O’Reilly / Beck hit Tampa (1 day after Obama’s visit)
The city of Tampa was alight last night with political buzz-talk, patience-testing traffic, and high-profile national figures in town on consecutive days. President Barack Obama came to town with Vice-President Joe Biden on Thursday (1/28), followed immediately by Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck on Friday (1/29). Wow! A combustible pair of pairs, to be sure – and Tampa natives were talking about it. Shannon and I just returned driving home this afternoon, after witnessing Beck and O’Reilly speak live last night at the USF Sun Dome.
The “Bold And Fresh 2010 Tour” had a humorous, if unanticipated, dramatic subtext Friday night, as told to the rapturous crowd by Beck. On the eve of President Barack Obama’s Wednesday night State of the Union address, the White House contacted the University of South Florida, requesting use of the campus’ Sun Dome arena as a public town hall venue to unveil Central Florida’s high-speed rail line. University officials declined, advising the White House that the date of their request had already been booked (Thursday, 1/29): And by none other than Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, for 2 nights. Reportedly incensed, the White House suffered the indignation of losing the anticipated 10,000 seat Sun Dome to two of the Obama administration’s most vocal rivals from Fox News, and instead settled for the far smaller 2,600 seat Bob Martinez Sports Center across town at the University of Tampa.
The 4:00 and 8:00 shows were both “sold-out” well in advance of the show[Tampa Bay Times, 1/29].) I experienced a feeling of… “vindication”, I suppose. As entertained (thoroughly!) as I was by Beck (and equally O’Reilly), my mind continually shifted to 3 distinct moments of political shift in America, in the last 12 months: 1- The inauguration of Obama in January 2009, 2- the health care town halls during the Congressional recess in August 2009, and 3- The elevation, by the people of Massachusetts, of an avowed CONSERVATIVE into the US Senate, displacing the 40-yr liberal legacy of Ted Kennedy. It was “one year later” – and we realized we were NOT going to allow the progressive wrecking ball to pulverize the pillars of our Constitution & Bill Of Rights, without a fight…
Collectively, 11 college student protesters were present with signs, and foul-mouthed insults about “teabaggers” and the like… but it served only as a visible manifestation of what The 9/12 Project-founder Glenn Beck has told us for 12 months now: “WE surround THEM.”
We did. 8,000… to 11. And for one night of uncomfortable truth served up onstage with a heaping side of laughter – it felt GOOD.
(CODA: Upon reading the Friday edition of The Tampa Tribune at my hotel last night, with its Obama-Biden ‘high-speed rail’ coverage, I couldn’t ignore the ‘average ages’ seen in the attendant photos… a median age range of 25-35, I’d say. Immediately, I reflected on the older Sun Dome crowd, averaging ages from 50-60, or so. This leads me to think we can’t satisfy ourselves with victories like Scott Brown for too long… a generational shift, spearheaded by progressive educators nationwide indoctrinating our youth, is in progress. The rise and election of Obama, and the progressive-liberal-Democratic majorities in Congress are no ‘mistakes’ – they were calculated. We must EDUCATE ourselves as never before, in God’s Word and in the words and purpose of our founding documents. There were record numbers of young people who voted in 2008, and they largely voted for Barack Obama over a ticket with Sarah Palin on it. Why? How do we REACH those young people? How do we reach them, before THEY one day interpret, and create, our nation’s laws? I know history shows us Liberty is not a blessing for the “timid”… and we must reach our youths, with the TRUTH, while we still can, for there truly is a “culture war” for their hearts and minds. The message of “Common Sense” in American life – the message of Thomas Paine, along with the lessons of Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Reagan, and now BECK – is more timely than ever.)
(P.S. – Thanks to Boris for meeting up with Shannon and me in Tampa! Great pre-show conversation at Carrabba’s, my friend!)