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1/15/10

Tea and Grumpets


It's been three days since the Captain and "crew" returned from the recon mission to the "Tea Party," and the effects of the tea and crumpets have worn off so I'm ready to make my report on what we observed there. (OK, I made up the crumpets part, but I did imbibe several of their finest Miller Lites.)
I purposely waited a few days for any subconscious impressions to surface, but alas, no "heady" insights other than the initial ones have bubbled to the top of my beer glass mind.

I apologize in advance to all those who read this blog but don't live in Illinois (at least half of you). You may be even more bored than usual by this report.

The crowd at the gathering was pretty much as I imagined it would be, older and more thoughtful than the left-leaning media portrayal of red faced Obama haters with swastika emblazoned signs. Actually, they seemed more determined than irate. Grumpy seems like a good description, like how you feel after oversleeping and realizing that some situation in your life has deteriorated because of it.

The meeting itself was a crowded affair in a rather small venue. Average age of an attendee looked to be over forty (at least) to this untrained eye, and crowd size looked to be around 200-250 by an also untrained guesstimate. One of the people who introduced the speaker thanked about 400 for attending. I saw a few raised eyebrows in the crowd when he said that, but in fairness, it was the only thing I heard that seemed to be a stretch. I will also admit he may have been more on top of the crowd size from his vantage point. Keep in mind, this event took place in New Lenox, Illinois -- not exactly downtown Chicago.

The question of whether or not the group consisted of the tipping point people I referred to in my last post or a well organized group of political operatives leading some "useful idiots" seems to have been answered, at least to my own satisfaction. Although there were folks there who came because they support the candidate, my observation was that the majority came as ordinary citizens just looking for someone they could vote FOR rather than just voting against a different candidate or to "throw the bums out" only to replace them with recycled bums. Disaffected Republicans for the most part, I'm guessing, were the largest part of the crowd. A growing group nationwide and certainly in Illinois.

The speech by Dan Proft (candidate for Republican nomination for Governor) was a good one even though it was probably his standard stump speech. The place he most impressed was in the Q&A session. I never saw him dance the ole' politician tango even once. He got some uncomfortable questions and was straightforward and unapologetic in his answers. He offered specific proposals to address specific problems and put them out to be agreed upon or discarded. He had a grasp on reality as well as facts and figures.

When it comes to "political pizza," I have always been partial to having mine topped with a large amount of skeptical sausage. So before I offer you a slice of mine, my suggestion would be to check it out and see how it compares to what you have been ordering.

My own conclusion is that this guy deserves a close look. Unless you are somehow satisfied by how this state is imploding or think that everything is fine except for some small tweaking of things around the edges, you should (at the minimum) check out his website, spend enough time there to inform yourself about his ideas and then check him out elsewhere. My opinion certainly doesn't matter, only yours does. And even yours doesn't matter if it is uninformed.

Proft's website is here.  You owe it to yourself and your kids, not to mention your neighbors, to be informed. And if you find merit in what he says, you owe it to everyone in your circle, and maybe even everyone in your e-mail address book, to urge them to check it out as well, not necessarily to encourage them to vote for him but merely to educate themselves about his candidacy among the choices available.

George Ryan, Blago, Daley, Madigan and all the other usual suspects got us to where we are because we voted them into a position to get us here. It's unlikely that re-treads like Quinn, Andy McKenna or Jim Ryan, much less any of the other political operatives being endorsed by the Chicago area newspapers, will get us out of this sad state of affairs. Remember who they endorsed in the past and then let me know how those choices are "workin out for ya."

We got into this mess by oversleeping, and now it's time to wake up grumpy.

Here is a short video of some of the Republican primary candidates describing who they are. You can decide for yourself if any of the things they say are relevant to the direction of our state in the future.

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