November 14th, 2009
11:28 AM ET
5 years ago

Tea Party organizer vows to burn Pelosi and Perriello in effigy

Pelosi will be burned in effigy at a Tea Party rally in Virginia next week, the event's organizer told CNN.
Pelosi will be burned in effigy at a Tea Party rally in Virginia next week, the event's organizer told CNN.

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."


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Virginia
soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. Greg

    Crazy people live in this country...

    November 14, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. johnrj08

    Nancy Pelosi, who fought for some kind health care reform, isn't the problem. The problem is Sarah Palin, her book, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Anne Coulter, Laura Ingram and a host of other 'celebrity' pundits. These people have a found a huge audience, especially in the blogosphere. Visit any conservative blog, such as RedState or Newsbusters and you will see the kind of real anger and hatred that is being nurtured by these so-called patriots. Now, we can add Dick Armey to that growing ensemble of opportunists who have learned that there is money and power to be made from the ignorant masses who follow their every word without skepticism or common sense.

    What is alarming about FOX News isn't that it is a political network with an extreme right-wing agenda permeating its programming. What's alarming is that so many Americans actually turn to that network as an legitimate source of information, and then make their voting decisions based on it. These 'recruits' are the people who were prime candidates for the Tea Bagger movement and who disrupted so many townhall meetings. And we're just seeing the beginning of this phenomenon, which is appearing across all media, including television, radio and the internet. It is pervasive.

    Say a big lie frequently enough and some people will eventually accept it as fact. Sound familiar? Say that Obama is a socialist or a non-citizen enough times, even without any proof and only discredited sources, and people will believe it to be news. Yet, if the government goes after these sources, even in the most oblique ways, legitimate news channels start reporting on how the White House is getting into a "feud" with FOX News. You won't see reporting of all the falsehoods and unverified rumors which have been "reported" by FOX which drew that criticism. You'll just hear how the White House is getting "defensive" and making a political mistake by addressing the issue at all. If the White House, then who?

    Personally, I've made it a point of registering on some of these conservative blogs and interfering with the flow of sewage that spews from them. I'll call people on their racist remarks about the President, or gross misrepresentations of the facts about health care reform. Some have banned me, such as Michelle Malkins' dreadful screed. She won't tolerate ANY opposing views. But I got my shots in before her 'moderator' discovered my agenda.

    I encourage anybody here to get onto these sites, if for no other reason than to see just how vile so many people have become thanks to the seditious atmosphere created by these extremist pundits and talkshow hosts. It's not funny. And while you're at, don't buy Palin's book. It's written for 6th graders.

    November 14, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. PaulMoATX

    Hate leads us nowhere, and in a time where we are defined by our actions, we should be writing a eulogy for the despicable and tasteless Tea Party of Un-America. Sick people continuing to drink hatorade.

    November 14, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Margaret Lehmann

    These people are despicable and are as maniacal as the radical Islamists. Can't tell the difference these days.

    November 14, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. snowflakelady

    people on both sides of this argument (democrats and republicans) need to grow up and start acting like adults– I'm tired of our country being led by mal contented little children.

    November 14, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Kyle Martin

    The most telling comment in this is from the organizer who "doesn't see what the fuss is about." Of course he doesn't. These gap-toothed, slack-jawed, hatemongers see nothing wrong with such disgusting and inappropriate displays. They just can't STAND it that a poor person or person of color might get something – these folks are so deranged and selfish and un-Christian they feel the pitiful amount they're contributing to the budget sould be reserved for killing people overseas. Disgusting.

    November 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Seattle Sue

    The radical Tea Party people are going to burn Mrs. Pelosi in effigy, but they would much rather burn her in person. What a sorry lot they are.

    November 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. Joseph Broman

    I agree that this is shocking and despicable. Though it goes for both sides of the aisle, why can't people respect democratically elected officials? It's one thing to oppose legislation, it is something different altogether to burn someone in effigy. This only displays the radically regressive nature of the Tea Party movement and reminds me of Middle Eastern activists burning President Bush in effigy. Way to go America....

    November 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Ohio Annie

    Juvenile theatrics.

    November 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Lawrence in Phoenix

    To burn an effigy of a public servant because of political differences makes absolutely no sense. It's un-American, hypocritical, and a waste of time. I hate to play the Bush card, but for 8 years, we had politicians wasting money on military interventions that should never have happened in the first place. We wasted trillions on programs that everyday Americans didn't get to benefit from. Now, we're investing in ourselves and people are upset? For WHAT??? I'd rather my tax dollars go to an an uninsured American to have basic health coverage than go to a multi-billion dollar conglomerate like Halliburton in the guise of keeping Americans safe.

    But that's right, how dare we try to take care of one another. We should be bombing third-world countries into the stone age. That will benefit our economy in the long term, right? Don't pay attention to the contrary evidence of the past four years and the unravelling economy, we'll be okay so long as we're at war. Doesn't matter who with, let's just be at war. Killing people is so much better than saving people.

    When did America become THIS country?

    November 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    So where were these "patriots" when Bush was trashing the Treasury and our global reputation after lying America into an incredibly costly war and savaging Constitutional law and international law? Yet the issue of health care for Americans somehow gets them riled up.

    November 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Robyn

    Imagine the evil of a woman who says that that the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breath free deserve to be treated like human beings, with decency and respect. To be given basic health services so that they don't die in the street. The nerve.

    We must tear down Lady Liberty in the name of the Republican Party.

    Compassion, caring, civic mindedness, these concepts have no place in the America of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. The Republican vision of the future is starving rats clawing each other to death over ever scrap; and it is every rat for himself.

    The new Republican socialist agenda is to steal from the poor, so that the rich can be given more.

    November 14, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. LJS

    Looking more and more like Middle Eastern fundamentalists all the time.

    November 14, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. REG in AZ

    I really don't care whether our representatives are moderately conservative or moderately liberal, Republican, Democrat or Independent. What I really want them to be is honestly conscience driven and disciplined in always seeking what they truly believe is in the best interests of the majority. While they will readily say that is actually what they do, their actions constantly demonstrate something completely different, which too often is simply a placation of Special Interests and the few who strongly support them, including many who abuse the system, and then they just give an abundance of subterfuge to the majority. If they could, with their different positions, sit down and responsibly and conscientiously debate the issues and come to mature compromises that sometimes lean towards moderately conservative and other times towards moderately liberal, that likely would give us the very best results. The trouble is that their egos and loyalties just don't allow that to ever happen and what they say, ... well anyone would have to be totally naive and gullible to believe most of it. The results they come up with far too often are packed full of irresponsible compromises or stubbornly pushed through terms that just benefit them and their supporters and cost the people greatly. It isn't the differences in the details, as they offer, that are the stumbling blocks but rather their commitments and their egotistic competing for power that cause the problems. The major part of the difficulty is the substantial support they need and their drive for personal gain, with both being heavily financially oriented and their total focus. We really don't need to argue about the merits of different positions, we just need to take money out of politics and that would go a long way towards political reform and result in better government, otherwise, ... good luck!

    November 14, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  15. Willy Brown

    Who’s bringing hotdogs?

    November 14, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Dan

    Wow, what a nice, friendly group. /sarcasm

    November 14, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. C L

    Dropping to the level of angry thrid world mobs... go america, wooo!

    November 14, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Craig in Washington

    And this is why I don't drink tea.

    November 14, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. once upon a horse

    hey sounds like a unique idea. I wouldn't expect anything less from a group of people that ride around the country with tea bags on their heads. Why not get the tar and feathers, pitchforks and hangman's noose while we're at it. If they had a rally like this and had done the same to Bush and Cheney the far right would have had a fit and Glenn Beck would have been crying about how un American it was.

    November 14, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Obama - NOPE

    Why use the hackneyed old demonstration techniques of the Left-wingnuts? Be original !

    November 14, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Patrick

    Wow. Burning a politician in effigy. Congratulations, Tea Partiers. You've just joined the ranks of Iran, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia. Welcome to the 19th century.

    November 14, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Joey, MN

    proof. these people are nuts. "NO! They're just patriots!!!" No, they're just idiots....

    November 14, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Kim

    While they're burning Pelosi and Perriello, we'll be having a tea party of our own. The tea party that celebrates health care reform for America. America is so behind in the times with healthcare. We have the 32nd best healthcare system in the world. The republicans and old folks want us to keep the same healthcare the way it is. It's finally time to get with the 20th century and pass healthcare to everyone.

    November 14, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  24. Palin/Prejean 2012 Teabagger Party

    Freak show coming to town. Think they'll display more 'Holocaust' victim
    banners?

    November 14, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. Nik Kripalani

    I have read the Republicans four page health care plan. It doesn't support seniors, or the disabled or Parents of young Adults. No benefits, no help, no nurses aides or caretakers. I oppose the Republicans bill. I support the Democratic bill. Stop burning political figures of my favorite Politicians! How would you like it if someone talked about climate change and your health was not effected? You would have Liberals on your case and holding up signs against that.

    So just let the Democrats have the bill be signed into law. I have suffered enough of the opposition. I want to breathe fresh air too.

    November 14, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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