Monday, November 23, 2009

Rogue "Chicago Tea Party Patriots" Must Be Shunned (Updated)

UPDATED, APRIL 12, 2010: SEE "Chicago's Tax Day Tea Party Confusion" UPDATED, 11:12 PM, NOV 23 (added info below) - It's one thing to yell and shout; that's a time honored way of getting your voice heard, and as long as there's no physical violence it's all fair. Usually. Sometimes words can be as hurtful as a punch in the face, and the rogue Chicago Tea Patriots seems to have hurled some unnecessarily mean punches recently by mocking a couple whose grandchild died. I call them rogue because they were ousted from the Illinois Tea Party Patriots, of which they were, until a few weeks ago, a part of. They've been operating as feral cats, essentially, without sanction. Full disclosure: I'm "tea partier" myself, but am not a member of any group. I support what tea parties are trying to accomplish. But what this rogue Chicago group did in mocking the death of a child is inexcusable. That's not what the tea parties about, and it certainly is not what conservatives or libertarians are about. Note: Do not confuse the outcast "Chicago Tea Patriots" with the legitmate "Tea Party Patriots Chicago" (TPPC). TPPC is a legitimate and authentic chapter of Illinois Tea Party Patriots (ITPP), which in turn is part of the nationwide Tea Party Patriots. The "ugliness and mob mentality of the Tea Party movement was on full display last week, during a town meeting held by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) on Nov. 14. What happened? A mob of teabaggers, blinded by hate and anger laughed at and heckled a grieving couple, who lost both their daughter-in-law and grandchild." (Source: Chattahbox) You can see the video at the Chattabox post or see it on YouTube. The leader of Chicago Tea Patriots, Catherina Wojtowicz (photo), had this on her Facebook page as of 8:45 this evening (Nov. 23): "I'm on Huffington Post. The haters are all over calling me. She included my phone number. Awwe, Saul Alinsky!!" Now, maybe I'm wrong, but that does not seem like an apology, and it's hardly a denial. In fact, it seems uncomfortably like bragging. This group needs to be shunned. For fans of looney tweets, Wojtowicz is "Catherina6429" on Twitter. UPDATE, Nov. 23, 11:12 PM: At 8:35 p.m. this evening, I sent a message to Catherina Wojtowicz via Facebook, asking her for a response to the stories about the sad incident. I asked her for a response before 11:00. The last thing she wrote to me, via Facebook, was "I will issue out a response tomorrow. You have your blog and will do as you see fit." That's right, and I see fit to wonder why Wojtowicz didn't issue a public response days ago, rather than spending time on her Facebook page mocking the coverage of the incident and happily wallowing in her newfound national notoriety. She has, in addition, locked her Twitter page (Catherina6429) so that only invited people can see what she writes. As I said before, it is just not right to laugh at somebody's innocent death. It's sick, it's disgusting. The many emails I've received already about this, from fellow tea partiers, all express disgust over the actions the Chicago Tea Party Patriots. I condemn this kind of behavior, frankly. Fortunately, this is NOT typical tea partier behavior. I've been to many, and have not witnessed this attitude. The abrasive and extreme attitude of the rogue Chicago group is why the Illinois Tea Party Patriots kicked them out. Good riddance.