That was the Blaska Bloggers' first annual Capitol Rotunda conservative sing-along. Fifty folks off all ages and sizes showed up to sing. Not counting me, which I don't, given that I didn't. At least, not very well.
Real pleased with the turnout, considering that not until this morning did I receive confirmation that we had obtained a permit to hold our rightwing hootenanny. But then again, I did not apply until Thursday of last week.
But we were resolved to do this legally -- no illegal occupations. Whose house? Everyone's house -- not just the liberals'. So, for one-half hour, we supplanted the Solidarity Singers -- the group of Leftist singers that have occupied the Capitol Rotunda here in Madison since February. Without a permit. Who have drowned out a permitted event, the Red Cross Blood Drive.
Requiring a police permit -- at least, it used to be required before the Siege of the Capitol -- does not violate the First Amendment. It's required to assure that everyone has access to this fine facility.
Some of the usual suspects on the Isthmus Forum were trying to stir up trouble, casting me as the troublemaker. "Blaska orchestrating a confrontation at the Capitol tomorrow." (How dare I seek to gather conservatives to sing in the Capitol?! The on-line thread is just oozing with bile!)
I must say, however, that two organizers of the Left's Solidarity Singers, Steve Burns and Chris Reeder (I'm guessing at the spellings), could not have been more cooperative. They introduced themselves to me, we shook hands, and they moved their sing-along outside. At one point we considered trading songs with the blue raised fist people but the logistics argued against it.
No hecklers or vuvuzelas tried to drown us out, from what I could hear. It was respectful and light-hearted. But not peaceful. We did lift our voices. Here is the video:
Who is that flat and off-key voice? Why, it is the kapellmeister, little old me! If you heard a angelic soprano, it is likely Ramona Weakland Warden.
The gal from Blogging Blue in the Cheddarsphere (sorry, forgot name) interviewed me. She wondered who WERE those people. I was tempted to tell her they were all temps bused in by the Koch Brothers.
The Wisconsin Radio Network stuck a recorder in my face. Zach from NBC-15 grabbed me. Neither asked me to sing. I'm on Miss Vicki's show at 4 this afternoon and will call in to Mitch Henck Tuesday morning. Mitch was kind enough to put me on the air this morning to advertise the event. I was unwise enough to start singing. I don't think Mitch will ask me to be part of his Rat Pack tribute. Maybe the Joey Bishop role?
Best of all, I saw my new old friend, "New Media Meade" and his bloggressa, the Althouse herself.
This was our playlist:
- Battle Hymn of the Republic(ans)
- God Bless America
- America the Beautiful
- On Wisconsin ("Champion of the right!" is right!)
- U.S. Marine Corps Hymn (thank you, Marine Corps reservist Blake Gober)
- The Doxology
Y'know what, if you can't laugh a little bit you'll go crazy. So the Blaska Bloggers sang some light-hearted fare:
- Theme from the Flintstones (Tag Evers commented afterward that we want to return Wisconsin to the Stone Age. Good one!)
- Gilligan's Island (which made room for a professor, a millionaire "and his wife.")
- Green Acres
We sang the lyrics straight but I couldn't resist tweaking "Okie from Muskogee."
We don't smoke marijuana in the Capitol;
We don't take our trips on LSD
We don't close the Capitol when we lose elections;
We like livin' right, and bein' free.
I'm proud to be a Republican from Wisconsin,
A place where even squares can have a ball
We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,br> And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all
Larry Kaufmann led the Blaska Bloggers in his remix of the Bob Dylan song that Jimi Hendrix made famous. Larry gave "All Along the Watchtower" a Rockford, Illinois, locale. And a one, and a two:
All Along the Clock Tower
(An Ode to Fleeing Dems)
There must be some way out of here
Say the joker to the union chief
There's too much confusion
I can't stand budget relief
Businessmen, they hate my whine
Hey ploughmen, dig my earth
Don't give it all to the capitalist swine
When Madtown bureaucrats know what it's really worth
No reason to get excited
The Chief he kindly spoke
I know a land where we can escape
Even though it's even more broke
But you and I will be welcome there
Barry, Blago and Rahm will see to that
So let us move false but briskly now
And live off the land while it's still fat
All Along the Clock Tower
Paid flunkies kept the view
While Tilted Kilt women came and went
Trays of chicken wings too
Outside in the distance, a mild voter did growl
Two state troopers were approaching
A sleeping giant began to howl..
Whereupon, the Bloggers let out a godly howl.
As you can see, our playlist differed from the Solidarity people's list. No "We Shall Overcome," (perhaps because we just did). No "I'm Stickin' to the Union" or "Solidarity Forever." No "We Shall Not be Moved."
But, on this Monday, they WERE moved -- outdoors.
Governor Walker's budget, signed Sunday in Green Bay, slightly increases education spending, despite what our Liberal acquaintances say. Here is the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau: