Note: Unlike rank-and-file union members, Union Junkies can be easily defined as your typical Kool-Aid drinkers who follow their union masters with blind obedience, chanting their mindless chant without examining reality--think Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom. We were once union junkies, but after extensive reality therapy and intense doses of reason, we kicked that bad habit.Well, this past Monday, we had the opportunity to attend a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania with the Senator from Arizona, Mr McCain. Not being ones who are enamored with celebrities or politicians, we went more out of curiosity than anything else. In addition, although we had some questions we wanted to ask Mr. McCain (see blog posting below), it was a great day for a ride.
In any case, the McCain stump speech wasn't anything that you can't see on C-Span or Fox News (CNN won't cover him), so we won't delve into the substance of the actual meeting, as you can watch a video of the speech here.
However, beside the ride, here are some of the more interesting observations we made:
About a block before our arrival, as we were making a left onto the street where the event was being held, we saw about a dozen or so pro-abortion protesters with mostly pink signs stating something about McCain wanting to end abortion (or something like that)...
[In all fairness to the pro-abortionists, it's hard to remember what their signs said verbatim, as it was more important to watch the road with the traffic in front of us.]
As we arrived at the site of the event, which was held at in the rather large warehouse of an employer known as Worth & Company, there were probably a couple of dozen local police officers directing traffic and a lot of people being ushered up the sidewalk to a parking lot where the lines formed to get into the event.
This was going to be a much bigger event than we thought it was going to be.
Parking, it turned out, was a large field--not exactly conducive to Harleys, however, we did find a patch of pavement to throw our kickstands down.
Then came the trek across the field and down the sidewalk where the mostly union protesters had been cordoned off on the side of the street.
Although the AFL-CIO takes credit for 70 protesters, politickerpa.com estimates several dozen, and we only saw maybe 50 protesters at most...PLUS a few thousand (give or take) non-protesters there to see McCain.
Unfortunately, the non-protesters had to pass the protesters to get to the end of the line to go through the Secret Service gates. Not that that was anything special, as most protesters were not unruly. A few, however, did make some anti-McCain remarks to the passers-by and made a few mothers with children nervous.
That said, it wasn't until we stood in line for the next hour and a quarter that we were able to listen and observe the union protesters in all their dimwitted glory.
The make-up of this motley crew consisted of about eight to ten yellow-shirted UFCW protesters of whom we were not entirely sure if they were actual UFCW members or merely paid homeless protesters, as unions are wont to do these days. Another half a dozen or so AFSCME members were in attendance as well as a stray SEIU-er or two and a menagerie of other union reps. Some building trades' guys who weren't actually holding anti-McCain signs but, rather, anti-Worth & Company signs (the host of the event) were also there.
[More on the lack of protester representation from the building trades later.]
As the line slowly moved in a large 'S' curve through the parking lot, we'd hear a chant or two and a few snide remarks rise up from the foppish flock of fools. Most of the union comments were rather incoherent, but here's a few that made it to our ears:
From the cabal of Kool-Aid drinkers: "We blame McCain!..."
"The WAR!" Comes the answer from one among them ...
"We blame McCain!" chants the gaggle of goofballs...
"No health care!" Comes another answer... (Apparently their union contract doesn't provide them with health care.)
"We blame McCain!" blabs the boors...
"No jobs!" crows the dolt (who doesn't realize the irony of his statement...a bunch of union guys standing on a sidewalk complaining about no jobs...talk about playing to your own stereotype!)
"We blame McCain!" shouts fewer of them...For what?...
and we wait...
Obviously, the dopes can't think of anything else...OR, they finally realized the stupidity of their last outcry....they've gone quiet it seems.
"The Lindbergh kidnapping," suggests one from our side of the lot.
Behind us in line is a Vietnam Vet and (presumably) his wife. We hear the guy explain to his significant other that he thinks one of the protesters is his union steward from work.
"He doesn't do s**t when he's working," the guy explains, "and he always leaves to go on 'union business.'"
[And unions wonder why they have such a bad rap...this coming from a dues-paying member!]
A little while later, some guy is hawking (no pun intended) McCain T-Shirts and hats and one of the protesters calls out: "Buy that shirt and it'll have blood on it!"
A threat?... No, an obvious but in-poor-taste-reference to McCain's position on Iraq. Apparently, for all of their rhetoric about 'dignity and respect' union protesters have very little of respect for the kids of Republicans--many of whom were very young and there with their parents.
A moment later one of the union guys yells out: "Vote for McCain, get the draft!"
Murmurs of assent follow from the goons.
[Obviously, no one has bothered to tell the union boobs that it has been the Democrats (particularly Charlie Rangel from New York) calling for a draft.]
After about an hour of standing in line listening to half-hearted and poorly-rehearsed chants, the line moved on and, at last, we were inside.
We saw some friends, exchanged a few pleasantries and tried to find ourselves some seats in the overcrowded building. Ultimately, after finding some folding chairs to sit on, we then let them go to a couple with three young children and wound up standing and waiting...and waiting...
Finally after about an hour, McCain and his wife Cindy came out. After speaking briefly, McCain's wife introduced the candidate.
While, overall, McCain's speech was average, the questions from the audience were anything but....
The first question was from a guy who was part rocket scientist (from the '60s) and part loon who prattled on for about five minutes about the NASA space program (in the '60s) and Boeing (in the '60s) and something about energy. After about five minutes, the crowd started to the guy and finally McCain had to politely tell him to ask his question.
The second was from a Vet who encouraged McCain not to put up with any of that negative "bulls**t" from the other side. Although the man seemed a bit intoxicated and was a little incoherent, the audience got his point and applauded.
The third was from a woman who didn't like having to press #1 for English (that drew a huge applause) and a not so crowd-pleasing response from McCain.
The fourth was from an RN who didn't like the idea of socialized medicine (we don't either, sister!)...
By this time, after standing for three hours and drinking several bottles of water, we were just hoping the event would end soon and...
While it was certainly entertaining and Worth & Company (and their employees) did a FANTASTIC job of hosting the event, providing water and superb accommodations for what could have been an unruly mob, it was a long day.
As we exited the parking lot to get back on the road, we couldn't help but notice that all the union protesters were gone.
It seems they didn't have the wherewithall to stay for the whole event.
As former agitators ourselves, we thought it would have been only appropriate to heckle people as they left. Oh well. As we've been saying for years, today's unions aren't like your grandpappys' unions.
This bring us to our last point...
Upon entering the event, as referenced above, the building trades were very under-represented. This struck us as odd.
The reason it appeared strange to us was that, whenever the building trades in Philadelphia want to amass a bunch of protesters, they have no trouble doing it. Just try building a building without using union labor in Philadelphia, the building trades unions will put a hundred unemployed guys on a line without any problem. Granted it usually dies off after the first day, but for five or six trades guys to be at a protest?...C'Mon! That's NOTHING!
Then it occurred to us. The trades guys aren't there because, in Philly, they really don't support Obama. McCain's their man!...They just can't let their union bosses know that!
You see, in Philly, the City of Brotherly Love, the unions have a bit of a problem loving their brothers (it's called racism) and unfortunately they just can't seem to help themselves from having their dirty laundry (make that white sheets) exposed again and again.
As the day drew to a close, and we got back on the bikes, we asked ourselves, was it worth it?
It took a while to answer, but in the end, we diecided it was worth it--if only for the ride and to blog about those dimwitted union protesters!
For more union-related news, go to EmployerReport.com
As a post script: The unions decided to post a video about their protest on YouTube.com. As you can tell, we don't think their union protest is something to brag about (especially if you're the union holding the protest), but apparently they do, so here it is...