It was species recognition for lovers and haters of President Obama's plan to take over 1/6 of the nation's economy as August Obamacare Sale Daze hit coastal New England Tuesday in anticipation of the POTUS's historic visit to Portsmouth NH. We honked for the "Honk: No Obamacare" boys (above) and found ourselves reflexively giving the tribal salute or its opposite (not quite the finger but a certain understated rolling-eyeballs glare) to everyone whose path we crossed depending upon their slogans.
Pedestrians with whom we would normally have had just brief eye contact and continued on our way became fellow travelers to high five and chat with on the "Live Free or Die" road. We LOVED this gal's news-savvy "Health Plan: Govt acting stupidly" sign with its sadder-but-wiser reference to the President's recent unpleasantness with the Cambridge Police Department. Shall we have a beer on it?
Adorable families were out in numbers. Nobody cuter than the spunky little girl with her "Obama lies, Grandma dies" sign. Update: We caught a brief interview with the youngster's mother on CNN next morning. The clueless interviewer was unamusingly not amused.
This one stopped our heart. No comment necessary, but if there's anyone more poignant than the earnest young sons and daughters of a soldier, likely to become tomorrow's defenders of this Shining City Upon a Hill, we can't think who.
We fell to chatting with this spirited jumpsuit-clad Vietnam vet. As with Sarah Palin, all our best friends and the animals, it's the authenticity, stupid, a quality you don't get with the Con-Man-in-Chief and his henchmen. Later as we were wending our way out of the loop back toward the car, we came upon our friend in hot dispute with a disagreeable fellow with attitude, the man in blue below whom she named a member of ACORN.
Don't know for sure whether he was from ACORN, but we do know from a Boston Globe report — not to mention our eyes: We witnessed two busses with Obama slogan in window pulling up to the front of the line at Portsmouth High School as hundreds of ticket holders waited to enter the auditorium (below) — that a contingency of AFL-CIO supporters would be on hand to stir the pot.
Were we a fan of President Obama's, something we could never be since that day in December of 2006 when he called us a racist because we don't agree with his political philosophy, we would have been thrilled to stand in line among the patron-blessed ticket holders waiting patiently to be admitted to the inner sanctum. Fortunately, "Hot air has never been our thing."
While the beautiful people (Suzi pretty in pink baseball cap, Tuck in straw Panama hat and Chris in Brooks Brothers suit! above) struck Bergmanesque Cries and Whispers poses, we allowed ourselves to get swept up into the high-energy intensity of an NPR radio interview with the estimable Fred Thys:
Good guy, and we told him so when he asked why we were there. One reason, we said, was to let media folk like him whose job it is to inform his listeners know that there are anti-big-government people like us out here not sent by some nefarious "right-wing" cabal but just sick and tired of the president's attempts to ram more statist programs down our throats. Above a sweet school teacher answered the same questions we did. Her answers were softer than ours but from the heart. We brought up Charles Krauthammer's two-point program but could remember only one point, tort reform. The other point, portability, eluded us at the moment, [O, brain, where is thy victory?] but we did well in explaining how the threat of malpractice lawsuits produces the unanticipated consequences of doctors' ordering unnecessary tests and erosion of the doctor/patient trust relationship. Update: Here's the NPR report next day.
Then we were off to Pease Tradeport for Air Force One watch. LOTSA people there, more than at the high school we think. A great place to be of a New England summer's day. Good air.
I see it, I see it!
While waiting and watching for Air Force One to appear, we had a fun and funny conversation with an Obamaphile. We knew her politics 'cause she was wearing buttons on her "sleeve," so to speak, while by that point we had left our own "Just say no" signs in the car. As we engaged in pleasantries about the excitement of seeing the President's plane up close, we treaded softly, not betraying our anti-Obama mindset. We talked about how getting tickets to the town hall was a patronage thing. She asserted that Obama had let as many dissenters as supporters get tickets. NOT. By contrast, George Bush had never allowed dissenters at any of his events. WHAT? Realizing it was time, we confessed that we were coming from the opposite side of the aisle and suggested we call it a day. A strange and illicit sensation talking with someone who thinks you're a member of her tribe when you know you aren't. Nice lady, though.
Update: Icky Poo. A reminder from Michelle Malkin, if needed, why we're so glad we didn't get tickets:
Little girl at Obama town hall has not-so-random political connections. A girl from Malden asked President Obama a question at Tuesday’s town hall meeting in New Hampshire about the signs outside “saying mean things” about his health care proposal.
Yah. Really mean things like "Just say no!"
Update: We "crash" PJMTVs Pajama Teaparty.
Update II: Instalanche! See also blog buddy neo-neocon's amusing and insightful exegesis of the "Angry White Man" double standard, wherein she asks the imponderable "What could be Angrier and Whiter and Manner than than an outlieing liar?"
Update III: Thanks to the Anchoress for including our post in one of her must-read, comprehensive linkapaloozas, "Klavan, “Health” Panels & Goldsteins."