(Strong emotion moves people to act, and Parker Griffith engendered powerful emotions when he turned coat and joined the Republican Party. He became the Congressman both parties loved to hate, witness this bipartisan demonstration. – promoted by mooncat)
With a crowd of about 400 sign-waving, chanting protesters outside the Huntsville Marriott this evening, temporary Congressman Parker Griffith (R-Liar) and his new best friend, Congressman John Boehner, decided that discretion was required.
They pulled in quietly, snuggled together in the back of an SUV (they left the same way: incognito) and were whisked into a no-press-allowed "fundraiser" that can't have raised many funds. It was held in a room not much larger than my living room/kitchen. Let's just say that AL-05 citizens weren't exactly beating down the doors to get in…
A source on the inside says that our turncoat Congressman and Alabama's most famous political adulterer called the demonstration outside an "embarrassment." Once again, we see Parker twisting language – or perhaps being so damn stupid he just can't get it right.
An embarrassment? Not for the bi-partisan group of folks that I would never have believed could have even amicably stood on a street corner waiting for a traffic light to change – much less spent an entertaining hour or so snapping photos of each other, exchanging email addresses, and reminding each other that we're all best friends. At least until June 1st!
No, Parker: the protest crowd was not an "embarrassment" but rather "embarrassing" for a clueless Congressman who thought that all he had to do was announce his own Epiphany during the Advent season and be welcomed with open arms by the people who- just a year earlier – had called him a killer and lover of terrorists.
When this year's edition of the thesaurus comes out, no doubt the noun "Idiot" will have "Parker Griffith" listed as a synonym. As will a large number of other nouns: liar, con artist, and more.
Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment thread and view a few photos on the flip. We have lots of video and pictures, but I need my dinner. I'm only posting a few tonight.
Update: Since it's the end of a long, long, satisfying day, I'm going to piggieback on countrycat's post with a few of my own observations, below. The photos at the end of the post that look like they were taken by a phone camera are mine, and they were. — mooncat
1) The turnout was fantastic. I know it far exceeded my expectations and those of several other organizers. This morning Dale Jackson was telling his listeners that we needed at least 100 to 200 people there to make an impact — and I'm not sure either Christie Carden or I were confident we could turn out a crowd like that. As it turns out, we had twice that many.
2) There was no trouble whatsoever between the Tea Party/Republicans and the more liberal elements of the crowd. Although labor officially just held a press conference and didn't participate in the protest, I saw several labor folks holding signs. It was a very good humored and genial crowd. For a while I was standing near a Republican woman who was surrounded by liberals (you could tell by the signs) but she was good natured about it. We agreed that this once we could stand side by side in pursuit of a better Congressman.
3) Speaking of labor participation, Alabama AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Al Henley really took a chunk off Parker Griffith. Al came prepared with all his facts and figures on Parker and laid into him good and proper. Unfortunately, my video of that went home with someone else tonight, but it's worth waiting for.
4) The AFL-CIO was generous enough to donate use of their conference area at the Marriott to the protest organizers for a presser of our own. They even stayed around to provide a cheering section. This truly was a consortium of groups on the left and on the right — maybe even the middle — who have found common cause against Griffith.
5) The Mo Brooks supporters were out in force. Mo worked the crowd himself and gave an interview or two. He stopped and had a nice chat with my family — can't help but think he did himself some good with the activist right tonight.
6) There were some Les Philip supporters, as evidenced by buttons.
7) Democratic candidates did not attend the protest, although Mitchell Howie sat in on both press conferences.
8) This was a lot of fun. One foul-mouthed guy drove away from the hotel and yelled some ugly stuff out the window as he passed down the line of protesters. That was the only unpleasantness I saw. There were lots of chants of "No more Griffith" and even "Liar, liar, pants on fire." Liberals need to stop worrying so much about the possibility of looking silly and do more events like this one.
9) Many thanks to Christie Carden, Linda Haynes, the Alabama A&M Democratic Club and all the others who made this protest a success. I really feel like Griffith and Boehner know they got their asses kicked today in terms of PR.