools ‘waste money’ isn’t going to change anything.

    2. Make a serious effort to oust the False Democrats in the GA. I know, you think Rhode Island’s problems stem from its overwhelming liberalism, but trust me, the General Assembly is not what it appears. You’d be surprised how out-of-touch our representation is, they may run as ‘democrats’, but only in name. While we are a state made up of ‘fiscally conservative social liberals’, we are represented largely by ‘fiscally liberal social conservatives’. Here I am, the poor voter, trying to figure out if I want to get screwed by a false-democrat or a false-republican (if there’s even one running) every two years. Field some candidates, preferably young, smart, and centrist ones, and run them under the Democrat label, where they stand a chance of capturing some votes if they make it through the primaries.

    3. Distance your personal social views from the fiscal views of your group. How much would taxpayers save if they left prostitution legal? (I guess about $7 million, plus we could tax it). How much will we save by decriminalizing the sale and production of small amounts of marijuana? How can we leverage existing stimulus money to set-up a self-replenishing fund to help insulate homes (therefore keeping hundreds of millions of RI dollars from going overseas every winter)? If you really want to save tax money and make the economy here better, you’re going to have to borrow from both sides of the political spectrum.

    4. Stop saying that liberals are out to ruin us all. Remember how annoying it was when people ragged on Bush all the time? Now it’s the same thing in reverse. We’re all trying to make this a better place, and if people could just take the ideas that -worked- from each school of thought, we could do a lot better than lobbing pointless insults at each other. I’m no fan of ‘The Bailout’, or even ‘The Stimulus’, but the fools at the State House just Donkey-Punched us (google it) with the last budget.

    5. I’ll think of more later.

  5. Re: Elizabeth’s comment–

    Conveniently, Rex Wockner posted this just today:

    Ordinarily, only anti-gay Web sites call us “homosexuals” nowadays. Though we sometimes do it ourselves, to be funny, but we’re allowed, you see. You’re not. The word went out of style years ago. See the entry on “gay” in The Associated Press Stylebook. Oh, hell, let me quote the Stylebook for you: “Gay … Preferred over ‘homosexual’ except in clinical contexts or references to sexual activity.”

    The more you know!

  6. Sorry Ron, I didn’t take the time to research how gays/homosexuals like to be refered to. Should I have said “gay man”? What are the rules for this type of reference where someone can be free of being accused of something negative: bigotry, prejudice, homophobia? Perhaps I just didn’t use “cool enough” lingo. I am utterly amazed that people on the left, who are very quick to throw others into carefully labled boxes and promptly dismiss any of their beliefs, are the very first in line to accuse others of doing the same to them. Those on the left, who call anyone who could ever be construed (even such classification is pure fiction) to be anywhere “right” of the left “intollerant/prejudiced/narrow-minded” are the least tollerant people, completely prejudiced, and quick to jump to conclusions about people based solely on tiny amounts of info. Perhaps it is extremely common for gays to be “neo-con nazis”, or on the “extreme right” that so many on the left say the Tea Party groups consist of. My point was only that. I could well be wrong, because I am not a “neo-con nazis”, or on the “extreme right”, so how would I know how many gays there are in that group….

  7. This would be a good battle if there actually was a “left”. Liberals are still not in charge, this country is no where near socialism and never will be. The Democrats and Republicans answer to the same Master and it’s not “we the people”. Tea Baggers are pawns with misguided anger and frustration that might be taken care of with a little medical marijuana.

  8. Annie Messier

    (I’m replying to Steve’s comment this morning, which didn’t have a direct “reply” option, to my hella-long comment from last night.)

    Why did the man who started this controversy by handing out flyers at the parade then craft/proofread/send a letter to our state’s largest media outlet stating “…the Tea Party movement and individuals like me scare them. The movement is getting stronger and they cannot squelch it.” If this “movement” is strictly about FISCAL conservatism, there wouldn’t need to be any “fear” now, would there? Wise, calculated fiscal spending for the collective benefit of Americans isn’t scary. Sadly, it’s social and political conservatism that’s helping attract people to this tea party as much as repel others. This “movement” shouldn’t be a divisive issue, but with a few token exceptions it’s only gaining support from one party. Remember the guy quoted in the front-page ProJo Tea Party article in April saying something like, “They laughed at us, but we’ll see who’s laughing in the next election?” Perhaps the movement needs some PR work, as it isn’t showing me how mobilized Americans can change government spending for the better. It hasn’t approached the president or Congress with concrete ideas of how to bring about that change right now. It has only managed to come across like simple dissatisfaction with our current leadership, which doesn’t help anyone.

  9. Once again I’m not trying to convince anyone about social issues like abortion and Gay Rights. If our economy falls, those issues will take a seat further back in the people’s mind. I was against George W. spending us into oblivion and saying(paraphrasing here) in order to save our economy he must go against the free market system. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing. Our system of government and free market capitalism shouldn’t be debatable like social issues. Hopefully we can at least agree on that. This incident with the float is a microcosm of what is happening across the country. Remember, the pendulum always swings back as hard as its pushed on the other side.

  10. Ron Wrote, “Here’s my own spin on that point.” Spin, something you guys are used to and very good at. Who would of thought you would spin something not to your liking? As for liberals voting more, you got it wrong Pitts. This country is still predominantly Conservative and Moderate. After George W. it was apparent anyone would vote for something “different”, even if that was an apparent Socialist. Many Conservatives didn’t want to vote for John McCain who was a Moderate at best. This whole thing isn’t about Gay Rights or Abortion. Those are Social issues that will always go back and forth. This is about the future of our economy that was suppose to be free market capitalism. Washington is spending us to destruction.

  11. I say more groups that throw candy!!! Pass and ex-post facto rule banning anything but candy. (the conservatives seemed to like it when ex post facto was passed for Terri Shiavo) Maybe if the Tea-baggers would have printed the constitution really small on a piece of candy they could have gotten their message out AND made it yummy for the audience. Or wait, trading cards, like the pack of signers of the declaration that believed all men are created equal, but owned slaves. Or the Signers of the constitution that didnt allow women to vote. Whew! Good thing we have an amendment process.

  12. He didnt say the DOCUMENTS had a kooky agenda, he said the group had a KOOKY agenda, man learn how to read. By the way you want it both ways, the guys passing them out didnt have anything do with your group ( I guess a wanna-be-tea-bagger?), but yet you want to claim we are ragging on you for passing out a KOOKY Agenda COnstitution. ONce and for all was that guy passing them out for you or not?

  13. Leave the BI-PARTISAN tea-baggers alone!!! (sung to the tune of “leave britney alone)

  14. I think they ought to let the “homosexual fellow” that Elizabeth talked about be the grandmaster, then the conservatives can claim that The Parade has bad morals.

  15. Elizabeth ! Loved your “homosexual fellow” reference. I guess your group has to Bi-partisan if you let a “homosexual fellow” speak.

  16. Steve wrote “There is a major conservative movement coming. When conservatives are in the streets protesting in higher crowds then liberals”. Here’s my own spin on that point. “There is a major liberal movement in the country when liberals are in the streets voting in higher numbers than conservatives” I only changed “protesting” to “voting”, thanks steve for making my comment so easy to think of.

  17. Annie Messier

    Elizabeth, your answer lies in the groups that most prominently promoted the tea party: RI GOP, RI Conservatives, Axis of Right, The Ocean State Republican, The Next Right, Fox News. Maybe one “purple” group (Purple People Vote). Most of the speakers and all of the politicians who attended RI’s tea party were listed as Republicans. Why didn’t you speak? That would have helped.

    I hope this tea party movement really is thoughtfully looking out for all Americans instead of a reaction to a lost Republican election. I’ve said on this very blog that I’m no fan of the stimulus spending or the bailouts, which are scary. But I also know our economy didn’t land in the toilet overnight. And there have always been complaints about overtaxing, especially in Rhode Island, as well as far too much money misspent by the government on, say, overseas wars. Where was the tax party movement five years ago? One year ago? Nothing was worthy of protest before Obama’s stimulus announcement that came just weeks before the tax party was held nationwide? Really?

    The gay guy who spoke in Boston and the (non-gay) guy handing out flyers aren’t convincing me that everyone behind Lil’ Rhody’s tea party is out to protest reckless government spending and taxes. Some of the same people who support the tea party movement online happen to mention their unhappiness with a black president or same-sex marriage (I’m not accusing the RI Tea Party of this, just stating what some tea party-promoting individuals have written on the ‘net). I’d love to believe that the tea party can rise above all this left-versus-right fray, but for every one person like you who says she wants reduced spending for all, there seem to be ten more people simply looking for any excuse to be part of something that will put those naughty liberals in their places (some of the below posts serve as terrific examples). That’s what dilutes the message the Tea Party is trying to stand for, and that’s why even my Libertarian-headed household is in no rush to join this movement.

  18. david silvia

    Now that have taken their version of the rules and events national. Glenn Beck of Fox News was called today by Helen Glover and Glenn promises to get the Bristol Committee. Those poor volunteers….

  19. Maybe by “kooky”, Matthew was referring to a group who use the term ‘tea bagging’ without any sense of irony.

    Also, any parade that pisses off Texas is fine by me. They gave us George W, we gave them a shitty parade.

  20. These people that kill people at Holocaust Museums or shoot Abortion Doctors in Churches are definitely not conservatives. These killers sound more like the leftists loons who took over Russia around 1917. You know, the commies. Killing whomever they pleased to get their platform across.

    No, someone has wrongly included these leftist killers as part of the conservative movement. It was likey Liberals. They tend to tell stories.

  21. Dear Matthew Lawrence.

    I take personal offense to your wording of our founding documents as a “kooky agenda about how we shouldn’t be paying taxes”. Maybe if instead of blogging hatred, you would spend time researching you might find out what they werea actually representing.

    Funny I heard no mention of the others in the parade who were passing out candy and leaflets for their businesses and “kooky agendas”.

  22. You take the sarcasitc author’s message as your gospel. Did it ever occur to you that the parade did, in fact, throw out the float because of the actions of someone completely not involved with the float? I heard the actual man speak of his actions at the parade – he’d been there for hours before the float was even out – passing out the pocket constitions that he’d purchased with his own money. Perhaps it was an honest mistake on the part of the parade group – in that the man was, in fact, wearing the same t-shirt – to have assumed he was associated with the float. But the plain truth and fact is that he had no connection to the float whatsoever. So go ahead and get yourself intentionally thrown out the parade next year. I hope you enjoy the experience. But that isn’t what happened here. The Tea Party float group did absolutely nothing wrong and they are being punished anyway. Why? I sure couldn’t say.

  23. Anne, how can you be so sure that there is no bi-partisanship associated with the Tea Party Groups? I support them and I am an Independent. I know plenty of others who are not conservative who are extremely concerned that this wonderful country is spending itself into oblivion. As for accusations that any and all Tea Party folks are conservative, you are saddly mistaken. As to your last line, there was a homosexual fellow who got up on the stage at the 4/15/09 Tea Party protest in Boston, MA. He later came on the radio to talk about his participation. That fact is even more evidence that these groups are made up of concerned citizens from every creed, color – you name it. Our concern is based in pure logic and we don’t care what your politics are, your gender, your race, your sexual preference. We welcome any and all who understand the concept that money doesn’t grow on trees and we can’t print and tax our way out of this.

  24. As someone who traveled a great distance( From Tx) to see the parade. I left with candy, form to have milk and eggs delivered to my home. and some other stuff.

    So even if that guy and his kid was part of the group.. how did the candy, the ad and other stuff I pick up at the parade or had thrown at me. Not break the rules ? but him and his kid handing out an historical document did ? Isn’t fee speach still part of that historical document ?

    And I will never again come up there or encourage any friends or family to because of how they treated and abused one group.

  25. Well, this discussion certainly puts me at ease. All along I had been thinking that the Tea Party were a bunch of right-wing nut jobs who see the world from a childishly black-and-white perspective.

    But with such helpful comments as…

    –> “You liberal fools are disgusting. If you don’t like our documents of freedom and independence you are free to leave the union and join the enemy. <—

    …well, now I see the common-sense and deep thinking associated with this movement.

    Steve, we see your ‘conservative movement’ a mile away. Does it look something like this?

    Hundreds turn out for funeral of security guard shot at Holocaust museum in Washington

    Or this?

    Abortion Doctor Shot in Church

    If you don’t care for those associations, stop calling yourselves conservative. If you lay down with dogs, you WILL get fleas.

    As a value-add, I think you should really get past your “us or them” mentality. And your obsession with “original construction”. The author of your hallowed Declaration would be appalled at your sheepish acceptance of preordained rules of governance. The Constitution includes the mechanism of its own undoing. It was designed to be discarded! (And that’s just what “the enemy” wants me to be thinking, isn’t it?)

  26. Not all of us on the right are aginst pro-choice. Nor are we against gay rights or gay marriage. Those issues are non issues to some people. They affect me in no way whatsoever. I do not care if other women have abortions or other people are homosexual as long as it does not directly affect me.

    It would not bother me if anyone passed out pro-choise literarture. Remember we have a First Amendment that protects such things.

    The problem is, patriots have to be on the right by definition. The left is not patriotic as evidenced by the actions of this parade committee and of our recent government. But wait, are they on the left? Or, just unpatriotic?

    (Not spell checked.)

  27. Who knew crazy righties read this blog?! Fabulous!

    At the parade next year I’m going to hand out pro-choice literature, break the rules, get banned, and then complain about being punished for breaking rules.

  28. It is politically correct these days to be bi-partisian in the wake ot the Liberal take over of the government. So just why would a group be even remotely bi-partisian?

    Who ever banned this patriotic group should themselves be banned from any further Independence Day Celebrations in this city. Maybe even tried for treason and sedition. Have these people even heard of the Constitution or know what it stands for.

    Shame on you for banning people who were passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution. You sound like you may be one of those dangerous extreme leftist Liberals that we are hearing so much about.

    (Not spell checked.)

  29. “The Tea Party people say that it was copies of the Constitution that were passed out.”

    Did you miss when I said that? (Unless your Constitution is different from the Constitution?)

    In first grade they taught me to read the whole article before I started calling the author names. Maybe you’ll learn that, too, once you graduate kindergarten.

  30. Americanwoman

    Isn’t it awful that I am not surprised? The far-left radicals are trying to take over the country we believe in. That a mini-copy of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence & Bill of Rights would be banned ANYWHERE OR FROM ANY EVENT is an outrage!
    What the libs need to keep in mind is that in the end, they are outnumbered. Yes, we have a temporary glitch with organization of American Conservatives (Republicans & Independents, Libertarians, Constitutionists, etc.), but our strength is rebuilding, and that will spur us forward and PAST the radical left!
    The United States of America will live on…in spite of the crazies on the left.

  31. Annie Messier

    I’m not so sure that any other parade participants broke protocol, Steve. The only people claiming this are the tea party people–the same group that distributed the personal cell phone of the parade committee leader to hundreds of strangers with a non-subtle urge to harrass him. (No one I’ve spoken to who attended the parade saw anyone else with candy or flyers. I never mind being proven wrong, though, so please speak up if you did.) And I’m more open minded about groups that are concerned about the economy the entire time it’s in jeopardy–not waiting until someone they didn’t vote for takes office–and who consider all Americans worthy of being protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights they valued enough to distribute–not just the ones that fit the heterosexual mold : )

  32. My apologies to the first grader who wrote this article but please provide all relevant facts before shoving your liberal drivel down our throats. The leaflets you refer to were pocket copies of our constitution and declaration of independence. Ever heard of them? Didn’t think so. Maybe a quick read would prompt you to use caution when referring to it as a kooky agenda. You liberal fools are disgusting. If you don’t like our documents of freedom and independence you are free to leave the union and join the enemy. Really, isn’t that who you really are?

  33. This incident actually made me join the New York Tea Party Group. Other floats apparently broke protocol by throwing out candy and other items yet are allowed to come back next year. The agenda by the so called “committee” is abundantly clear. There is a major conservative movement coming. When conservatives are in the streets protesting in higher crowds then liberals(conservatives usually have work but unemployment is about 10% thanks to Bush and Obama) it means we are in troubled times. I think most “open minded” people would either agree or understand the efforts of the Tea Party Group to stop the Government from spending us into collapse and to follow the constitution. I see more and more people join and/or finally pay attention to what is going on.

  34. Annie Messier

    So have the tea party folks finally given up on trying to make anyone believe they’re even remotely bipartisan? Their own supporters always manage to blow this transparent screen. Loved today’s ProJo letter to the editor by Mr. Kairnes, who generalized that all people who didn’t agree with his parade actions were “liberals” (really? the entire committee?) and claimed that he “had nothing to do with the tea party float” before writing, “…the Tea Party movement and individuals like me scare them. The movement is getting stronger and they cannot squelch it.” It’s sad that everything has to come down to a right-winger versus dirty liberal battle. Mr. Kairnes and others could have tried to convince open-minded people that there was something more to this tea party thing than unhappiness about a non-Republican president, but they’re doing a very poor job.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence Daily Dose