Guest Post: Schiff at Tea Party Protest

Our own AndersonScooper took his video camera to the “tea party” in Hartford on July 4th. Peter Schiff was also there, and spoke to the crowd. Usually this would be a good candidate for a Sunday Speak Out piece, but this one didn’t quite make it in time for last Sunday’s deadline.

AndersonScooper offers this commentary. As always, his opinions are his own! –GC

Since it was a public event, I showed up at the State Capitol on July 4th to see what Connecticut’s Tea Partiers were up to. And oh yes, Peter Schiff and Matt Daly, (the FIC guy supposedly running against Courtney), were both scheduled to appear.
 
I’d like to say I was disappointed by the crowd, the pageantry, and the message. But actually it was very impressive. Well over 500 people in attendance, and a diverse spectrum of anti-government political views, even if everyone was white. (well, except for one Asian dude.)
 
Matt Daly never showed. That didn’t matter. The best part was getting to meet Peter Schiff, who like Alan Schlesinger, turns out to be an exceedingly likeable guy, although Schiff’s extreme views about Social Security, the American economy, and the Fed deserve a great deal more attention, were he ever to get any traction.
 
Anyway, sometimes the video just speaks for itself:
 

 
Note to the community: I have the raw footage if anyone doesn’t like my edit. I tried my best to keep it entertaining. And the montage had to come in under YouTube’s ten minute time limit
 
Also, everyone should check out DumpDodd blogger PalinSmith’s video of Rob Simmons’ appearance at the Norwich Tea Party. Simmons Sizzles in Norwich July 4, 2009. Rob Simmons proudly demonstrates that he won’t easily be out-C-R-A-Z-Y’ed.

Interesting footage of these events, which largely went uncovered by local media.

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23 responses to “Guest Post: Schiff at Tea Party Protest

  1. Nice job Anderson, great commentary!

  2. I’m a little perplexed by Schiff’s remark that he would be wasting his time by running as an independent. If he sees the current approach to government as so flawed, why does he feel motivated to run as a member of the party that is 50% responsible for the problems we’re facing?

    I am not a Schiff supporter and can’t fathom any way that I could become one, but I certainly can’t understand why he would contribute to the tired, partisan approach to governing. The circumstances were quite a bit different, but Connecticut did just elect an independent senator less than three years ago. Running as an independent would be healthy for democracy, not a waste of time.

  3. Yeah… really nice job Scoop.

    I will say though that I think your own comments partly validate my assertion…

    yes, it will be extremely difficult for him to get the nomination… BUT if he gets it… and takes the stage with Dodd… Schiff is so comfortable on camera… even his unorthodox views on the “big issues” will not necessarily kill his candidacy.

    I figure that most people don’t vote on Roe v Wade (in primaries yes, but not in the general)… and as a Senator, he wouldn’t be unilaterally setting policy on anything else.

    Compound that with a reason to fire Dodd… and an ability to deliver sound bites (particularly funny sound bites)… and Dodd could lose to Schiff.

    Again… I don’t see him winning the primary… but hey…

    Ron Paul (and his kooky Paulistas!) are challenging the heart of the banking system… and winning! That may not have happened since the father of your party killed The Central Beast.

  4. You captured the spirit of the thing

  5. Like the bell lady

  6. I’m a little perplexed by Schiff’s remark that he would be wasting his time by running as an independent. If he sees the current approach to government as so flawed, why does he feel motivated to run as a member of the party that is 50% responsible for the problems we’re facing?

    We don’t have a proportional system in place for electing representatives. That quote illustrates that Schiff is not a total blockheaded idiot.

    The circumstances were quite a bit different, but Connecticut did just elect an independent senator less than three years ago. Running as an independent would be healthy for democracy, not a waste of time.

    Joe promised Democrats he’d be a Democrat, and 1/3 of them believed him. He promised Republicans that he’d crap all over the Democrats, and 80% of them believed him. I haven’t heard of any Republicans who feel that they haven’t gotten their money’s worth, but he did sort of lie in grand fashion to both groups.

    The idea of being an independent in the system we have today is just the conceit of a truly self-aggrandizing politician — someone who believes that they alone can be a force for change without working from within a community of peers. That they are an institution for moral righteousness untainted by the insidious forces of (gasp!) politics. I guess some people still feel that way about ol’ Joe.

    However, Schiff running as an independent would be helpful to Dodd’s re-election prospects, so I support it whole-heartedly. Schiff, sadly, doesn’t seem like he’s dumb enough to take the bait.

  7. AndersonScooper

    Personally I think Schiff running as an Independent would be his only shot at the seat. That’s why I asked him that question.

    How does Peter intend to get the institutional support he’d need to win the nomination? Is he counting on Ron Paul Nation to help him lap the field in fundraising? Or is he hoping for a three or four way race?

    I just don’t see his path to the nomination, and certainly not by preaching about economic revolution via the dismantling of the Fed. (Sorry Tim White.)

  8. Weicker Liker

    Anderson….

    Of course, Peter Schiff and any other candidate could bypass the GOP Convention and use the Direct Primary route to the ballot.

    He needs to recruit registered Republicans to petition him on the Primary Ballot – with 2% of the Republican Party’s statewide enrollment.

    Thats in the neighborhood of just under 9,000.

    Would have 21-30 days to do it.

  9. I agree Anderson, Schiff has no chance getting the Republican nomination.

  10. Of course, Peter Schiff and any other candidate could bypass the GOP Convention and use the Direct Primary route to the ballot.

    Yes he can do that. I highly doubt he’ll collect the necessary signatures and if he does, there is no way he can win a primary.

    I think you perfectly laid out the huge hurdles that are virtually impossible for him to overcome.

  11. Moderation is annoying.

    Scoop, I know the Fed isn’t sexy. But if Dodd refuses to demand answers on who got the $2.2 trillion… yet fail to deliver on a less expensive public option… I don’t see why any dem would bother voting for him. And heck, if Harry can’t deliver with 60 votes… who cares if there’s only 59 votes.

    The excitement factor could be a problem for Dodd.

  12. I’m a little perplexed by Schiff’s remark that he would be wasting his time by running as an independent. If he sees the current approach to government as so flawed, why does he feel motivated to run as a member of the party that is 50% responsible for the problems we’re facing?

    The correct term is “a petitioning candidate” not “an independent.” I see you’re trying to petition your way on to the ballot as well. What party were you affiliated with last year when you voted in the presidential preference primary?

    You also might want to follow the campaign finance laws and include the name of your treasurer where necessary before someone complains to the SEEC.

  13. Well over 500 people in attendance, and a diverse spectrum of anti-government political views, even if everyone was white. (well, except for one Asian dude.)

    Ed:

    How was the tea party’s racial composition relevant to anything?

  14. Running as an independent would be healthy for democracy, not a waste of time.

    For starters the operative word in a 2 party system that you might want to consider is “crossfire”.

    Not that a 3rd party or no-party candidate can’t win; but it’s a sure way to draw fire from two sources instead of only one.

    Plus it could lead to something like the Brits have; which amounts to shear bedlam; take a look at how many political parties are over there and you’ll understand why they’re in far worse shape than even we are.

    Labour Party
    Conservative Party
    Liberal Democrats
    Democratic Unionist Party
    Scottish National Party
    Sinn Féin
    Plaid Cymru – Party of Wales
    Social Democratic and Labour Party
    Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern
    Respect Coalition
    Ulster Unionist Party
    Scottish Green Party
    Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
    Progressive Unionist Party
    Green Party in Northern Ireland
    Green Party of England and Wales
    UK Independence Party
    British National Party
    Boston Bypass Independents
    Community Action Party
    Community (London Borough of Hounslow)
    England First Party
    English Democrats Party
    English Progressive and Liberty Party
    Free England Party
    Idle Toad
    Mebyon Kernow
    Men’s Representative Party
    Middlewich First
    Miss Great Britain Party
    Money Reform Party
    Morecambe Bay Independents
    Mum’s Army
    Residents Associations of Epsom and Ewell
    National Liberal Party – The Third Way
    One London
    People Against Bureaucracy Group
    Popular Alliance
    Roman Party Ave!
    SOS! Voters Against Overdevelopment of Northampton
    Social Democratic Party
    South Tyneside Progressives,
    Southampton First
    Wessex Regionalist Party

  15. The idea of being an independent in the system we have today is just the conceit of a truly self-aggrandizing politician — someone who believes that they alone can be a force for change without working from within a community of peers.

    There is no conceit in wanting to cast a vote on an issue without worrying about what party is in power. What’s truly arrogant is when one party thinks they can govern without including their colleagues across the aisle. Those independent of either political party are freed up to work with both Democrats and Republicans. There is nothing conceited about forging compromise.

  16. Plus it could lead to something like the Brits have; which amounts to shear bedlam; take a look at how many political parties are over there and you’ll understand why they’re in far worse shape than even we are.

    Connecticut has at least 19 political parties (see here), with a couple more that have appeared on ballots that aren’t included in that list. 19 parties for our 3.5 million people looks pretty wild when compared to the UK’s 44 for 61 million people. Connecticut has nearly 10 times as many parties per capita.

  17. There is no conceit in wanting to cast a vote on an issue without worrying about what party is in power.

    The conceit is two sided: first, to believe that the elected members of a board are governed totally by that aspect of their identity and experience, and secondly to believe that an independent would be immune from the tidal forces of public opinion that cause people to group themselves into organizations that advance a common agenda in the first place. It is either a cartoonish underestimation of the people you’d like to call your peers, or an overweening belief in your own superiority.

    What’s truly arrogant is when one party thinks they can govern without including their colleagues across the aisle.

    If that’s the case in your town, or at any level, we have a mechanism for periodically altering the makeup of our legislatures to throw out anyone with a needlessly arrogant style of governing. Americans rejected the way that Republicans froze out Democrats in Congress, and elected more Democrats. Connecticut residents don’t seem to mind how Dems in the state legislature freeze out the Republicans — but when they do come to object to that practice, we’ll all know it at about 9 p.m. on election night.

    Those independent of either political party are freed up to work with both Democrats and Republicans.

    Those inside of a political party are free to work with both as well. Many do. You presume that those individuals are not free to forge alliances that advance the goals they were elected to accomplish.

    There is nothing conceited about forging compromise.

    The conceit is to believe that, without experience or allies on the board, that 1) you alone have the ability to bring about an outcome that the public desires, and that 2) those who have been elected and re-elected over time are completely unable to perceive the public’s interest and reap the benefits of serving it from their position.

    If you were running for a position in a town where 90% of the population were residents of a mental institution, maybe it would be reasonable to believe that the political calvinball you’re describing was the way of things, and that you alone have the ability to part the waters and bring your people to the promised land.

  18. Jim, where did this tweet go?

  19. Samuel,

    I went from my personal Twitter to using it for the campaign and deleted all the old updates. That’s why that one is gone.

    Also, I didn’t intend to turn this into a discussion of Southington politics or my campaign. I was merely surprised at Schiff’s comment about why he isn’t running as an independent.

    I agree with Anderson that he doesn’t have much of a shot at the Republican nomination. We’re also a state that has elected third party candidates as Governor and Senator over the last two decades or so. On top of that, Ron Paul, who Schiff has advised, supported third party candidates for President in 2008. I thought if anyone was likely to pursue an independent candidacy, it would be Schiff.

  20. Dempsey Dem

    I prefer to celebrate the Fourth by honoring America, it’s Government, and our leaders.

    It obviously takes a differrent sort to ‘celebrate’ by tearing down the Government and it’s elected leaders…

  21. Also, I didn’t intend to turn this into a discussion of Southington politics or my campaign. I was merely surprised at Schiff’s comment about why he isn’t running as an independent.

    NO ONE even mentioned “Southington politics” here other than you with that picture of your lawn sign that appears here every time you post. You’re clearly campaigning for yourself and as I mentioned earlier, you’re violating campaign finance laws. You claim to be running as an “Independent” when you really mean a petitioning candidate which is strange since you voted in the presidential preference primary last year which obviously means you were registered with one of the two major parties as recently as last year. Why won’t you tell us which party that was?

    If you think you’re campaign finance problems will go away by continuing to ignore them rather than complying with the law, the SEEC has a few costly lessons to teach you and your treasurer. You’re being stubborn or you’re just plain ignorant. Either way, you’re wrong so do yourself a favor and review Chapter 155 of the statutes and put the proper attributions where they belong or just stop violating the law.

  22. What’s truly arrogant is when one party thinks they can govern without including their colleagues across the aisle.

    Yes the Council Chair can’t seem to tone it down lately.
    In his defense he does work at the Capitol, a politically charged environment, and it must be difficult for the poor fellow to turn it off when he gets home.

    Otherwise the other 8 largely get along pretty well and the level of bi-partisan respect and cooperation is better than even most Southington citizens are accustomed to.
    Some have served on various other non-political committees together as well.

    Even those residents who *are* partisans here tend to know when to put it away.

    My step-daughter for example, a lifelong registered Republican, the daughter of a late Commissioner, who was also my immediate predecessor on the Republican State Central Committee, (and she’s married to your cousin once removed no-less); recently purchased a new home and is closing in less than 4 weeks.

    Who do you think their real-estate agent is?

    The Chair of the local Democratic Town Central Committee; a woman I’ve known and trusted for years, and have had on speed-dial for decades as well.

    One member of the Council’s father is the God Father to another member of the Council and the two are not in the same party.

    Sometimes people simply don’t agree on specifics and when the budget gets tight it’s natural for people to have differing views as to what *has* to be saved and what can be put off a year or so.

    Assuming such disagreements are always partisan in nature would be a mistake, especially here where the majority of office holders regardless of affiliation **strongly** believe – town first; party second.

    The majority of politically active Republicans certainly don’t agree with one of the more prominent Democratic Council members all the time.
    Few Republicans would fail to defend his personal honor however, as we know him to be a good and decent man…..even when he’s off on some tangent that we collectively don’t agree with.

    I believe you might be over-estimating the impact of partisanship in the Town of Southington.

  23. Brenda,

    I’m familiar with the requirements of Chapter 155 and I’ve added the treasurer’s name where it belongs. That was an oversight that I thank you for pointing out. I’m not here campaigning. I’ve read and participated in CTLP for years.

    Technically, yes. I’m a petitioning candidate and not a member of the Independent Party. I will be on the ballot as a petitioning candidate, but I consider myself independent of any political party, which is why I use that terminology. I was a Democrat from the time I was eligible to vote and left the party not because I think they’ve done a terrible job, but because I question the usefulness of political parties and don’t feel entirely comfortable affiliating myself with either of them.

    ACR,

    I count several friends among the members of the Town Council. I plan on actively supporting at least a couple of them. Ed Pocock and Chris Palmieri are two of the hardest working and most dedicated public servants our town will ever have. Michael Riccio and Dave Zoni are two of the smartest people I’ve met. I don’t think partisanship drives every decision they make, but I also think that preserving their party’s power is a factor that they need to consider when they cast votes. I just happen to align myself with neither party and find that approach to fit me better. Partisanship doesn’t cripple government, but I believe that it is an impediment.

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