El Cid: Sire, you risk having no Spain at all
El Cid 1961
Mr. Spock: I fail to see why you do not understand us. You yourself have stated the need for unity of authority on this planet. We agree.
Bella Oxmyx: Yeah, but I got to be the unity.
Star Trek A Piece of the Action 1968
Yesterday I headed up to Nashua NH to cover the scheduled 2nd Amendment protest against the Scott Brown candidacy (let’s not pretend it was just a 2nd Amendment meeting). On my way I decided to hit the only Chick-Fil-A in the state (one of two in NE) for a quick bite:
(A & E might want to take notes there)
I got to Nashua center around 4 PM and noticed right away Parking was going to be an issue. There was a suited gentleman digging out spots behind the building. I spoke to a police sergeant who told me my best was to use a municipal garage about 200 yards and 4 blocks away.
As I headed back to my car to move it I ran into a person from WMUR channel 9 who had pulled aside next to me. He told me the 2nd Amendment protesters would be across the street and a 2nd group of democrats protesting Brown would be in the parking lot at the side.
He commented that the 2nd Amendment folks weren’t able to get a permit but were coming anyway, we both agreed we had no idea where anyone was going to park.
10 Min later after parking down the road I started the walk over to the area, passing by the Jeanne Shaheen office on the way
The Hunt Building was a couple of blocks farther up
I noticed an old barber shop across the street unfortunately there was an issue with the camera and the recording I made didn’t take but the Barber took notice, he agreed to an interview but first I wanted to get to the area where the protest would be.
At 4:30 (an hour before it was scheduled) there were about a half-dozen protesters there and the sun was already down and I interviewed the Patriot Pastor dressed in colonial garb and carrying a musket.
I then headed back to the Barber shop and interviewed the barber who gave me his take on 50 years at that location:
After the interview I headed back to the protest area the sidewalks were already icy and I nearly fell on the way, by then there were about 8 or 9 folks.
I then talked to one of the Granite Grok crowd (one of three who would eventually arrive.
It seemed to me the odds were against this protest, there was no place to stand, the green had several issues of snow made hard by several cold days, there was no place to park and it being December 19th the chances of building a noticeable crowd seemed slim but people kept coming…
and they were bringing some very interesting homemade signs
The Crowd kept growing and pretty soon there were was a mass of humanity that ended up both at the Monument and across the street at the corner of Hunt building
And it kept growing, the signs got more and more creative:
And they had to get creative to make more space. My hand count of the crowd kept rising
The crowd hit 100 then 150, soon the crowd was over 200 and on two corners and the worry I mentioned in the last video must have hit the Brown people because shortly a group of well dressed college age kids suddenly showed up at the opposite corner where some of the anti-brown folks had already gathered carrying pre-printed “Run Scott Run” signs.
I crossed the street and asked if anyone would be interviewed. At first they declined (shades of Mitt Romney in Concord in 2011) but Jake Wagner of the College Republicans, who made it a point to say he was not with the others, talked to me
I then interviewed one of the anti-brown protesters who they gathered around
He was much less surprised than me and invoked Dick Swett who was promptly voted out of office in NH after a vote against the 2nd Amendment.
Meanwhile people were trickling into the front door. There was a fair amount of police deployed but the said everyone was behaving well, their main concerning was keeping the massive crowd on the side-walk and making sure nobody got killed crossing the street at that every busy intersection with the four-way light.
I crossed back over and discovered that the half a dozen democrat protestors had joined the 2nd amendment crowd (I actually recognized some of the signs I had seen them during the Warren campaign)
I interviewed one of them
My hand count was already up to 228 (not counting the leftists) and as some of the folks on the left departed they left their signs for others
I headed back to the corner to cross and get a shot of the Run Scott Run group but by then the 8-10 of them had gone inside, but one of the announced GOP candidates Author Andy Martin had a sign promoting himself
He counted 75 people max inside at that point where he and Dennis who I interviewed earlier both noticed something I had not about a difference between the sign for the Brown event:
and those Run Scott Run signs
Nobody had apparently taken ownership of the Brown signs. I think it would be interesting to see who paid for those signs and took ownership?
Dennis noted that the people holding the signs were VERY sensitive about his suggestion that they had been paid, but didn’t deny it. That’s an interesting question too. (Later that night I spoke to an active GOP activist who was not at either protest who said they were giving away the tickets to the Brown event to try to fill the hall.
Back across the street I ran into Skip from Granite Grok who was covering the speakers, we interviewed each other.
I also noticed a familiar face from the GOP presidential debates, one of the Ron Paul folks who opposed Brown over the Nat defense authorization act.
But the main focus remained the 2nd Amendment as evidenced by the speakers. My count had reached 300 which was simply astounding.
By 7:30 I had been outside for 3 hours I ducked inside a pizza place two blocks down to import some videos and get a bite, as I came out people were starting to leave the Brown event and one gentleman Craig Powers bearing a book agreed to talk.
Brown’s speech was about common ground. Craig believes Brown is necessary due to changing demographics but I’m thinking the better move is to advance conservatism and convince people rather than get a less conservative candidate and run away from your party.
Back across the street “GOP Senate Candidate Karen Testerman who had attended the Brown event was now with the 2nd Amendment people, one of only two or three people who attended both.
Full disclosure, if I had a NH vote Karen would be my candidate.
Why the GOP establishment would not want to support a minority woman whose strongly conservative is beyond me.
As everyone was leaving I noticed Marilinda Garcia leaving the Brown event, despite the late hour and her not being dressed for the cold she stopped to speak to me. As a candidate for Congress she was properly diplomatic about the Senate Race.
She pooh poohed the sexist attacks on her but pointed out those attacks is why it’s hard to get women to run for the GOP. My opinion is it’s the lack of consequence or denunciation of those attacks by the MSM when they are targeted at GOP women is the real culprit.
Why she is not promoted more by the GOP nationally more makes not sense to me either.
By 8:15 things were all over and I began the walk back to the car
What I took away from all of this:
1. If you are drawing 300 people standing out in the cold on Dec 19th to protest Scott Brown how many are going to show up when the weather is warmer and they don’t have to stomp down the snow to make room for people to stand.
2. The Scott Brown plan is the Mitt Romney plan, make sure enough conservative candidates are in the race to win a primary with 30% of the vote.
3. If Brown is the nominee the BEST CASE if the NH GOP is this:
There will be a 3rd party 2nd amendment candidate and every single GOP candidate running for state office will be asked that 2nd Amendment question concerning Brown putting them in an impossible position with the people they will need to win.
The worst case scenario:
There will be a permanent 3rd party (NH Conservative republicans) that will draw the activists, the libertarians etc which will either replace or permanently replace the GOP in the state.
And I believe when (I don’t think it’s an if anymore) this happens that party will spread across the country and tear the GOP apart state by state.
The most amazing thing, all of this is completely avoidable but I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that the GOP would rather be a minority party of the “right” people than win a majority with the uncouth tea party.
I can’t think of anything more foolish for a political party.
The full photo gallery follows my pitch
Update: the Politico report cuts the Anti-Brown crowd by almost 2/3 but maybe they didn’t keep an eye out the outside crowd
Simkin was among the people, most clad in orange hunting gear and a few carrying guns, who stood in a dark and snowy park to tell the ex-Massachusetts senator that they don’t want him to run for Senate. They singled out his support for a federal assault weapons ban, his opposition to a national conceal-and-carry law and the endorsement he received from gun-control proponent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year.
Inside the building, Brown continued to stoke speculation about his intentions, which have morphed in a matter of weeks from being widely viewed as attention-grabbing antics to he’s-actually-likely-to-do-this serious. Brown made no news in the speech, which was closed to the press.
But he impressed a crowd of 90 donors as he talked about his move to New Hampshire and touted the importance of retail campaigning, attendees said afterward.
The left has to be dancing over this.
Update 2: Some Statements from Senator Brown:
I am looking forward to being close to my mom as she gets older and needs assistance from my sister and me. I am also looking forward to being closer to my immediate and extended family.
Once we get settled, we will do what many other people have done upon moving into New Hampshire. We will register to vote, get new licenses and enjoy the fact that there is no income or sales tax in New Hampshire.
Still, the former Bay State senator is headlining the New Hampshire GOP’s holiday fundraiser Thursday evening. It’s just the latest in a series of political appearances for Brown in recent months, as national Republicans actively recruit him to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
Now it’s certainly going to be Brown personal advantage to keep the National GOP wanting more, it will allow him to fund raise and get his feel in the state but the longer this goes on the more likely he will starve off the funds of other potential GOP candidates.
That’s the Catch 22 Brown’s best chance in a GOP primary is a crowded field but the longer he delay’s announcing the more likely he will face only a single opponent that the anti-brown forces can rally against, frankly the best chance for the GOP to win this seat is for Senator Brown to announce that he is not running and do while there is still time for the existing candidates to to get things moving.
Meanwhile the National GOP meddling will have the net effect of longterm disaster for the party in the state.
Update 3: Nashua Patch’s coverage
Also on hand was Gary Lambert, a Republican candidate for Congress, who said he’s “a big tent kind of guy,” and while he would be joining the Brown event as a supporter, he first wanted to stand outside with his fellow gun rights activists.
The smartest thing Senator Brown could have done was follow suit.
Update 4: Hotair and Jazz Shaw is on it but doesn’t see the danger.
Update 5: A Delayed Instalanche 4 to go to catch Johnson
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