The Tree of Liberty

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. – Thomas Jefferson

Just a month after Barack Obama’s inauguration in early 2009, Anne and I were standing in an early morning airport security line, on our way to sunny Florida.  The line was moving slowly, which was causing everyone in it some measure of dissatisfaction, but for one individual this pause in the line was a catalyst for him to begin his own personal political rant.  Well, maybe his opinions were personal, but his rant was very public and loud to boot.  He had been ramping up for a while already, when I heard him quote Jefferson, with our founding father’s advice on horticulture.  I guess that the simple utterance of this famous quote caused an epiphany in his fevered brain.  His next public thought was that our country needed another revolution right now!  I quietly observed to Anne, “Didn’t we just have one, last November?”  A moment later, the guy in front of me turned around and asked the same question.  The line started to move again then and the once silent audience began again their separate conversations and the loud man was ignored.  I resisted informing the TSA agent that there was a man with incendiary opinions back there and instead walked on through to my vacation.

Little did I know at the time, but I had just had my first encounter with the tea party movement.  This movement has blossomed from just one angry man to many more angry people.  Throughout this election year’s primary season, the tea party movement has been flexing its political muscles and playing havoc with the Republican establishment.  About a dozen establishment Republican candidates have been overturned by their more conservative tea party challengers.  At this point the tea party movement is riding high, but by the time of November’s chill the American electorate will be a much more sober lot.  The emotionally shrill tea party rhetoric will no longer warm voters upon Election Day.  This angry, self satisfying, hard turn to the right will leave conservatives and Republicans alike careening off the road and into the ditch. 

To this end, Anne has been canvassing for Robin Carnahan, the Democratic candidate for Missouri’s open senate seat.  Carnahan’s opponent, the Republican, Roy Blunt Jr., has forgotten all about his history as a political insider and the Republican majority Congressional whip under George W. Bush’s administration.  In Missouri, this is the race of this election cycle.  Carnahan is the sitting Secretary of State and heir to the powerful Carnahan legacy.  Her father beat John Ashcroft, after his death.  Her mother served the first third of that term.  Her brother is our US Congressman.  Blunt has been in Congress for more years than I can count.  His seniority allowed him to rise to the third most powerful position in the House.  He also managed to get his son, Matt Blunt (our boy governor), elected Missouri Governor, if only for one term.  Why did he quit?  I don’t think that Matt had the love of the fight that his father has.  Roy Blunt is a political animal.  He is ahead in the polls and is better funded than Carnahan.  While Blunt is certainly no tea partier, he and Missouri will help to decide the fate of the tea party movement.

So, this has been my own little political rant, but I won’t apologizes for it.  We all need to pee on the tree of liberty from time to time.  On Thursday, Anne taught a 1st grade class.  On Friday, Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon (D) will be visiting that same class.  Anne will have moved on though, to become the elementary school’s music teacher.  Play On!

You can lead a whore to culture, but you cannot make her think.  – Dorothy Parker, in response to a request for her to use the word horticulture.

Fittingly, the pictures with this post are from the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

6 thoughts on “The Tree of Liberty

  1. I dunno, I haven’t yet found a political party that suits me (including the tea party) but that guy sounds like your average lunatic to me. 😉

    Love that Pooh is gonna be a music teacher!

  2. She’ll probably be teaching the lit’darlings the likes of:

    A peanut sat on the railroad track, his heart was all a-flutter,

    along came the 6:15, ooey-gooey, peanut-butter.

  3. Actually, I got switched out for a 6th grade teacher when I got there. If I’d thought it would have ensured quiet, I might have sung the Seven Old Ladies Song. It would have just created more chaos, so I didn’t.


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