A typical sign at a tea party gathering

Floyd County’s “tea party” is going to war on the county’s proposed comprehensive plan and will strike at next week’s planning commission meeting.

Led by political activists like Joe Montague, J.C. Holden and Bob Bonsignore, the tea party hopes to inflame public anger over the plan that has been under development for more than a year.

I’ve watched these folks in action at meetings of the board of supervisors. They are all too often rude and disruptive. They talk loudly among themselves and make snide comments during a public meeting. They are typical of the mob mentality that has hijacked reasoned debate in this country.  The tea party is a phony “grassroots” operation that is — in reality — a carefully-crafted creation of right-wing political consultants funded by the billionaire Koch brothers as part of an organized effort to seize control of our political system and subvert the democratic process.

At a recent supervisors meeting, one of them shouted from the floor that the Supreme Court had “declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.”  The Supreme Court has not even considered a lawsuit filed by an atheist group that sought to outlaw the National Day of Prayer. A lower federal court, in fact, threw out the lawsuit.

During hearings on the proposed county budget, Montague twice called all public employees “parasites.” When some members of the community called on the tea party to distance itself from Montague’s comments, Bonsignore appeared before the board and said he would never distance himself from the remarks and attacked Floyd County teachers and public education.

The local tea party hires off-duty Floyd County sheriff’s deputies to provide “security” at their meetings at the library.

Apparently they feel they need protection.

(The planning commission meets Tuesday, July 19, at 7 p.m. at the county administration building on Oxford Street in Floyd

(Updated on July 17 to add some additional thoughts and modify some language which — upon reflection — was extreme — even for me.  My apologies.)

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Doug, I agree with you. I believe that the Tea Party is just a radical wing of the Republican Party. With all the radical voices in politics right now, I fear that the voices of reason that have made this country great will be stifled and the art of compromise shall be lost in the din of shrieking voices.

  2. Amen Doug! People have worked long hours on the comprehensive plan and the last thing we need are a group of right-wingnuts trying to impose their regressive agendas on the effort.

  3. Certainly won’t be receiving any protection from VA General Assembly or your Congressional representative — all too many of whom consider these folks their “base.”

  4. About time someone called the tea party what it is: a subservise group of malcontents who want to overturn the democratic process.

  5. Doug,you have been around and involved with the political system longer than I have,yet we both know those that shout the loudest end up pushing out the middle of the road people.Its happened with the Dems,GOP,etc.As to the time and effort putting the plan together by the commission,we should be thanking them,reguardless if we agree with the outcome or not.Attacking these people personally is ignorant!They have taken time from thier work and families to serve their fellow citizens.They should be commended.People can still disagree with the plan or parts of it.As I stated before on Bye Bye Floyd I may not think zoning is the answer but it still needs to be a topic of disscussion.Just call it what it is,a Growth Control tool.I hope citizens will take part in the process and voice their opinions.Just do so as informed and adult people,not like children thorwing a fit to get what they want.I guess we will see Tuesday.

  6. I live in rural northern New Hampshire but found the commentary in the “Muse” to be relevant here as well. It is heartwarming to know that others share our concern about the attempt of the right wing to undermine any sensible progressive efforts.

  7. I think the Tea party followers are largely that especially conservative component of the Republican party which complained that the failure of Republicans during the recent years of the Bush presidency was that they were not aggressive enough, and not rigid enough in pursuing their goals. If we look at their behavior in today’s Congress, it seems to play out that way. They have been rigidly obstinate and refused to compromise in any way, leading to the various budgetary stalemates we have experienced.

  8. Is there no Sergeant at Arms at these meetings? The job of the Sergeant at Arms is to remove people who are disruptive during meetings. If there isn’t one, I’d suggest that a civic-minded police officer be “volunteered” by Sheriff Zeman.

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