Cross posted from Blue Collar Muse
This was one of those meetings across the Senate’s Memorial Day break everyone is being encouraged to attend to ensure the politicians hear what the people have to say, especially concerning illegal immigration. After the meeting concluded a number of attendees called Steve to report on what went on. I personally did not attend. Everything that follows is what I heard (or my recollection of what I heard) on the radio and is, thus, hearsay. Steve Gill and Lamar Alexander are not responsible if I get my story wrong. With that caveat, read on …
The general consensus (at least one person disagreed) was the meeting was either a rude awakening for Lamar or a good old fashioned throwing down of the gauntlet! After some opening remarks and a campaign video, things got a little sporty! The exact timeline is unclear as is the exact sequence of events but it is reported that each of the following happened at some point:
- An attendee jumped up and yelled out something to the effect of, “Secure the borders first and then we can talk!”
- An attendee asked for a show of hands for those present in support of the Amnesty Plan (my pejorative title) and got no takers. Asked to show opposition to the Amnesty Plan in like manner, nearly everyone in the room raised their hands.
- There was general agreement among callers concerning the breakdown of ‘Roberts’ Rules of Order’. Attendees were both loud and pointed in voicing their views.
- The ‘After opening remarks Sen. Alexander will take questions from his constituents’ format was quickly abandoned by the Senator (or his handlers, or both) in favor of the new and improved ‘Sen. Alexander will talk quietly and one-on-one with constituents’.
- While he wore a lapel mike at first so his comments could be heard, it was removed for the one-on-ones. The Senator was asked to use the mike again so everyone could hear his comments. Senator Alexander did not comply with that request.
- When attendees objected to the abrupt change in format they were advised the meeting was being held on private property and by people that had the right to make changes. If those changes were unacceptable, those objecting were advised they were free to leave.
- The observation was made by several callers that Sen. Alexander’s people at one or more points in the meeting physically moved so as to form a protective barrier or cordon for the Senator. That is my term, not that of any caller. I don’t recall anyone using terms that strong but I also don’t recall thinking in any other terms when hearing it described.
- Several callers stated they made it bluntly clear to Lamar that if he voted for this bill they would not vote for him in ‘08. One caller echoed the Washington Times donor story I blogged on here by pointedly telling Steve Gill, “My wallet is closed!”
While one caller noted that there were at least a few Democrats present, Steve Gill made the cogent point that this treatment of the good Senator came at the hands of his friends and supporters.
Most of the callers also made the observation, in one form or another, that Sen. Alexander seemed shaken by the emotion and reaction from those attending. Prior to this morning, all I’ve heard from the Senator, personally (on radio interviews) and via others is that he was undecided or neutral but leaning to supporting the bill. It remains to be seen if he is shaken enough to finally declare his opposition to the bill.
Throughout the discussion, all I could think of was the humorous line from Inspector Kemp in the 1974 film ‘Young Frankenstein’, “A riot isss an ugly ting …”
Wondering how many remember the end of Inspector Kemp’s quote is, “… undt, I tink it is about time zat ve had one!”
Blue Collar Muse
Update: Welcome to all the visitors from Instapundit, Slate.com, The PoliPundit, Bill Hobbs and RedState. For the perspective from someone who was at the meeting, head over to Lamar Gets a Reality Check at Bear Creek Ledger.
**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email stiknstein-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate.Other recent Coalition contributions:
Gov. Perdue may Kill Illegal Immigration Bill in GA at Georgia Crime Watch;
The President’s Immigration Speech Translated … Congress Should Have the Courage to Lie at StiknStein has no Mercy;
Bush Defends Immigration Plan at My Country – My View;
An Open Letter to the President at The Violence Worker;
The Curse of the Immigration Bill … Summer Blockbuster at StiknStein has no Mercy;
Bush, Ya’ Talkin’ to Me? at The People’s Patriot
A Day Without Gringos at Committees of Correspondence;
RNC Refuses to Believe the Obvious at Bear Creek Ledger;
Rally Against Illegal Immigration a Success in Cobb County at Georgia Crime Watch;
Press “1″ to Donate to Your Favorite GOP Candidate – Press “2″ to Tell Us to Kiss Off! at StiknStein has no Mercy