“No Lame Duck” Rally
I TOOK A CHARTERED BUS TO WASHINGTON, D.C. on Monday, November 15, 2010, in order to document the November Speaks Rally — aka the “No Lame Duck” Rally — sponsored by Americans for Prosperity (AFP). Citizens converged from surrounding states to attend the rally, which took place adjacent to the U.S. Capitol in front of the Cannon House Office Building.
Despite a relatively small crowd size, the level of enthusiasm at the November Speaks Rally was comparable to that of much larger political rallies — both conservative and liberal — held in recent months in the nation’s Capital. I suspect that attendance was hampered because the rally had to take place on a weekday, and most people who might have attended were unable to miss work. My unofficial guesstimate of the November Speaks Rally crowd size is 500–1,000 people.
The purpose of the rally was to send the message to Congress not to ignore the will of the American people and misuse the “lame duck” session as a last attempt to cram through more big government, freedom-killing agendas in the final weeks of the 111th Congress.
The “Lame Duck” Session
In case you’re not exactly sure what the “lame duck” session is, here’s how it’s described on Wikipedia:
A “lame duck” session of Congress is one that takes place after the election for the next Congress has been held, but before the current Congress has reached the end of its constitutional term.
The expression “lame duck” harkens back to bankrupt British businessmen in the 18th century …
… who were considered as “lame” in the sense that the impairment of their powers rendered them vulnerable, like a game bird injured by shot. By the 1830s, the usage had been extended to officeholders whose service already had a known termination date. In current American usage, for instance, a President is considered a “lame duck” not only if he has been defeated for re-election, or after his successor has been elected, but also whenever he cannot be, or is known not to be, a candidate for re-election.
Members of Congress in similar circumstances are also considered “lame ducks.” The expression may accordingly be applied to Members who are known not to be seeking re-election as well as to those who have been defeated.
According to an email received from AFP President Tim Phillips (no relation), AFP’s goals for the “lame duck” session are as follows:
- Avoid a huge tax increase by extending the current tax rates for every American. No compromise can be made on this issue. No tax hikes on investors, retirees, small businesses, or “the rich” in a weak economy. No death tax. No alternative minimum tax.
- Do not pass any new legislation that supports or funds the Left’s global warming agenda, the bailout for union pensions, funding for the Obama/Pelosi health care takeover or any other part of their agenda that was just repudiated by the American people in decisive fashion.
Another email from the North Carolina AFP State Director, Dallas Woodhouse, included additional concerns:
- Other Potential Threats. A recent article in The Hill confirmed Democrats may try to pass as many as 20 bills in the lame duck session, and there is still some risk of an all-out push on everything from energy to card check to enormous Social Security tax hikes based on the president’s deficit commission recommendations.
In addition to the enthusiastic reception by the rally crowd of AFP President Tim Phillips and guest speakers, the crowd gave an extra warm welcome to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Reps. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
Sen. DeMint believes in the free market and in constitutionally limited government. As of Tuesday (November 16, 2010), Sen. DeMint successfully led Senate Republicans to pass a two-year moratorium on pork-barrel earmarks by voice vote. Sen. DeMint’s brief remarks at the rally are featured in the following video.
The obvious crowd favorite was Rep. Michele Bachmann, who expressed great affection and appreciation for the people who make up the expansive Tea Party movement. At the rally’s conclusion, Rep. Bachmann was swarmed by many in the crowd who hoped to get her autograph and/or to pose for a photo with her. Her response appeared no less genuine and warm than the affections of her adoring admirers.
More Photos from the November Speaks Rally
Follow me now as I take you through the crowd at the November Speaks Rally. I think you’ll see the excitement and patriotic spirit that I saw reflected in the faces of so many individuals. My apologies for not obtaining the names of those whom I photographed. But perhaps that’s not a bad thing. For in a way, the people who attended the November Speaks Rally represent the millions of Americans who spoke so loudly and clearly on November 2, 2010.
NOTE: At the END of the article, I’ve added the link to the photo gallery, in which you can view the FULL COLLECTION of November Speaks Rally photos.
Visit the Photo Gallery
To view more scenes from the rally, CLICK to visit the November Speaks Rally photo gallery.