Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Into the Belly of the Beast

Senator Scott Brown: dressed for a hike

Senator Scott Brown came a calling this hot afternoon, picking one of the highest locations in Amherst, the top of The Notch state run visitors center, as his stage .

The Senator was supposed to talk about the economy and tourism, but he was immediately set upon by demonstrators so he and his entourage crossed over Rt. 116 and headed up the steep slippery incline to Bare Mountain, the nearest peak to the visitors center--but still a good workout.

Yes, I managed to shake his hand, although I forgot to take off my bike gloves. I had taken the long route to get there from my house which is normally a three mile ride but going the long way to avoid the Atkins Corner construction was 12 miles with a sprint up the, thankfully easier, south side of The Notch.

I arrived a minute or two after 2:00 PM but had little to worry about as the Senator was about 20 minutes late in arriving. When he did appear I was still sweating and as he shook my hand he complimented my American flag bike shorts and mentioned that he just did the Pan Mass Bike Challenge (with Lance Armstrong.)

It was then the demonstrators started to get (verbally) pushy.

A republican Senator in the People's Republic of Amherst is about as rare as a white whale; and this one in particular strikes me as a tad more formidable than Moby Dick.

A few fans and lots of media showed up

Political Welcome Wagon

The opposition was organized


Anonymous said...

I understand the habit of marginalizing demonstrators as left-wing loonies.

But check the public opinion polls: the ones holding the signs these days are now in the mainstream, and Senator Brown (judging by his votes) is not.

LarryK4 said...

Actually I thought I was pretty nice to the left-wing loonies, err, I mean, the demonstrators.

Ed said...

Hate to rain on your parade, but word I hear is that Scott Brown is more worried about a challenger from the right in the GOP Primary than the actual re-election....

Anonymous said...

Job One: voting him out.

LarryK4 said...

Safe bet he will not do well in Amherst.

Anonymous said...

There is no "parade". But I don't think that a right-wing challenger is much of a threat from the weakest state Republican Party in the nation.

The real "belly of the beast" isn't Amherst, Massachusetts, but rather life in Washington in the current straitjacket called "being a Republican" on the national scene. Scott Brown is stuck there, having to bow politely to the daffiest ideas from the furthest right of the party or be accused of being a RINO.

Want a sense of how much things have changed? Check out the recent obituaries for former REPUBLICAN Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon and read the man's resume (including his service in the military). Independence of mind like his? Not allowed in Not-Your-Father's Republican Party of today.

Brown seems like a nice guy with a good sense of humor. He may get reelected. But 2012 is going require much more political finesse from him than he needed against someone who turned out to be the weakest, dumbest, most out of touch Democratic candidate this state has seen.

Anonymous said...

Damn! I forgot the visit was today. I had plans to be there for the event and hopefully toss out a question/comment or two. It's rare a Beacon Hill big shot comes to our neck of the woods.

I have had my issues with some of his votes, etc... but we could do a sight worse.

Coakley comes to mind.

And you're right Larry. Unless Scott is prepared to renounce his US citizenship, burn a bra or draft card, or divorce his wife and marry a ketchup heiress, I don't think he can count on the Amherst vote.

But what do I know? I'm just a teabagger cum fiscal terrorist.



Anonymous said...

Liked the video. What was that guy asking?

LarryK4 said...

For the Senator to ensure Stavros does not lose funding.

They work with disabled folks thus helping keep them in their homes, which is more cost effective than having them end up in an institution.

Anonymous said...

What an embarresment those folks were, welcome to Amherst, you've gotta give the guy credit for travelling the "entire" state.

Anonymous said...

What's embarrassing about citizens actually trying to talk with their Senator when he deigns to come west of the Quabbin?

Did they do something wrong?

Is he entitled to be left alone?

He's our Senator, for God's sake.

"Give him credit" for coming out west? What kind of peasant mentality is that?

Anonymous said...

Its a lot eaiser answering questions the way John Kerry does...just change your position/answer depending on who is asking....

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's hear for the tea baggers, aka domestic terrorists. The group openly stated it wanted to bring down the American govt.

Kind of reminds me of the KKK.

Can't wait to see the debates between the Mormon, the Christian (as if the Mormon isn't a Christian) and the terrorists, that would be the tea baggers.

Are the right wingers desperate enough to nominate a Mormon? We already know they have enough money to buy a Christian and have the Supreme Court appoint him to the Presidency. But what about the terrorists? Are the right wing nuts crazy enough to nominate a tea-rrorist bagger?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's embarrassing when people exercise their rights to speak freely. Hey knucklehead, isn't that what makes the good old USA the land of the free?

Would you rather live in a place where people are not allowed that right? Oh, at least you wouldn't be embarrassed. That would be a good thing for you, wouldn't it?

It kills me when people like you start bitching about protesters.

Wake up!

Many soldiers have given their lives for that right alone, to protect that freedom. Just because you don't agree with the protesters' ideas doesn't mean they should have the right to speak them.

LarryK4 said...

Couldn't agree more. Still, there's nothing wrong with showing proper etiquette, or a little class.

Neither of which was demonstrated by the demonstrators.

Anonymous said...

People can be such assholes, it's embarassing.

Saves money? You mean less money is taken from people who work for it and given to you? Why is it MY problem that you are disabled?

Roach Patrol said...

"Yeah, let's hear for the tea baggers, aka domestic terrorists. The group openly stated it wanted to bring down the American govt.

Kind of reminds me of the KKK."

Kinda reminds you of your hero William Ayers, doesn't it?


Ed said...

I don't think that a right-wing challenger is much of a threat from the weakest state Republican Party in the nation.

Who said the challenger will come out of the mASSgop? If the recent election showed us anything, it is that they are loosing control over who their candidates are -- Jennifer Nasseur may pick but the primary selects and they haven't been selecting her people so much.

Agreed on the state party being a joke, though. Their telephone has been disconnected for nonpayment in the past...

Anonymous said...

I can't believe what I just saw: Larry Kelley talking about "etiquette".

Rock my world.

LarryK4 said...

And it's precisely because I put my name on everything I do, that I know all about etiquette.

Anonymous said...

Embarassing how Amherst behaves when someone of a different political view point comes here for a visit. Just embarassing.

LarryK4 said...

Indeed. Remember a few years back when Jack Wilson presented Andy Card an honorary UMass degree and professors and grad students shouted him down.

I think Leo Malley was involved in that embarrassing episode as well.

Tom Porter said...

Thank you for covering and presenting this Larry. The pictures and video speak for themselves. Some of it was low class, but not lower than the norm for Amherst and it could have been worse. Glad to see the event and the dialog took place.

It's heresy to say it in MA, but I'm grateful to see that Brown has the guts and the class to engage his constituents, while the other guy? - I'm still waiting for a response from Senator Kerry to my letter about his recent positions on tax hikes, how to incent job creation (and this he should know, as he chairs the Senate entrepreneurship and small business committee), and the downgrade blame game. He is not distinguishing himself.

Anonymous said...

Yea, you're right. We never see any right wing nuts shouting people down or embarrassing their neighbors when they engage politically.

Hey Roach, Did you get to be such a nice guy by getting sprayed with the Raid one too many times.

Now GTFO your own bug-eyed self. And step on yourself, too, you ugly little critter.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:51 said "Saves money? You mean less money is taken from people who work for it and given to you? Why is it MY problem that you are disabled?"

What an ignorant and disturbing statement. One can only hope that you never have the misfortune of becoming disabled.

Anonymous said...


Amherst trust fund lefties holding signs.

Are they paying their fair share?

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ed said...

Amherst trust fund lefties holding signs.
Are they paying their fair share?

No they aren't. They are asking the college kids -- aka middle-class parents with less money then they -- to pay it for them.

And as to how they disrupted the speech by a different RINO, Andrew Card, and the response to that -- does one not understand how we can have a TEA party and a champion (Michelle Bachmann) who will not compromise on anything.

And do not forget that Teddy Roosevelt was a similar character and "now that damn cowboy is President" -- we very well may have a female President...