When the Tea Party rabble-rousers began chanting “You Work For Us” at municipal employees, first responders, and state workers, I was hoping that some of them would at least slip on the ice patch lining the nook off Beacon Street where they parked their small parade. If Tuesday's labor rally kicked off as a respectable spat between several thousand union folks and a few dozen flag-waving morons, that incendiary declaration elevated the theater into all-out class warfare.
It was like a Village People tribute bash on Beacon Hill yesterday, with cops, firemen, hard hats, and many others standing in support of their counterparts in Wisconsin, where Republican Governor Scott Walker is attempting to skewer collective bargaining processes for public workers. Labor-happy activists and hippies joined the demonstration, providing colorful placards and a fitting folk rock backdrop before state and union leaders hit the podium. As one sign put it: “Chowder Heads for Cheese Heads.”
There was a lot of truth in what some speakers said: “This is a fight for our basic human rights”; “This is a fight for the middle class”; “[Our opponents are] not the Tea Party of Sam Adams – they are the Tea Party of Alice in Wonderland.” But underneath it all there was an even more resounding message: working people have finally realized that nefarious crackpots like Glenn Beck and local bomb-thrower Howie Carr don't give a damn about so-called real Americans.
Having covered Tea Party hysterics since day one, it's been sad to watch blue collar bozos cheer against their own interests. Now, at least around here, it seems that trend may be eroding. How heartwarming it was to watch influence peddlers publicly lambaste hard-right policies and figureheads, and to see guys in weathered Carhartt coats who really drive pick-up trucks boo at any mention of the junior senator from Massachusetts. Scott Brown might have some touching stories and a best seller, but he'll need more than that to regain the backing of everyday citizens who were hoodwinked into believing that he's just like them.
Despite their yellow flags warning rivals against such actions, Tea Partiers got treaded on like NASCAR tracks yesterday. The few who did show had their designated area overrun by union members, while one of their beloved leaders, WTKK host Michael Graham, was nearly beaten with his megaphone after holding up a clipboard and offering medical excuse forms to union employees who missed work to rally.
Graham must have missed the irony in his being protected by detail cops as he signed autographs for legionnaires. But the humor wasn't lost on everyone, as heads rained epithets on the talk radio opportunist. He rhetorically jousted with some adversaries, but had no verbal comeback for a livid fireman who shouted a sentiment that, figuratively speaking, could have doubled as the day's message to all Tea Partiers: “Go eat a big bag of dildos asshole. I hope your fucking house burns down.”
Oh yeah - and the LaRouche shitheads were there too:
See more photos from the Massachusetts rally for Wisconsin in the photo slideshow by Abigail Peterson.