Patriot? Not So Much

Merriam-Webster and other definitions of “patriot” (n):

One who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests
One who loves, supports, and defends one’s country
A person who vigorously supports his country and its way of life

You get the idea. There are people, let’s get specific and say it’s the “Tea Party Patriots” who are, through their actions and rhetoric, trying to usurp the word to suit their purposes. Their attitude is that any person disagreeing with their positions on immigration, taxation, firearms, almost anything for that matter is something OTHER than a “patriot”.

Like so many other things, what started out as perhaps a decent, certainly a defensible, idea (strict Constitutional government, etc.) has now been warped into a funhouse mirror version of the original plan. As the vehemence rises and the talk radio volume is turned up, the fringe element attracted to that sort of political discourse comes into the fold. In the case of the Glendale group, they wander into Denny’s for a Grand Slam and a meeting with like minded people.

Abuse Of Process

One of the tenets held by the Glendale Tea Party Patriots is certainly not to abuse the rights of others using tools provided them by the intrusive government they are quick to criticize. Surely they’d maintain that a City Clerks office has NOT been spelled out anywhere in the Constitution, right? Yet, they’ve taken to misusing that office to suit their own political ends, essentially filing complaints and requests they can’t, if they are reasonable, believe will succeed at anything other than annoying their targets.

Francine Romesburg

I have had the pleasure recently of being mentioned prominently in an election law violation complaint lodged against Glendale United by Francine Romesburg, an advocate for the “Glendale Tea Party Patriots” and the moderator of at least one Glendale debate. Her complaint is based almost entirely on Twitter and Facebook posts with her theory of violations requiring a leap of faith and ignorance of the facts. Whether such ignorance is real or purposefully feigned, it seems to be common with the group she aligns herself with.

Or, perhaps, since she has been around the fringes of local politics for a long time, she only intended to throw the newbie grassroots Glendale United off their game by abusing the complaint process with a typical old school political move. I have no way of knowing which, although I could construct a theory and support it by carefully selecting tweets from her and her acquaintances.

Feel free to read the entire complaint from Ms. Romesburg (click here) and the comprehensive response from Glendale United (click here). If you do, I’m sure you’ll see that the complaint is obviously constructed to intimidate the people mentioned, using ludicrous citations of tweets, of all things. I am not sure what case law is based on tweets, perhaps Ms. Romesburg hoped to initiate a case that could be taken to the Supreme Court to get a Constitutional ruling on tweets. There has been no further action on the complaint, so the ultimate resolution of the complaint is very much unresolved.

Join The Party

@RottenGlendale and @CoyotesClubber

Besides the spurious complaint by Ms. Romesburg, answered so well by Glendale United on Oct. 26, another annoyance, this time aimed directly at Councilmember Joyce Clark, has been engineered by what I assume is the same group of people. If they aren’t formally aligned, their opinion on at least one current issue in Glendale is identical.

A Freedom of Information Act request was made to the City of Glendale regarding a committee CM Clark chairs. I am, myself, leaping to a conclusion that the James Pritchett who made the request is the same guy who signed the top of an anti-sales tax petition page Romesburg was distributing. I could, further, make another leap and say that it was signed at Denny’s except he signed in on Monday, June 30 and the Tea Party meetings are on Wednesday at 6 PM. At any rate, it isn’t much of a “Romesburgian” stretch to assume the two people are well acquainted with each other even if they don’t share the Tea Party affilliation.

So we should ask ourselves a few questions, if Pritchett was so interested in the committee, why did he never attend a meeting? Is he simply trying to “send a message” to CM Clark and the committee that “we are watching”? If so, would that be because he is truly interested in some individual portion of the committee’s responsibility, or is he trying to find some nonexistent “dirt”? We’ll have to stay tuned for further results.

Another salvo was fired against the people supporting the Coyotes and the Jamison group’s bid to finally resolve the years long fiasco when papers for a recall petition were pulled by David McPherson. While he is a former council candidate, I don’t think the description of the purpose for his recal petition has been filed yet. Is he a Tea Partier as well? I don’t know, however a tweet (I can use them too, right?) from @RottenGlendale (who may or may not be intimately involved with Romesburg’s @warriorangel24 Twitter handle, the person running @GlendaleFire493 believes it is “water bill guy” Ken Jones) makes it sound as if there is a concerted effort underway to hassle CM Knaack and other supporters of “NO on Prop 457” and/or the Coyotes.

@RottenGlendale: “Did you really think we would sit around and do nothing after you refused to nix the Coyotes deal to ensure there would be no service cuts?”

@RottenGlendale: “Let it be known that this council was given a fair chance to correct their crippling sports spending. They refused. Now, on to recalls”

Now, of course, internet trolls such as this person and his pals (particularly the undereducated and overobnoxious ones) are famous for keyboard bravado. If we assume that he/she/it is taking credit for an ACTUAL physical act, then we have to also assume that David McPherson is part of a larger group that will undertake the overthrow of the entire Glendale City Council like some sort of WarCraft coup, right?

Revisionist History For Patriots

One of the more interesting factoids you will notice if you have the stomach to peruse the tweets of the above accounts is that, despite being the mayor of Glendale for the entire period that the current budgetary fiasco was building, Elaine Scruggs is never called to task for her role in building what appears to be nearly insurmoutable debt. Ms. Scruggs has also taken to foisting the blame on unnamed others, we assume it’s generic “staff” and Mr. Beasley, for not informing her and the council of the dire straits ahead. Why, a reasonable person would ask, would an “anonymous” internet troll let the mayor off the hook completely while calling for the heads of the City Council for exactly the same thing? Being an “illiterate blogger from Cave Creek” as rotten likes to refer to me, I’m sure I can’t guess. Perhaps you, the faithful reader, can?

Diving Horse

The point I’ve been trying to make is that there is a difference between actively working for positive change in your government and being obstructionist to others trying to accomplish that change. Disruption is easy, there are many tools at the disposal of people such as Romesburg to intimidate others and put them on the defensive. Is that patriotic by any stretch of the imaginations?

Is it patriotic to essentially issue threats via a legal complaint system rather than use more traditional and polite means of debate and discussion?

Is it the role of a patriot to make statements such as:

“We all have a common enemy.  That enemy is our current Federal Gov’t and administration.”

Really? Enemy is a very strong word, carefully chosen. Does the writer (Romesburg) truly feel that our entire Federal Government, including a Republican majority in the House, is OUR ENEMY? Revisiting the definitions of “patriot”, we see there is a divergence between the definitions and is certainly not eligible for “supports its authority”.

So, does that mean I espouse blindly following our elected leaders in whatever direction they happen to take us? Of course not, but simply because the philosophy or actions of my government may disagree with my sensibilities, that doesn’t make the government my ENEMY, it just means they disagree. I shouldn’t question their patriotism simply because they disagree.

So, therefore, perhaps the immediate leap from “I disagree with you” to “You are my enemy to be defeated by any means” becomes easier when your ideology follows that track? Is this what it has become to be a patriot?

We all should hope not.

Bonus points, maybe some Sundogs tickets, for a faithful reader identifying the relevance of the last picture.

Comments

  1. Who the hell writes “Let it be known” anymore? Someone who speaks like that in a public forum in this century should not be taken seriously.

  2. Larry Feiner says

    As a Glendale conservative, I can say these local Tea Party activists are an embarrassment.

  3. If Rotten Glendale is headed by a member of the Tea Party, then it just shows another example of their arrogance to follow the law. They could’ve easily have said “do what we say or we will overthrown you.” Originally I thought “Rotten Glendale” was another of the 50 different twitter accounts that one certain anti-Coyotes troll (like Rojo) had created, but it does make since if it is a Tea Party member is behind it. The power that the Tea Party think they possess makes them dangerous because they feel that they are the final say in any and all government dealings.

  4. George, They keep getting betterand better. Thanks for all your work on this.