Tea Party – Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Bitter I attended the Bucks County Tea Party today, in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.  This is the historic park where Washington is reputed to have crossed the Continental Army across a partially frozen Delaware River in December of 1776, in order to attack a Hessian garrison at Trenton.  A great place for a Tea Party, and a great day for one too.  I’d estimate the crowd on the ground at about 500-600 people, and given that people were coming in and going out the while time, total attendance is probably more like 700 to 800 people.  Not bad for a tax protest in a quiet suburb outside of Philadelphia.

They had several speakers, and a few politicians were brave enough to speak to the crowd. One of them was Scott Petri, the local Republican State Representative. To be honest, I thought his speech was pretty inappropriate for the event. At a protest aimed at big, intrusive and tax hungry government, I’m not looking for a detailed speech on fiscal policy. I want to understand your philosophy, and I want you to signal to me that you get it.

Petri didn’t do that for me.  A bit about how the federal government is creating local budget problems by not paying their fair share for special education prompted one Tea Party goer to shout “Education is not a federal mandate!”  In another sentence he sought more funding for a the park museum.  Absolutely, this is part of the problem.  You can’t argue to cut other people’s pet projects, and then say hands off your own.  You shouldn’t argue that people in places remote to your local community pay for your community’s projects.

I understand the difficulties involved with budgeting, and finding money, especially in poorer communities, but a Tea Party isn’t the place for policy discussions.  It’s the place to show voters you understand them and their concerns, and to set yourself apart from the same old, same old. Scott Petri failed at that.

UPDATE: Dave Markowitz has pictures of the Philadelphia Tea Party on Independence Mall.  Looks like about the same size as ours.

5 thoughts on “Tea Party – Bucks County, Pennsylvania”

  1. What I find interesting is that the worst and third worst speakers there were the politicians. The citizens were far better speakers than the “pros.”

    I also think it’s amusing that only at a tea party would you see a plumber’s truck parked next to a Porsche.

  2. I was there today, too. You’re right, Petri just didn’t get it. You don’t get up in front of a Tea Party and talk about how the federal government should really be funding those things that you are most interested in.

    My observation from the gathering is a comment on how these events have been portrayed. CNN wants us to believe the people showing up to these are a bunch of nuts, but the crowd could have been the congregation from the church my family belonged to when I was growing up.

  3. I went to the Wilmington, DE tea party when I heard Nancy Pelosi say it was “astroturfing”. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten my check yet. Did you get yours? ;-)

    That black lab shot is priceless.

  4. Have to agree on count – folks just kept coming and coming! What struck me was the mix of foks – LOTS of young fams, parents with kids in strollers, bike seats, bike trailers. It was a great rally; could’ve done without Quinn or Petri, but I have respect for McIllhenny.

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