The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Tea Party With Sarah Palin: Scenes from the Showdown in Searchlight, Nev.

Posted on | March 28, 2010 | 24 Comments

Word. Sarah Palin speaks! Notice the flags fluttering furiously. It was incredibly windy Saturday. I was backstage and one of my buddies let me get a nice perch at stage left to get photos and video, but the wind was more powerful than the sound system at the rally, which made Palin nearly inaudible on the video.

Palin is mobbed by media after her speech. Notice the boom mike overhead. The only interview she granted was to Griff Jenkins of Fox News. Earlier, I had seen the CNN correspondent at the rally, and tried to talk to him — my usual glad-handing style, “Hey there! How ya doin’?” — but he seemed very sour and hostile. Was it me, or was he just bummed about being stuck on the Tea Party beat?

“Hundreds of people, at least dozens” — gee, I wonder why they would say that? I just got off the phone with Smitty, who told me about that comment. What was my own estimate of the crowd size? Well, Bob Engstrom of Human Events had told me that the organizers had figured they could accommodate about 6,000 in the main area in front of the stage, while law enforcement was concerned that a crowd of 10,000 might completely overwhelm their traffic-control efforts.

The traffic was overwhelming — have you ever tried to get to a big SEC football game? The traffic on U.S. 95 reminded me of trying to get to Legion Field in Birmingham for an Alabama-Tennessee game (back in the day before ‘Bama started playing nearly all its home games at Tuscaloosa).

Victoria Jackson and Joe the Plumber have a chat before going onstage. Notice the Tea Party Express bus in the background. The crowd was sufficiently large that, when the buses arrived, they couldn’t park them where they had planned, because that space directly behind the stage was already full of people.

Read the fine print. Someone felt the need to clarify the terminology . . . NTTAWWT.

Further clarification from Doug Rodrigues of Reno who explained to me that he has a personal grudge against Marxism. Rodrigues is of Portugese/Chinese/Hawaiian ancestry — which is to say 100% American — and one side of his family came from the former Portugese colony of Macau. Shortly after the Communist revolution in China, Rodrigues’ grandfather left Macau for a trip to the Chinese province of Canton to check on the family’s land there. The grandfather was never heard from again and the land . . . well, so much for that, eh? All of which makes it easy to understand why Doug isn’t too keen on socialism and has a serious commitment to liberty. Oh, yeah, and he had a couple more things to say along the lines of enforcing the borders and no hyphens, please.

OK, since our good friends in the MSM have raised the issue of attendance estimates, I’ll post my three best crowd shots and you can click on any of these photos to see it full-size.

From stage left, looking toward the left (west). Notice the teeny-tiny dots on the hills in the distance? Those are people. Also notice the U.S. flag toward the right side . . . .

Also from stage left, facing about 20 or 30 degrees further right (northwest). The U.S. flag at the top left side of this photo is, I believe, the same flag in the right side of first photo. So that could help you get a sense of the area shown between these two photos, and there were thousands more people to the right (north/northeast) of that area, to say nothing of the people who were still out on Highway 95 trying to get through the two-mile-long traffic jam both ways to get into the rally.

This third photo was taken from a hill close to the highway, looking west toward the site, and someone with a technical or mathematical aptitude can click on the photo to see it full size and estimate the area by reference to the size of the trucks, RVs, etc.

Somebody put this sign on the gate to the rally site.

This 1970 Dodge Charger matches the Gadsden Flag perfectly!

As soon as I saw this jacket, I knew I had to get a picture. Semper Fi!

Andrea Shea King, the Radio Patriot, is on the Tea Party bus this time.

One of these people is a pharmacist I interviewed, and who was extremely critical of ObamaCare.

Another dangerous right-wing extremist!

According to Democrats and their media henchpeople, these are either (a) fake Astroturf stooges, bought and paid for by Corporate America, or (b) vicious ignorant kooks. Or perhaps both.