Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Same Old Tune, New Chorus

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.


Anonymous said...

I was at a different meeting last night and one man asked about what I guess is an opposition talking point: "The proposed tax increase would give Watauga the second highest tax rate in the state." In the strictest sense, this statement was true.

But I think these are the current rates:

Mecklenburg 8 1/4%
17 NC counties (and possibly Watauga and others soon) 8%
All remaining NC counties (including Watauga now) 7 3/4%

This looks different from what the talking point suggests. Watauga would go from the bottom to the exact middle.

Rich N White said...

I believe it was a quote by Oliver Wendall Holmes that says it quite well. When asked how he felt about paying taxes his response was:

"Taxes? I love paying taxes. With them I buy civilization".

Anonymous said...

With due respect, Rich, on the contrary.

With taxes, especially excessive taxation, civilizations or cultures are destroyed.

BikerBard said...

If you ask around about the very Republican Jim Hastings, you will hear the stories about him. Hastings is the past chairman of the Watauga Rethugs. Let's just say his hands are not clean. So, if Hastings was the M/C, that's all one needs to know about the "non-partisan" nature of this event. He bleeds Repub-Red.

Mike D. said...


Welcome back!


Anonymous said...

Hastings = "Jam Scam" and Mr. "The fact I didn't pay years worth of Federal taxes is the Democrats' fault"

I was at the meeting too, JW, and you missed the best part. When someone there asked whether the Republicans planned to just continue to sink $400,000 a pop into repairing the old pool, Hastings said anyone who did that was a fool. The fool of course was sitting right there to to Hastings' left. That would be Blust.

brushfire said...

Anon - Can you support your statement with any evidence that taxation injures civilizations or cultures? As evidence against your statement I offer the strong economic and scientific growth during 1950's and 60's, when the tax brackets for the upper income levels exceeded 90 %.

Rich N White said...

Thanks, Mike D.

Anonymous said...

Anon - Can you support your statement with any evidence that taxation injures civilizations or cultures?

How about a little empire called Rome that fell after the government tried to appease the people with bread and circuses?