Monday, September 26, 2011

Austin GOP sharpens knives for Obama referendum

Lago Vista at Lake Travis – They call it the “North Shore,” this roller coaster stretch of FM 1431 that snakes west from I-35 at Round Rock.

Scrub oaks and cedar, rattlesnakes, and scorpions once ruled where McMansions and retirement villages, shopping malls and Kwik Kar Lubes now dot the hilly stretch overlooking the dammed Colorado.Link

To say it's a bastion of conservatism would be an understatement. The heart of the voting population in the new boundaries of Congressional District 25, it's the spiritual epicenter of a crusade against a tall chocolate-toned chap in pinstripes, a guy with huge ears, from the south side of Chicago, a man whose mama chose to give him birth at Honolulu, though most of these folks refuse to believe it. Birth certificate's got to be a fake, they say. Nice folks, huh? All heart. Got to talk about somebody's mama.

I ought to tell them about my mama. How she got her social security she signed up for in 1935 when she was just a kid keeping books at a cotton gin. How David Stockman would come on television and say there wasn't going to be any social security. How she would screech at him and the Gipper and Phil Gramm, like some little hysterical monkey while she sat there and died of cancer from the refineries and the pesticides and the herbicides and all the other goop that comes out of the pipelines. But it hurts too much to even think about it. So, g'head. Holler at me about my camera and my tripod. I bought them with my social security check so I could take pretty, pretty pictures of people like that, huh? Yeah. G'head.

More than one of the 8 GOP faithful vying for the new district said this:

“Obama is a Marxist.” They sneered, fairly spat out his name as they called it.


The mood is ugly. The mood is angry. The mood is hostile. The mood is belligerent.

It doesn't much sound like Texas on the hunt for the vote, pecan pie sweet, all oily and solicitous.

No. But it's not untypical. According to a New York Times poll, just 12% of Americans queried in mid-September approve of Congress' job performance, a match for the economic crisis of 2008. Only 16% of Republicans approve their Congressman's performance; 28% of Democrats are far more forgiving than their more conservative counterparts.

It's making political operatives mean and hard to talk with.

Consider the behavior of the Travis County Republican Chairwoman, Dr. Rosemary Edwards.

The Legendary parked in the loading zone, went to the front door of the Lago Vista Clubhouse at 700 Bar-K Road. I presented my business card to a functionary, was invited inside and introduced to a young Hispanic gentleman who said, yes, I could unload my video camera and tripod, put them in an out of the way place, and then move the pickup to a suitable parking place. Looked like everything was going to be a breeze.


I had done so, nearly made it out the door to move the pickup when this – ah – lady began to berate me for parking in the wrong place. I'm talking about a good old country shellacking, now. A wretched, spiteful tongue-lashing. The kind you kind of have to take because the hysterical woman giving it out might not be quite straight in the groove and swinging right, you dig?

I explained myself to her, gave her my card – something I paid for with my social security check, that business card, something she looked at as if I had handed her a dead puppy or a ball of fishing worms – then she began to shout at me at the top of her lungs. White letters reversed on fire engine red, it says, in copperplate type, "The Legendary Jim Parks"

I said, "Hang on to that. It just might one day be a collector's item." That's when she really started hollering, shouting.

She said we got started off on the wrong foot.

Who's we? I was doing fine until she showed up. On my way to move my pickup truck to the parking lot. Move it out the loading zone.

I behaved the best I know how and look what it got me. Hey, don't look at me. I do a lifetime of heavy lifting for these people and get two hernia operations for my trouble. The VA doctor told me next time I get a colostomy. I should walk with a heavy camera and tripod twice or three times as far as I have to walk? In hundred degree heat? So one of these – people – can get a $150,000 a year part time job with full benefits, liberal retirement, and perks out the wazoo?

I don't think so. Call me sensitive. Like, any schlepper driving a taxi gets to use the loading zone? Class act, this Dr. Edwards. Some piece of work, she is.

Moving right along.

I was forced to load my camera and tripod back in my pickup and leave.

Then I ran into Wes Riddle in the parking lot. He's a retired Colonel. He's a candidate. She was making him wait in the 100-degree heat of the parking lot, too.

He told me to come back inside. We waited. He waited in his pickup with Mrs. Riddle, the engine running and the A/C on. I waited on a park bench under the shade of the ramada in front of the building.

A little boy and girl got really interested in my video camera. I let them look through the viewfinder. They put on the ear phones and listened to the audio after asking what each control and gadget on the camera was used for.

The little boy said, “Why did that lady holler at you?”

They had seen me marginalized - humiliated - an unfaithful servant, rebuked and vilified. Naturally, they had see about me. Who knows? Maybe they could get over on me, too.

I said, “Well, she's probably somebody's mama or grandmother and she doesn't know any better by now. They get like that, you know.”

He nodded solemnly. Seven or eight years of male wisdom poured into his soulful expression as he nodded in agreement.

This is not how you get your candidate elected; this is a prelude to a putsch, a coup, a bloody insurrection. Who needs my vote when you got “true the vote” on your side?

This is not a campaign. This is a place to stay far, far away from if you value your freedom and your liberty – something these people mouth about from can until can't with depraved indifference to the concepts involved.

Border security. Balanced budget. Banking crisis. Hey, give me a break. My aching back. This schmuck was still working for old man Alinsky back of the yards, signing people up for Food Stamps, when the Party of Lincoln made all the hot shot decisions that led to the runaway monetization of the debt, the budget deficit, the housing bubble - all the trendy stuff the blame game lambastes upon his head. NAFTA. Most favored nation status for China. My aching back. My busted guts.

Why don't you holler at me over where I parked my car? G'head.

According to one of those clever computer presentation screens, the straw poll of about 500 in attendance came out like this:

Michael Williams – 27.2%
Dave Garrison – 26.8%
Brian Matthews – 19.2%
Wes Riddle – 12.8%
Dianne Costa - .08%
Bill Burch - .02%
Ralph Pruyn - .02%

Presumably, the rest were undecided. I was afraid to ask. Who knows what they will do next? You keep your mouth shut when you have a blonde society lady like Mrs. Mary Ellen Borgelt – a member of the Travis County Republican Party Finance Board - standing over your chair telling you it would be wise if you acted really sweet.

Yeah. Uh huh. Sweet. Then she asked me if I don't actually think I am an atheist.

“Lady, I would never reveal my secret heart to you, or anyone like you. There is a reason for that. It's because I don't have to do so.” She said she understands. She understands and it shows.

And how.

She's the one who actually stood over my chair and stared at me and said, “I'll bet you actually think you're an atheist.” Then she asked me if I had seen this hilarious movie called "The Help."

Yeah, right. What a totally hilarious remark. The help. I said, no, I don't go for chick flicks.

I do know one thing. To go back for more of this abuse would not show good sense.

I know something else. The noted Marxist Barack Hussein Obama has done nothing that does not benefit big business to, like, the max. I do know that. So who's kidding who?

Kudos to these three: Michael Williams, an ex-Texas Railroad Commission type who asked the rhetorical question, if candidates say they're going to cut spending, ask them what they ever cut. He said he cut the staff of the Railroad Commission by several hundred and never took a pay raise during his tenure. He also made prominent mention of the ATF's "Operation Fast and Furious," a scheme where gun merchants have been advised to sell guns to people who fit the profile of gun and drug smugglers, against their wishes.

Retired Army Colonel Wes Riddle told a joke about a barber giving free haircuts on community service and getting a dozen roses from a florist, a dozen doughnuts from a policeman, and a dozen more Congressmen waiting in line for a free haircut – to wild applause.

Dave Garrison, an executive at San Antonio's largest employer, USAA, a giant insurance underwriter that covers mortgages, told his listeners about a Fannie Mae executive who threatened the management with being labeled as racist and getting cut off from government guaranteed mortgage business if they refuse to write loans for unqualified minority applicants.

No name. No date. No way to corroborate it.

No nothing.Link
They ate it up.

I was afraid to ask. Don't want to go to some hell hole jail in an eastern European or mideastern nation with strong ties to the – ah – intelligence community. You don't ask too many questions over on the – uh – North Shore. After all, these are the people who put little targets on maps and other witty stuff like that.

“I told them we should tell Fannie Mae to stick it in its ear,” he said.

The punch line! Finally.

There followed thunderous applause for this remark. Just hilarious, huh? I almost died laughing. Reminded me of the time the female junkie put the cigarette out in her old man's ear in my taxi out on Harry Hines Boulevard in Dallas. Yeah. It was a whole lot like that. Just hilarious.Real class act. Just eat up with it.

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