WASHINGTON (CNN) – The organizer of a "Tea Party" protest in Virginia says he intends to move forward with plans to burn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Tom Perriello in effigy next weekend at a rally to protest Democratic health care legislation.
The event is scheduled for next Saturday in Danville, which borders North Carolina and sits at the southern end of Perriello's congressional district. Perriello, a Democrat, narrowly won his House seat in 2008 and is considered a top target of Congressional Republicans in next year's midterm elections.
When news of the rally surfaced Friday, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen condemned the plans as "shocking and despicable."
But Nigel Coleman, the organizer of the Tea Party, told CNN he doesn't see what all the fuss is about. The attention, he said, should be on the Democratic plans to overhaul the health care system.
"We're not going to actually set Perriello on fire or Mrs. Pelosi on fire," Coleman said. "But we have been trying to months to get our point across just how vehemently we are opposed to this health care legislation. For the House vote to come so close and to know that Mr. Perriello is on the other side, it's a kick in the stomach that a lot of people couldn't take."
Coleman said none of Perriello's potential Republican challengers have been invited to the event, which he expects will draw about 100 people.
"Something shocking and despicable is how they've handled this health care legislation," Coleman said, responding to Van Hollen's statement. "Going behind closed doors, writing a bill that is going to fundamentally change what America is. More people are going to be killed by this health care legislation than this bonfire."
Beyond the pale. It's no doubt protected speech under the First Amendment, but this is an act suggestive of extreme violence. The GOP had better start distancing itself from the nut cases who are increasingly defining the party. Unfortunately, too many prominent figures in the party are catering to these idiots.
If the GOP never has and still can't come up with what they think is the "perfect" plan for the American people, they need to quit acting like kids losing a kickball game on the playground. All they know how to do is make crude, rude comments and create angry mobs. The American people deserve to be treated with more class than the Republicans are serving to them lately.
nice to see we've come a long way as a civilized society.
some people still think its 1787...
Now that's a mature way to handle a disagreement. Why is it always the south? It is truly hard to take you people seriously. Not a peep, not one word, when George Bush was running the country into the ground now all of a sudden you care. Hah!
The organizer is just another right wing nut with nothing better to do with his time. Let them set thier hate fires, we want healthcare REFORM.
The country would be much better off if Pelosi and Perriello were barred from politics.
Okay, who else burns effigies?
Crazy fundamentalists extremists.
The tea party movement has officially become a hate group.
And elected officials are sanctioning this. I say we need people in congress to pass not only educational requirements but also sanity tests.
This is very very disturbing. And if these people do actually get control of our country that would actually be a very fundamental change in America. The land of the free would be the land of the lunatics.
Come to think of it we have been heading there for quite some time, but I thought Obama was restoring some kind of mental health to this country but no apparently the point of no return had already been reached.
I remember quite a different America where the people actually rallied for the people and not insurance companies. And churches preached love not hate. Why do some people think Bush America is the only America that ever existed? There was a time before Bush and I was hoping to get THAT America back.
I also wonder if Pharma is giving these people some kind of drug......
Hey tea partiers.
If it is about the money where were you when George W thought it would be a great idea to spend 12 million dollars an hour occupying a country that never attacked us?
I get why the health insurance companies are against Obamacare. After all wouldn't Federal Express or UPS do better if they could get rid of the Post Office and they could charge whatever the hell they wanted to send a package.
I get why the GOP leadership is against it considering how long they were out of power after they failed to stop Social Security or Medicare. But what I can't believe that any regular person would be against this.
So who is payin you guys. The GOP leadership the insurance companies or both?
Patriots??? Thomas Jefferson is rolling over in his grave at the likes of you.
"More people are going to be killed by this health care legislation than this bonfire.".... There they go again. Scaring people with death panels, less coverage, etc. The fact is that many Americans do not have Health care insurance because they are not poor enough, not old enough, have an elegibility issue or just cannot afford it due to loss of job. What does the GOP say to them?
Sad stat eof affairs. The US is rapidly becoming a third-world country thanks to the Tea-Partiers.
Even though I am against the Health Care plan as it stands now–I think that this is the wrong thing to do. If I wanted to attend a Tea Party, it would not be this one. I think that it is very disrespectful. I think that now more than anytime that I can remember, our country is divided. We need to work together as American's and solve our problems. But it really bothers me that when President Obama and Nancy Peloisi were both asked about the "jail sentence' that could possibly be a reality if this health care plan passes, they both ignored the question and did not answer. Come on!! that in itself would be a tremendous burden on taxpayers. Shutting the Republicans out was not right–before we can all be true Americans, someone has to set the example and so far, I have not seen a clear leader for this. I don't mind paying my share fair of taxes, but I don't want to take care of someone that could be out working too. I think that it is our duty to take care of the children, the mentally and physically challenged and our older citizens. Everyone else can fend for themselves!!!!
And now the GOP is vouching for third-world status.
tea-baggers... as ridiculously comical and insignificant as the blowhards they blindly follow.
Does this mean that us left wing liberals can burn Sarah Palin and George W. Bush effegies retaliation?
Classy. You have to wonder how these people would feel if Tom Dasche wanted to burn G. Bush Jr in effigy for starting an unnecessary war with Iraq.
how the tea baggers just ignored the last 8 years and suddenly woke up when a democrat was elected to office
These kind of tactics are creating a sick society.
These people, led by Glenn Beck, are dangerous people. Make no mistake about, this right wing fringe is the same group that support Scott Roeder. Fortunately for all of us, I doubt the actual event, attracts even a handful.
Wow, the conservatives are getting scarier and scarier. They really are becoming the Christian taliban. I hope voters see this behavior and think long and hard about what kind of people these are.
If a liberal protest group had done something like this, they would have been villified. Why can conservatives get away with it?
Way too much time on your hands....crazy!
Wow! I am sure these are the same people that are outraged when people in other countries burn effigies of Bush and his gang. Look, freedom of expression is great, but expressing that you'd like to set someone on fire is cazy.
This is over the top...
I'm a tea party supporter, but to burn an effigy is just ridiculous and pathetic.
Some of America's finest leaders have been burned in effigy. It was John Adams, if I recall correctly, who said he could ride from one side of town to the other by the light of his burning effigies. Lincoln was surely burned in effigy many times. A short time googling the topic would surely reveal many more.
The Tea Party folks are being played like a harmonica by Conservative – what shall we call them? – agents. They are on the wrong side, but they might win. They (the Conservatives) have lots of money. They want power. They're pretty ruthless. They just might win.
This only reveals the true ugliness of the character of the Tea Party people which many of us here in the United States already knew. They are ugly, mean, and vicious people who hide falsely behind the word patriot. They are not patriots. They are cowards and fools.
I am a conservative, and while I disagree with everything Nancy Pelosi stands for, and I think she is evil in high heels, I am not sure I agree with such a drastic display. I am afraid that doing something such as this only gives the left wing radical Dems an opportunity to say that conservaties are a bunch of radicals, and actually makes us look that way. Nancy Pelosi is one who will use whatever ammunition she can obtain against the conservatives. Why make it easy for her? I am all for protesting, and I think the Tea Parties (which I have been a part of) are making a huge difference, but we don't need to defeat our cause and make the conservatives appear to be no better than Pelosi and her fellow morons.