• Stephen Kruiser 'America Needs Me' on Van Nuys, California Tea Party

>> Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Tea Party Day and Night for Stephen

My impression was a little different than most, PJTV had me doing the live tweeting things. I was involved with naysayers all day; it was interesting. Mostly people from the left, I kept trying to phrase it as non partisan ad I could, which is very unusual because I am very partisan.

The tone started to shift because I had to keep hammering on this all day, "Look I’ve been involved in this since February and there is no funding or no talking points." They kept saying, "Look,"…I said, "You are calling me a liar now?"

There were a lot of people who thought it was a GOP thing. I talked about the picture Tammy Bruce posted online where people were mad at both sides. Then a Republican politician tried to speak and people refused him to be a speaker.

That was the struggle for me all day, while watching the numbers, as they got bigger, it was easier to dismiss. The tea parties in the East were mostly during work or at lunch—the numbers weren’t good, it was hammering rain, etc. After people got off work, the numbers started getting better. As the numbers started shifting, the naysayers got better, lighter. I'm not saying there is a correlation, it's just the way it happened.

The day did have an election type feel at first, slow and boring--not much coming out of the polling booths. As things closed in the East and started opening across the country, it started looking better.

There were a couple of people who were generally surprised that they ended up in agreement. I said, "Look this is about taxation and spending, even if you believe the government should have a role, you can’t really be happy with how the government is spending the money."

As the day wore on, this being an evil right wing thing started wearing out, it was easy to keep disproving it with all of the unsubstantiated things. In LA we didn’t have that because instead of having one big centralized tea party we had it all over. LA is a pain to get around in. Orange County, Inland Empire, in the Valley, San Diego...the one in Orange County appeared to be pretty significant, pretty large. The Van Nuys was the only one I attended last night and there were 900 to 1200 people. And, we had a late last minute change of venue.

We were getting royally hosed with permits. One of our organizers, who knows how to work the channels pretty well, got the run around all day long Monday. Then, late that afternoon, he ended up with the same guy who sent him on the goose chase in the early morning. The cops said, look if it's peaceful we don’t start looking for things like that.

[Editor's note: This is the third party I have heard of that had difficulties getting their permits. The Treasury Department (you know, the one that is storing ALL of OUR $$$$) pulled the permit for Washingtonian's tea party.]

We had some people who were pretty enthusiastic. We had cars that kept honking and honking and honking; it sounded like a wedding--like when they drive away. Only it went on constantly. You can’t say they attended, but you get the feeling they were supporting us. I tried to get someone to pull the audio, it was a nice impression. That honking was just relentless, the whole time we were there.

A Few Favorite Signs:

• The Constitution, the Other Document They Didn’t Read.
• Don’t Tax Me Bro—I thought of this line before the last Tea Party, and posted it on twitter, they got it out to other cities, today I got photographs from Tennessee, etc. It was really gratifying personally.
• There was a kid holding a sign; Eight-Years-Old and $36,000 in Debt.
• Don’t Tax All My Money, I’m Only 10, I haven’t Earned it All, Yet.
• New Dog in the Whitehouse, Same Pigs in Congress.
• One had a picture of George Washington, it simply said, DUDE...cracked me up.

Sadly, I didn’t see any inspired ones at Van Nuys.

I was speaking about Prop 1A at the rally. In cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, the people on the right are so used to being marginalized. I live, basically, in Santa Monica--I am in Henry Waxman’s district down here and I don’t even know if I’ve met another Republican here. I've met a few of them online, but have never seen them in person.

The Press

We had someone from NBC show up—they didn’t have anyone interviewing, just getting footage to show. There was someone from LA Times—don’t know if we identified anyone from LA Daily News, which is odd, since it's the Valley paper. They may have gone to some of the other tea parties.

I thought CNN headline news had a story in there, they rotate stories everyhalf-hour, which seemed to be okay, but you know there was that thing in Chicago where the CNN woman came unhinged. Michelle Malkin showed a thing where that same reporter was at a protest against Bush, they were saying and doing all sorts of crazy things and she wasn’t at all upset about that.

Fox news was at the huge rally in Sacramento. They say Fox News was getting the Tea Parties together, but the other news media could have gone out. I get frustrated when they do over advocate, like the CNN woman—but, it’s kind of like people who have weird relationship with their parents. You hope it changes, but it never does. I am never going to hope that they get on board, if we happen to get some big time left wing people on board they may move, but if we keep it up, and keep doing it they can’t dismiss it. It won’t go away.

About Stephen Kruiser

I run a blog called 'America needs Me.'

I have been a standup comic as my job most of my life. In college, a guy I knew from high-school and we became friends in college, he inspired me to start at a comedy club with him. He quit after awhile and I kept doing it. I've also written an EBook on how to get into standup and have been blogging for a long time, for a political website. And, I have written for other comics.

Stephen's Tweetisms from Twitter (Voyeurism into one-side of a conversation)

To @pinkelephantpun: See? @heytammybruce is following u and not me. And I sleep w/ her books under my pillow. Told ya u were a rock star.
Just had my hair chopped off. Permanent state of bedhead at the moment. Ought 2 look ridiculous on camera tomorrow.
All of my friends & family in AZ are glad the state has been cured of Napolitano. She's a national plague now.
You did a good job w/that. He has that Lanny Davis/Carville disease so he can only repeat 1 or 2 misleading talking points.
• I'm not wearing any pants right now.
Be honest, how many real conservatives do you interact with on a regular basis?
ABC News reported that the president is "unaware" of tea party protests. Has any1 seen that reported elsewhere?
This isn't an either or thing. U like excessive gov't spending and taxes?
Real news? As if that exists. I'll ask u too: Ru a big fan of out of control spending and excessive taxation?
I'm gonna make ALL kinds of friends today.
Let me 'splain: taxes & spending r American issues, not "left or right" issues.
Thank u for that important Obama dog news. Perhaps we can hear about Michelle's arms & fashion sense now!
• Pants back on now.
How the hell can any rational person be FOR taxes & wasteful spending?!?!?!?
In all my yrs of being politically active I've never seen "common sense spending."
Have u ever paid ANY attn to how that $ is actually spent? Appropriation & wise spending don't go hand-in-hand.
The opportunities in this country are a by-product of the Constitution as a whole, not taxes.
I must say, my deodorant is fabulous today.
I know, facts are difficult for the parallel universe people.
U haven't noticed an across-the-board lack of fiscal responsibility on the Hill for the last several years? Seriously?
RepubliCONS? Original. For a 4th grader.
Boxer-briefs, for those of you who were curious.
The name-calling lets me know that I'm on the right track.

And...the day rolled on from there, many more conversations were had with people who hate the Tea Parties...And, that my friends is another day in the life of Stephen Kruiser.

All Images Courtesy Stephen Kruiser, 1. Kruiser explaining right wing hand gestures. 2. Sign at Tea Party by Michael Leahy. 3. Kruiser with Tea Party attendee and signs, Don't tax me Bro.

Interview by Dawn Bonner, Editor in Chief

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Betsey Seamus,  April 23, 2009 at 10:47 PM  

Stephen, I actually saw you on PJTV, wow, surprised I recognized you. Good article, I like your sense of humor and your Tweetism's. You are so funny, I now want to join Twitter just to see what you come up with next.

I learned a lot from the points you made, too, in the one-sided conversations. Thank you for sharing about your day.

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