Saturday, March 17th, 2018

“No Lame Duck” Rally


Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 by Deb Phillips | Leave a Comment 

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.

Scene at the November Speaks Rally, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

Washington, D.C. — "It is sometimes called the City of Magnificent Distances, but it might with greater propriety be termed the City of Magnificent Intentions." — Charles Dickens

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.

"Congress, Don't be a Lame Duck" sign at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

"This lame duck Congress is limping back into Washington, D.C., hungry for more spending, more taxes, more deficits, and we are here to say, ‘no lame duck!'" — Albuquerque Express (November 16, 2010)

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.

Participants in November Speaks Rally hold a sign for the Lame Duck Congress

Congress was clearly repudiated by the American people in the midterm elections. Conservatives believe the repudiation was linked to progressive policies promoting continued deficits, massive spending, government expansion and the loss of liberties.

Rally Goals

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.

Rally Speakers

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. Jim DeMint speaks with a gentleman at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

Moments after arriving at the rally site, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) (pictured on the left) stopped to speak with a man in the crowd.

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.

Americans at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010 - Sponsored by Americans for Prosperity

The crowd at the November Speaks Rally squeezed close to a simple podium from which speakers addressed the enthusiastic crowd.

Rally participants lift signs addressing the 2010 Lame Duck Congress

The American people demand the accountability of their government.

Woman at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

This lady listened in eager agreement with a rally speaker.

A view of the November Speaks Rally crowd with the U.S. Capitol in the background.

I kept walking around the perimeter of the crowd, taking wide shots and close-ups. I especially like the shots with the Capitol in the background.

Sign: "Look What Obama Care Will do to You" at the November Speaks Rally

There's nothing ambiguous about where this gentleman stands regarding ObamaCare.

Woman holding up "I Am AFP!" sign at the November Speaks Rally on November 15, 2010

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) had been targeted by President Obama with accusations that the group is a shady organization with a "harmless-sounding" name. Perhaps, he said, they are a "foreign-controlled corporation" or a "big oil company, or a big bank" or an "insurance company." Well, Mr. President, AFP is simply an organization committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing over 1.6 million grassroots citizens as advocates in the public policy process.

Spirited crowd at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

This is another view of the crowd at the November Speaks Rally. I was gradually working my way toward the center of the crowd.

Man at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

I was drawn to this man's serious demeanor coupled with the flags in the background.

Woman at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

I love the positive strength I see in this woman's eyes.

Crowd and media at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC

At this point, I'm making my way into the inner circle for a good vantage point of the speakers.

Man at the Novemember Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

This man's expression is so pleasing to look at. To me, his eyes say, "I love my country."

Exuberant crowd at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010

As I inched my way into the inner circle, I turned around at one point when the crowd behind me was cheering, and I captured this moment. We will see the lovely, effervescent woman in the foreground again a little later.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann addresses the crowd at the November Speaks Rally.

Rep. Michele Bachmann was introduced shortly after I moved into position about 15 feet from the podium. "Good timing!" I thought.

Michele Bachmann addresses the November Speaks Rally.

After a few minutes, I moved to the center of the inner circle for a much better view. The gentleman to the left of Rep. Michele Bachmann is Tim Phillips, the President of Americans for Prosperity. (We are not related.)

Woman in the November Speaks Rally listens to Michele Bachmann speak.

I took many photos of this lady because she was so visibly thrilled and inspired by Rep. Bachmann.

Michele Bachmann speaks to the November Speaks Rally.

Rep. Michele Bachmann addressed the rally crowd with inspiring and encouraging words.

Michele Bachmann poses with a woman in the crowd.

At the end of the rally, many in the crowd rushed to get an autograph from and/or to pose for a photo with Rep. Bachmann.

Crowd shot at the November Speaks Rally in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010.

Rep. Michele Bachmann is shown (bottom left) posing with a member of the crowd.

Tim Phillips, Americans for Prosperity

In the center, Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, is engaged in conversation.

An effervescent woman poses for a photograph at the November Speaks Rally.

Finally, we return to the most joyful person I encountered at the rally. Earlier, I overheard someone tell this lady that they'd never seen so many flags on one person. She obviously does love her country. Yet her joy apparently stems from an allegiance even deeper than her love of country. The "Jesus First" pin near her collar proclaims the priorities of her heart and explains her distinctively radiant joy.

Visit the Photo Gallery

To view more scenes from the rally, CLICK to visit the November Speaks Rally photo gallery.

About Deb Phillips
Deb Phillips is a freelance photographer and writer based in Lewisville, NC (USA). In addition to reviewing Deb's documentary coverage here at, check out her inspirational photo blog at and her personal photo portfolio at Deb Phillips Photography, where Art & Life Converge.

Speak Your Mind