Thursday, April 16, 2009

'Bama Tea: How Big Is Huge?

How big was the crowd in Hoover, Alabama, for Wednesday's Tea Party event? Huge. Massive. Ginormous.

I spoke at 5:15 Tuscaloosa -- Roll, Tide! -- and afterward was briefly interviewed by Kelly Munts, a student journalist for the Crimson and White:
Robert Stacy McCain was among those speakers. McCain mentioned his own transition to being conservative after being raised ‘a yellow dog Democrat.’ He advised audience members to get organized in order to be as effective as possible in their reaching their goals. After the speech, McCain mentioned the perspective that he took in addressing the group.
“It was a huge crowd, they got quiet at one point and I think they might’ve been taking me a little too seriously,” McCain said. “I was trying to be upbeat, positive and humorous because you get the most done when you’re having a good time.”
That interview was conducted while walking across the Quad to Stephen Gordon's Jeep, because I was due at the Hoover event at 6:30 p.m. The statute of limitations hasn't expired, so I'm not going to say how fast Gordo drove via I-20, I-459 and I-59, but we were a red blur until we got off the exit at Hoover.

A total traffic jam locked up Valleydale Road.. I kept telling Gordo that this was the crowd for the rally, and he kept doubting me. "Nah, it must be an accident up ahead." But as usual, I was right. Several of the cars we passed -- and I'm not going to say that we drove illegally in a left-turn-only lane -- had people with American flags and Tea Party protest signs.

When we finally arrived at the event (via a shortcut) the parking lot was full, and as I raced toward the stage, throngs of people were still streaming into the rally, which had already been going for 45 minutes. Famous Alabama radio personalities Rick and Bubba were doing a live TV remote with Sean Hannity. Alabama gubernatorial candidate Tim James spoke; leading Republican observers in the state say he's the man to watch for 2010.

Next up was Birmingham talk-radio host Lee Davis, who did a James Brown hardest-working-man-in-show-business performance. By this time, I'd found my Samoan lawyer buddy Bert, who lives in Birmingham and joined me backstage. The lady came to tell me I was next up after Davis -- a tough act to follow.

But hey, I'm Mack the Knife. I killed. I told 'em how my buddy Stephen Gordon broke the story about the DHS report about "right-wing extremists," and then:
Since I work in Washington, I contacted my source at the Department of Homeland Security and asked him what I should be on the lookout for. And I've got my notes from that interview with me. You might be a right-wing extremist if . . .
. . . you refuse to bow to Saudi royalty.
. . . you think the only good pirate is a dead pirate.
. . . you don't think it's a good idea for politicians in Washington to borrow another trillion dollars you grandchildren will have to repay.
. . . you think you know how to run your life better than a bunch of 'experts' in Washington.
. . . you believe in God, but don't think that Obama is the Messiah.
. . . you believe the only reason you have First Amendment Rights is because of your Second Amendment rights.
That may not seem too funny just reading it on a blog, but the magic was in the delivery. It went over very well with a big fired-up crowd. Alabama people are the finest people on the planet.

After the rally, went to the Five Points Grill for a celebratory dinner with friends, where various right-wing conspiracies political plans were discussed. Between Gordo and his buddies, I'm pretty sure they've got the whole dang state locked up for the foreseeable future.


  1. Although most comments and blog posts I have seen indicated several thousand people at the rally you attended, the B'ham News says "several hundred" people gathered in Hoover, in this story. I have trouble believing "several hundred" people could have caused the traffic problems of which you speak. Wonder if the News will revise their numbers upward?

  2. The Birmingham News has updated their story to say 5,000 in attendance. Maybe more. There are also photos and videos.

  3. That's good of the News to update their report. Usually they are one of the better newspapers, I think, as far as unbiased reporting, so my hat is off to them.

  4. mrs. the other mccainThu Apr 16, 04:35:00 PM

    I say lets pack up and move to Bama!!

  5. I enjoyed seeing you at the Birmingham rally. (I wore my Alabama Tea Party "Tea" shirt, nice!) Thanks so much for spending the day in our great state! I hope you can make it back in July.

    Julie Green