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Tea Partiers Bent On Ruining Americans' Family Vacations

11:08 am - 08/02/2010

Tea Partiers Bent On Ruining Americans' Family Vacations

Unsatisfied with being belligerent at town hall meetings and creating racist signs, Tea Party activists are swarming on Williamsburg, Virginia this summer to ruin educational family vacations by yelling and asking costumed reenactors how to overthrow the government. Ugh.

There's always a guy on a guided tour who's wearing a fanny pack and knee high socks, asking really stupid questions and embarrassing the rest of his family, right? Now add some loud, uninformed right wing zealotry, and you've got Colonial Williamsburg Summer 2010! The Washington Post went to Williamsburg and described the scene there these days, as Tea Party activists take in the sights and look to meet the Founding Fathers in person:

They stand in the crowd listening closely as the costumed actors relive dramatic moments in the founding of our country. They clap loudly when an actor portraying Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. They cheer and hoot when Gen. George Washington surveys the troops behind the original 18th-century courthouse. And they shout out about the tyranny of our current government during scenes depicting the nation's struggle for freedom from Britain.

"General, when is it appropriate to resort to arms to fight for our liberty?" asked a tourist on a recent weekday during "A Conversation with George Washington," a hugely popular dialogue between actor and audience in the shaded backyard of Charlton's Coffeehouse.

Yes, man wearing a wig and dressed up as George Washington, do tell us! The Tea Partiers travel to Williamsburg seeking answers from actors, as opposed to, say, checking out a book from the library. Fair enough. Some Tea Partiers, like Bob Rohrbacher, who was inspired by none other than Glenn Beck to visit Williamsburg, think the members of our big bad government should "all should come here and listen. They've forgotten about America." But the Tea Partiers themselves don't always hear what they want to hear:

Sometimes, the activists appear surprised when the Founding Fathers don't always provide the "give 'em hell" response they seem to be looking for.

When a tourist asked George Washington a question about what should be done to those colonists who remain loyal to the tyrannical British king, Washington interjected: "I hope that we're all loyal, sir" — a reminder that Washington, far from being an early agitator against the throne, was among those who sought to avoid revolution until the very end.

When another audience member asked the general to reflect on the role of prayer and religion in politics, he said: "Prayers, sir, are a man's private concern. They are not a matter of public interest. And nor should they be. There is nothing so personal as a man's relationship with his creator."


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shoujokakumei 2nd-Aug-2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
So they're trying to justify their own rewrite of history by harassing employees and patrons of a tourist attraction? ... And kind of failing at it?

They should just go to Busch Gardens and ride some roller coasters.

Edited at 2010-08-02 07:27 pm (UTC)
dark_puck 2nd-Aug-2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
Oi! We don't want them either!
audacian 2nd-Aug-2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
Hee hee, love this.
dark_puck 2nd-Aug-2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
Seems to me like it's time for a real tea party in Colonial Williamsburg.
sihaya09 2nd-Aug-2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
You go, George Washington Coco.
selenia_actimel 2nd-Aug-2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
came here to say that :)
c_yo_yus 2nd-Aug-2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
Does no one challenge these sweeping generalizations more? Does anyone ask for examples of how said tyranny is destroying our liberty? I'M SO CONFUSED.
ididthatonce 3rd-Aug-2010 12:02 am (UTC)

mollywobbles867 2nd-Aug-2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
A+ George Washington actor.

Not really surprised that tea partiers would rather disrupt an educational experience than actually learn from it.
thelilyqueen 2nd-Aug-2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Yep - I'm in awe of the re-enactors' response. I don't know if I could be so calm and cuttingly appropriate and accurate in their place.
neev 2nd-Aug-2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaha mad props to the guy playing George Washington.

Poor Tea Baggers - encountering people with some understanding of actual history must come as a terrible shock to them.
nanet 2nd-Aug-2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
I was a historical interpreter as my first job in high school. I don't know what I would have done if one of these morons came up and started asking me dumb questions.

I didn't work in Williamsburg, though. Our era was the 1830s and our president was tough as Old Hickory. The worst I ever got was someone asking me the story of the president and Sally Hemmings. I was like...y'all are at the wrong mansion, okay?
luomo 2nd-Aug-2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
i worked at the lower east side tenement museum for several years. our tours were hour-long guides through a restored tenement building, with focuses on social issues like health, education, and welfare. most visitors were no trouble, but sometimes you'd get a rabble-rouser out to undermine your tour. it was especially frustrating when they'd call you out on promoting "liberal ideologies" as if you were supposed to be totally non-political. like, dude, we're talking about social programs that lifted poor immigrants out of poverty.

anyway, this only happened a couple times.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
petalsinthewind 2nd-Aug-2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
ugh, as though I didn't want to go to Williamsburg bad enough this weekend.
iamrosalita 2nd-Aug-2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking lately about going to Williamsburg because I haven't been in so long, but I think I'll give it a pass.
lexiloumarie 2nd-Aug-2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
Do they think they're really talking to George Washington? Did no one tell them they've been dead somewhere around 200 years?

No, but seriously what do they think they're going to accomplish? Justification for secession? I'd love that one - "the grown men in costumes told me to do it". Oy vey.
mercystars 2nd-Aug-2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
mte, especially to the "grown men in costumes" part; it really does make one wonder what the tea baggers are trying to accomplish with this "strategy".
fishphile 2nd-Aug-2010 07:44 pm (UTC)
Unsatisfied with being belligerent at town hall meetings and creating racist signs, Tea Party activists are swarming on Williamsburg, Virginia this summer to ruin educational family vacations by yelling and asking costumed reenactors how to overthrow the government. Ugh.

UGH, indeed. I've been to Williamsburg enough (going in the summer is hell-it's fucking hot there) for it to stop being interesting, but I feel bad for the influx of children this fall who are going to have to endure this bullshit.
maclyn 2nd-Aug-2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
In b4 angry rex_dart
mcpreacher 2nd-Aug-2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
loving their desperation for a cult of personality around the founding fathers


messyhair 2nd-Aug-2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
This is fucking hilarious. You go historic re-enactors!
mlledesade 2nd-Aug-2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
George Washington would approve of that reenactor's response.
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