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 September, 2009


 The Tea Party's "Misoverestimated" Crowd Estimates

The Truth Shall Set You Crazy

According to right wingers, every person in the Western Hemisphere marched into Washington, D.C. for that recent 9/12 tea party.

If they can’t count people, how can people count on them?

The preposterous crowd estimates that sent the far right into fits of overstatement can be traced to Matt Kibbe, the President of FreedomWorks - one of the organizers of the event.

He’s admitted he misquoted ABC News reports that 60,000 to 70,000 took part in the rally. He claimed ABC News reported the number at between 1 million and 1.5 million rally participants.

Kibbe apologized for his mistake. What’s this? A rightwinger who admits he made mistake. What’s this world coming to?

Kibbe’s apology hasn’t prevented anti-Obama tea party participants from sending mass e-mailings of a picture that clearly shows far more marchers than 70,000.

That’s because it’s been revealed that the picture, which was supposedly taken on September 12th, was really an aerial view of a 1997 Promise Keepers rally.

Wild estimates of as many as 2 million tea partiers are still being advanced.

And these are the same people who’re actively backing Rep. Joe “You lie” Wilson (R-SC).

Wilson claimed Obama wasn’t telling the truth when he told the joint session of Congress, “The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”

The president was obviously referring to HR-3200, Section 246 which states, “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”

But whether plain English can be interpreted as something other than plain English aside, Wilson’s hypocrisy is spectacular.

Here’s a guy who openly breached House decorum with his undignified stance against providing health care to illegal aliens, who voted FOR such payments in the past.

On November 22nd, 2003 at 5:53 A.M. HR-1 passed the U.S. House and was headed to the White House for President Bush’s signature.

That bill, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, contained Section 1011 – “Federal Reimbursement of Emergency Health Services Furnished to Undocumented Aliens.”

Wilson voted for the bill.

So while he’s satisfying his South Carolina constituents with his untimely anti-illegal immigrant outbursts, Wilson has shown no such fury in the past.

He should be ashamed of himself. But he’s a Republican on a mission. He just apologized the next day, but acted like he hasn’t since.

There, too, are the silly claims the president wants to allow federal funding for abortions.

“One more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place,” Obama told the Congress (the members who didn’t want to shout him down), and the American people during his speech.

The following day, despite the president’s explicit claim that no money in his health care plan would go for abortions, the wingnuts responded as if he’d said, “Let’s all ante up for some abortions.”

None of the claims from Republicans even took into consideration the part of his statement that “federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

That’s despite the fact that it was one of their own who had made those conscience laws possible.

The Hyde Amendment, named after Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), has restricted federal funds from being used to pay for abortions since 1976.

Obama’s claim that legislation that restricts federal funding for abortions will “remain in place,” still hasn’t satisfied those people who didn’t bother to watch the speech, or they simply prefer to think of the president as an out-and-out liar.

With tea partiers fudging bogus crowd estimates to prove they’re more relevant than they really are, with Joe Wilson raising campaign money based on his ill-advised stand against something he’s stood for in the past, and with the facts, the unalterable facts, that stand on their own within pending legislation – you’d have to wonder who really is telling lies these days.
For me, I take pleasure in writing this about Republicans – YOU LIE!

Edward A. Owens is a three time Emmy Award winner and 20 year veteran of television news. E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net