Photo by Tanner Cole
When I heard the news,...
It was fun to be at the Madison capitol today to protest Sarah Palin and the tea partiers.
There were about 1,500 tea partiers, many bused in by Americans for Prosperity, the rightwing group funded by the Koch brothers.
The tea partiers were surrounded by about 3,000 or more pro-labor supporters, who let their presence be felt with raucous chants and boos and cries of "Shame, shame, shame!"
"Recall Walker," the protesters chanted over and over again, as well as, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Scott Walker has got to go."
Another chant was "Tax, tax, tax the rich!"
As with all the historic Madison protests this year, creativity marked the signs of the pro-labor activists.
"I Can See Waulkersha From My Sign," one of them said, playing off of Palin's gaffe about Russia, as well as governor Walker's name and Waukesha County, where highly irregular vote counting occurred during the recent Supreme Court race.
"Walker Is a Puppet of Koch and Rove" read another sign, and some people were carrying puppets to illustrate the point.
"Walker's Election Was a Bait and Switch: Something Fishy in Wisconsin" said another.
"Who Died and Made You King of Anything?" said yet another, with a funny caricature of Walker.
The tea partiers waved their usual "Don't Tread on Me" flags and held signs that said "Walker for President," "Walker/Palin," and "Economic Freedom."
One tea party sign seemed anti-Semitic: "Give It Up, Kloppenstein!" It was referring to JoAnne Kloppenburg, the candidate who ran for the Supreme Court against David Prosser. Kloppenburg is Jewish.
Madison's rightwing talk show host, Vicki McKenna, went out of her way to praise Waukesha County, even though the county clerk is in trouble there for her dubious vote-counting practices.
"I love you, Waukesha County," said McKenna. "You are the conscience of Wisconsin. Well done!"
Rightwing provocateur Andrew Breitbart stirred up the tea party crowd by telling the pro-labor protesters twice to "go to hell."
And when Sarah Palin was announced, the tea partiers gave her a big ovation, and the protesters booed heartily.
Palin told the crowd, "Your governor did the right thing."
And she praised the tea party people.
"We will fight with you, tea partiers," she said. "We have your back."
And, improbably stealing a line from the LGBT movement, she said, "We're here. We're clear. Get used to it."
She wheeled out some anti-big-government boilerplate: "We don't want it. We can't afford it. And we won't pay for it."
And she mocked President Obama: "You ignored us in 2010. You can't ignore us in 2012."
Throughout her brief speech, the protesters booed and yelled, "Sarah Palin, Go Home."
One protester carried a sign that said, "Sarah Palin: In Your Guts, You Know She's Nuts."
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "What a Joke! Walker Claims to Be "Truly Progressive."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter.