I don’t know if everyone reading this is old enough to remember all the press about “the boat people” fleeing Vietnam in the ’70s. According to Wikipedia, references to the boat people “came into common use during the late 1970s with the mass departure of Vietnamese refugees from Communist-controlled Vietnam, following the Vietnam War.” Desperate refugees took to the sea in old, sometimes crudely-made, and always overcrowded boats to escape the threat of Communist oppression.
I was reminded of the term earlier this week when I first began to realize that we’re being invaded by “the bus people.” This week, the Tea Party Express Bus was in town, stopping at Antelope Park over the lunch hour. I got a pre-recorded telephone call from TPX leader, Amy Kremer, telling me to be there or be square. I didn’t attend, but couldn’t help driving by to do a little rubbernecking while I was out running errands. They’ve endorsed Bruning, don’t cha know, and were in town to tell all us rubes how we’ve got such a great guy and all that we should vote for him and send him off to D.C. None of these people live here, you understand. They just know Bruning’s a great guy because . . . well, because he’s told them so, I guess.
Yesterday, I got another pre-recorded phone call. This one was from Phyllis Schafly. I didn’t know she was still alive and kicking, but apparently she is (or else she’s dialing for dollars from beyond the grave). She called to warn me — I mean, inform me that her Eagle Forum bus is headed this way. It’s scheduled to wheel into Lincoln between 1 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 6th, this time at Holmes Lake Park. We’re all supposed to be waiting at the bus stop to hear about how wonderful Don Stenberg is and how we should vote for him and send him to D.C. to represent us because . . . well, gosh darn it, he’s just so great . . . they think . . . or, at least, that’s what they hear . . . because none of those bus people live in Nebraska either.
After hanging up on Phyllis, I turn to my computer to check my email and SHAZAM! I discover that the Values Bus tour jointly sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council is coming to Omaha at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, May 5th, and will be in Lincoln’s Holmes Lake Park on Sunday, May 6th, between 1 and 2 p.m. The Values Bus and Eagle Forum’s entourage are apparently making a coordinated attack — I mean, visit here in Lincoln. The Values Bus people are here to tell all of us about their plan for a return to fiscal responsibility and family values while the Eagle Forum bus people provide Stenberg a platform to explain all the ways he’s da man to make it all happen.
What’s with the buses? Remember Obama’s two Mega-buses, each of which resemble a Planet-eating Death Star on wheels, that were specially fitted out for the 2012 campaign season? Didn’t it come out later that Obama didn’t actually travel on either bus; rather, he flew to a rendezvous point, boarded one of the buses, and then rode it into town? What’s the matter with these people? Are buses somehow the new limo? Are these politicians trying to create a rock band image? The Secret Service certainly seems to party like a bunch of roadies on an extended tour. But I digress.
NEED A SPACER HERE
(Channeling my inner Herman Cain here 1) I’ve got just three things to say about these bus people:
- Why should we listen to anyone from out of state tell us anything about who to elect to the U.S. Senate to represent Nebraska? They don’t live here. They don’t work here. They know nothing about these candidates that we aren’t in a better position to know, ’cause — Guess what? We DO live here. We KNOW what concerns Nebraskans because we ARE Nebraskans.
- Both of the frontrunners in the Senate race that these bus people are so eager to tell us about are known quantities to Nebraskans. They’ve both served in elected offices for a number of years. What can these strangers hope to tell us that we don’t already know or are in a better position to find out than these bus people can ever hope to be? I know that a great deal of the money these Senate candidates spend comes from donors from outside the state. Don’t add insult to injury by wheeling into town on a big bus to rub our noses in it.
- If any of these organizations are truly objective, independent, grassroots-type entities, why do they seldom, if ever, endorse anyone from outside the ruling class — in this instance, anyone who is not a long-standing, card-carrying member of the we-are-all-best-buddies-and-support-the-same-lame-legislative-agenda-until-the-next-election-cycle-when-I’ll-say-Democrats-are-lower-than-a-snake’s-belly-nudge-nudge-wink-wink NE-GOP? Yet, these political hacks emblazon seemingly non-partisan names on the sides of their buses; roll into town in a cloud of diesel exhaust; disembark; preach the Party line to us under the guise of grassroots activism; expect us to buy it hook, line and sinker; and then leave us choking on more than the exhaust from their buses as they drive away into the sunset.
If Nebraska wasn’t a land-locked state, I might be tempted to launch my own “old or crudely made” craft to escape the bus people. With my luck, though, these new-fangled buses are probably amphibious.
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Jon Bruning / Wile E. Coyote image from our previous article “The New National Past Time: Pipeline Hot Potato”
President Obama’s bus photo from our previous article “Short and Tweet: Iowa Blogger OWNS Obama, DC on Twitter, Mirth Ensues”
Amphibious vehicle pictures, included the featured photo, from Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International.
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- Not following the “inner Herman Cain” reference? During his presidential campaign, Mr. Cain had the disconcerting habit of reciting a list in response to any question. A typical articulation from Cain often included the following, “That’s not one problem, it’s three problems…”, etc., and of course there was the famous “9-9-9 Plan”. For a fairly standard example, see this YouTube video: “Herman Cain on the Federal Deficit and Debts“) ↩