At the Wednesday, September 9th rally on the lawn in front of the scaffolded Capitol, Israel and her security were mentioned many, many times, and it was both surprising and comforting to have so many concerned voices lifted for us.
Organized by the Tea Party Patriots, the speaker lineup was amazingly impressive. Passionate Frank Gaffney, CEO of valiant Center for Security Policy in DC, voice hoarse from conviction on the ruin represented by this Iran deal, spoke of the 240 former generals and government officials utterly opposed to the deal. Media gadfly Glenn Beck and Gov. Sarah Palin; distracting twang still there, also had something distinctive to say. She suggested Obama use a ‘Big Stick’ against Iran, rather than just his "selfie stick." Adding: "Hillary spins faster than Iran's centrifuges." Fiery Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Gary Bauer, spoke powerfully.
High-ranking favorite, presidential candidate Ted Cruz's strong words and three recommendations on facilitating a better arrangement and freeing our four innocent American hostages in Iran (a theme echoed by many) were met with thunderous applause. He quoted Holocaust survivor/author Elie Wiesel, who said, "Never again -- means Never Again." Anne Bayevsky, respected columnist and Israel supporter, delighted the listeners. Several former military remembered their comrades, and brothers, dead on the battlefield in Iraq and elsewhere.
Trump (whom the MC professed "Doesn't need an introduction," to laughs) reaped loud applause, too, though what he said was largely a repeat of his stump speech about making the Iranians pay, toughening up the U.S. military from its current woeful state, castigating Kerry and President BHO for their amazingly inept deal-making in this Iran nuclear negotiation. He fulminated against Obama for having the nerve to call Iran's Khamenei "Supreme Leader," like a toady, versus the president's silence when the Iranian big warned, "Israel won't exist in 25 years."
A small group passed through the crowd, signs in hand, intoning "Trump is a racist." No one listened.
More speakers included Mort Klein, ferocious head of the ZOA, and one speaker who stated that Obama's “pre-election talks with Iran bordered on treason." Radio legend Mark Levin, a "friend of freedom,” -- out of his "bunker" for the event -- alluded to the imposing scaffolding webbing the Capitol. "Our leadership needs to take this scaffolding -- and insert it into their spines." He stated, "The enemy confuses appeasement with capitulation," and noted that in his opinion, "Never before has a people ever funded their own enemy." Another remark: "Obama makes Neville Chamberlain look like George S. Patton."
The crowd seemed massively in favor of Cruz -- buttons and posters were everywhere, worn by numerous supporters. There were no children: these were passionate adults, taking off in the middle of the work-week to express fervid support for those objecting to the high-handed president and Secretary of State Kerry, who came in for scorn for not having copies of nor forwarded the agreement or 'secret side deals.' Or negotiating a better deal.
An article in the Jewish Press this week disclosed that no one in Congress who voted for the one-sided deal ever saw a document, and that no document is even in any American hands. Nobody is minding the store. We rely on third parties for what the docs say. If the description of the critical info is wrong, we won’t know until the bombs fall.
Trump called it the "worst deal" he had ever heard of in the history of the country -- the Congress had been unconstitutionally debarred from the procedural right to read the documents -- end-run evoked by Obama in going to the Arab-controlled UN, ignoring the people who pay his salary. Or the Congress.
Present were big supporters of ICE, the Border Patrol, the Tea Party Patriots, and the Center for Immigration Studies, Concerned Woman of America. Steve King ripped the obscene $150 Billion about to become the ATM for world terrorism, and slammed Bob Corker (R-TN) for changing the rules on majorities needed to cold-cock the deal.
Jim Gilmore, recently GOP presidential candidate: "Despite what Obama says, we do have allies, but we must stand and lead." Bearded Phil Robertson, from the outback TV show, "Duck Dynasty", invoked Deity, unacceptable "ripping babies from wombs," and against "perversion." Dynamic hawk Michele Bachman impressed, too. A shame she didn’t advance in the previous election cycle.
Pastor Mario Bramnick, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, blew a shofar, spoke of upcoming Rosh HaShana, and called his 40,000 members "honorary Jews." When activist, TV commentator and pol Niger Innis, longtime GOP champion, spoke, the crowd perked up at his blazing oratory. Born in Harlem, resident of Las Vegas, he heads up CORE.
There seemed to be a modest representation of media- -- not very many that I could see floating around. A few cameras, mic people and photog teams, considering the gravity of the occasion, and the ease of access to the DC town center. TV cams up front, taping all speeches.
It was humid and hot as heck standing, sitting on the grass, or on campaign chairs. The temperature was higher than the mercury in NYC, amid a September heat wave.
Considering the middle of the week, and a workday, the crowd was impressive, the speakers were certainly so.
Louie Gohmert (R-TX) got a strong reaction when he spoke of the Republicans' reconsideration meeting while we were on the lawn. Don't know the upshot. Others included Lee Zeldin; Richard Hudson (North Carolina); an exciting speaker, Sunny Johnson; and Ryan Mahr, who chided the administration for poor treatment of our military, joining a number of speakers in that sentiment.
A lot of attention was also paid to the threats posed by unrestricted immigration of illegals, and the probably-fake "refugee" problem of curiously able-bodied and strapping Middle Eastern millennials in nice clothing pretending to be refugees but unaccompanied by women or children, old or sick or challenged.
The rabbis' march, at noon, was about several hundred black-suited religious, speaking on the existential threat, singing the anthem and reciting Psalms, but the major focus soon became the snaky line of paid-for Neturei Karta, radical anti-Zionists, pals of Iranian leaders who hate Israel, shlepping huge posters and small, hand-held, exed-out Israeli flags with the words Judaism, yes, Zionism No. You'd think they'd be embarrassed to collude in a potential second Holocaust.
Their posters, carried by several men, ‘explained’ how unhistorical the founding of Israel was. They were single file, no women, all of them imperturbable as the crowd lobbed calls of Traitors! and Shame! at them. A chivvying monitor kept them in line like a sheepdog running back and forth with straying flocks.
Later, at the general rally, they also rumbled along the curving path near the throng -- and that confused the Gentiles as well as the non-aware Jews who did not get what and why the Kartas were marching. They look like textbook Jews, with long black coats and beards and long, curly peyot, but that image is from the mittel Europa of the 19th century, not today's modern Jews.
A mobile-ad truck kept going around nearby, where ambulances waited lest there be an emergency and fire trucks flashed also. This promo truck read, peculiarly, Visit Iran. A joke? On the level?
One man bore something that looked like a small wooden pocket high up behind his very tall sign saying something (too far away) and was hustled off by 6 security men in bright-neon vests. I think he was escorted out because the security people thought in that wooden cubby tucked behind the pole and sign was a potential nestle site for a bomb. Some attendees suggested he might be the same man who had, earlier, rushed toward the podium when Gov. Palin was speaking.
The speakers were timed, and when their time had elapsed, music came on. One speaker was cut off in mid-sentence. Most ignored the music, however.
One malcontent who claimed she was an "Egyptian-American" (a new hyphenate for most people) ranted nearby, that the U.S. should be taking in all these new "refugees." She made a careful differentiation between aliens pouring in from “the South” and “real refugees, who deserve more help.” When people told her refugees cost money, and would she be interested in supporting them, she paused, angry. As a Coptic Christian, born in the States, she argued Obama had not done anything for the abused Copts. We agreed. He hasn't done much for anyone -- except accused minority drug dealers, ripoff thugs, and miscreants in standoffs with duly-appointed police. And deserter traitor-designate Bowe Bergdahl.
She persisted, ignorant that the U.S. has already absorbed thousands from trouble spots, and has been salting unprepared cities in every state with invasive illegals as burdens to support. Many of the recipient cities are leaning Republican, and arrogant chief exec and thwarter of laws he disagrees with aims to dilute these strongholds as newbies qualify for [illegal] voting status... as guess? Begins with “D.”
Sadly, the president and his amen intimidateds all put party loyalty ahead of sanity and life.
The lawn, when all departed, after 4:30 or so (began at 1 p.m.), was spotless. Everyone had GI'ed the area -- you could not tell thousands had been there all afternoon: Tea Party consideration and courtesy. There weren’t even garbage bins in the vicinity, and the ones afar were not full.
Whether the rally impacts on the deal or not, meeting knowledgeable, aligned folks from Florida, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Oregon, Ohio, and Colorado exchanging views and talk with people who share one's appetites and values was nourishing.