A little religiosity, a little Boone-bashing, a little boilerplate rhetoric ("government run by out-of-touch liberals," check!), a little outside agitation (a hired gun brought in from the ultra-right John Locke Foundation to 'splain it all), a spoonful of denial ("this is NOT a partisan issue," said the Republican MC), and a fair amount of unintentional irony -- that was the rally (a.k.a., "press conference") yesterday put on by the Tea Party Republicans in opposition to a county recreation center.
All the Republican candidates were there: Clerk of Court Wanda Howell, running for reelection: Nathan Miller, Vince Gable, and the ineffable David Blust, running for the County Commission: Dan Soucek, running for the NC House and picked to deliver The Prayer. Yep. Non-partisan all the way!
Unintentional irony? A Watauga High student who is now a senior at the new high school did a good job echoing national conservative talking points, but he ended up complaining that the new school, which all of this bunch hates, needs to be even bigger. The student also urged Watauga young people to get their recreation at "free" places like Brookshire Park, which was hardly free, as it was also built by taxpayer funds (and very much in spite of the strong opposition of Deborah Greene).
Unintentional irony: David Blust, who knows a thing or three about bankruptcy, asked rhetorically, "Shouldn't government act the same as you do in your own business?"
The "press conference" part of this political rally featured only one question from the press: "If the county were not in debt and if these were not, as you say, hard economic times, would you then be in favor of building a county recreation center?" meaning, as I took it, "Would you EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, be in favor?" and to the best of my ability, I heard a pretty fumbling but nevertheless clear enough "NO!"
The president of the College Republicans, evidently trying to do his part to help the cause, stood up and complained that the college students only just arrived back in town and have only a few days to try to educate themselves before VOTING on the issue. But another student then asked David Blust if he still opposed the right of ASU students to vote in local elections. (Every ASU student has seen by now the famous video of Blust saying in an open forum on the ASU campus that students shouldn't have that right.) Blust was flabbergasted by the question, stumbled around incoherently with MC Hastings trying to rescue him from self-immolation ("This is a topic for another time"), and then attacked the student who asked the question: "Who put you up to that?" Deborah Greene also tried to rescue Blust but only nailed that coffin shut. She said, and in no uncertain terms, that ASU college students should be allowed to vote IF they planned to make Watauga their homes, presumably for eternity.
Well, okay then.