Today, Americans for Prosperity, the right-wing group founded by oil billionaire David Koch and run by astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips, organized a “Code Red” lobbying day to “kill” health reform before a vote by Christmas. The organizers of the event are busing people in from as far as North Carolina and New York to listen to speeches from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. Following the rally, protesters are expected to visit Senate offices to “pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor.”
Earlier in the day, a small group of tea party activists went to the Senate office buildings to plead their case. ThinkProgress went with the delegation from Kentucky to visit Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) office. Despite the fact that Bunning’s staff told them that the senator would speak directly with them, the tea partiers were met by legislative staffers who listened to their impassioned grievances.
In the conference room, the very first protester to speak said that if the country dissolved, he would move to the first state that seceded. After his speech, fellow protesters began giving their views about fascism, the President’s birth certificate, and ways to avoid paying taxes. Some highlights of the concerns they raised while waiting for the senator and then in the conference room:
– “But the bottom line is Obama needs to resign and go join a liars club.”
– “We’re going to take from you and we’re going to give to those who don’t work. And on the other side of the coin, Adolf Hitler said the same thing.”
– “We have a lot of people who are ‘birthers,’ but if the President was a legal resident and he has documentation, if he were an honorable person and aboveboard, I think the first thing he would do is say, ‘Here it is.’”
– “Yeah, but then he went to the Middle East and all the Muslim countries and when he spoke he admitted he was a Muslim. He said the most beautiful sound he ever heard was the call to prayer, and he was speaking Arabic also.”
– “How can we withhold our taxes?“
Although they crowd was clearly disappointed that Bunning himself did not appear, they expressed deep gratitude for his work as a senator.