Tuesday's results may herald 'new American Revolution'
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, January 21, 2010

"I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

Edward Everett Hale, American author and clergyman, 1822-1909

Election Day.

Dress in brown velour jumpsuit, check. Change message on answering machine to "Vote for Scott Brown today," check. Put on brown coat, grab Flat Stanley and ride to polls with Chip Ford, check. Vote for Scott Brown, check.

Poll worker in Marblehead says that already more people have voted at our precinct in two hours than usually vote all day. Citizens doing something.

And who is Flat Stanley, you ask?

Stanley was a little boy in a children's story who was the victim of a falling bookcase and is now part of an unusual minority flat people. My twin Nevada grandchildren are doing a third-grade project that mails him to relatives in other states, who must help him enjoy the local scene.

Already Chip has photographed him with me and the Minuteman on Concord Bridge and at the sun sculpture on the Marblehead-Swampscott line during the winter solstice. Today he held a sign for Scott Brown. Flat Stanley is now a part of history, as are we all.

I remember the Massachusetts bumper sticker "Don't blame me, I voted for McGovern," from the Nixon presidency. North Andover activist Ted Tripp forwarded someone's new variation: "Thank me, I'm from Massachusetts."

He was at the rally/parade where the best homemade sign stated, "Beam us up, Scottie!"

I've been through many campaigns, won some, lost some. My Election Day ritual has been to hold a sign for my issue at my own polling place before heading into town for an election-night party.

This year, I e-mailed Marblehead friends who are voting for Scott Brown telling them to call me if they need a ride. Got just one call. Thought after the weekend storm I might need a ride myself. The local Republicans have set up their own get-out-the-vote service.

We appreciated the invitation to the Brown campaign party, but really hate driving into Boston, so planned to flip between channels from the comfort of home. Our young friends from RedMassGroup will be posting photos of the event, keeping our computers informed as they have throughout this campaign. If you haven't met them, I recommend you get acquainted with this Web site for the duration of Revolution 2010 pure political fun. RedMassGroup.com calls me the "ol' tax-battle axe." It's a compliment, young to old. Ha-ha.

Gotta run... Independent friend Betsy needs a ride to the polls. Yes, she's voting for Brown, or the answer would have been, call a cab. Saving the country trumps friendship this week.

Back again. After she voted we decided we needed to show off my Scott Brown bumper sticker so we drove to Panera in Vinnin Square to pick up soup for lunch. I have, as a civic duty, been taking my bumper sticker to Panera for the past week, gaining three pounds on bear claws and heart-shaped butter cookies. (Get it? Brown bear? I heart Brown?)

Along with indulging my superstitions, I've been responding to calls from both national and state media about this race. Right after the primary a reporter asked me if I thought Brown was running just to get name recognition for a statewide race later. Without thinking, I responded that if he is, he and his family could be very surprised on Jan. 19.

When I did think about it, I realized the reason I said he had a chance is that I've been observing the Hudak campaign since summer. I've followed the exciting tea-party movement, met the new activists, seen my longtime activist friends recharging their political batteries. Everything began to seem possible again.

Today some of these Brown supporters are expressing concern that if Brown wins, the Washington Democrats will change or subvert the rules to keep him from being seated until they can pass ObamaCare. I don't think that will happen, and this is why:

Play a game with me. You're our congressman, John Tierney. You are driving along in your Obamobile, you glance in your rearview mirror, and there is a black truck on your tail well, a black SUV anyhow driven by Bill Hudak, activist challenger for your seat. Nancy Pelosi tells you to vote for an underhanded deal to keep your constituents' choice for Senate from voting on a locally controversial issue; i.e., to throw yourself under the black truck. What do you say to her?

I chose the Hale quotation for the top of this column because it honors all the people who are pulling together to pull our country back to the people. But I also like it because Edward Everett Hale was from Massachusetts, the nephew of Nathan Hale, of "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country," Revolutionary War fame.

It's a new American Revolution. Thanks for beaming us up, Scottie.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Lowell Sun, Providence (RI) Journal and other newspapers.

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