October 29, 2010
By Arisha Michelle Hatch
The fear and loathing on the NOM “Judge Bus” Tour has finally come to an end. Well, the tour ended, but not the fear and loathing, of course.
In Davenport, the Judge Bus pulled into Lafayette Park. Steve King and Tony Perkins addressed the audience of 24, several of whom waved checkered flags to signify the last leg of the tour. Twenty-seven equality supporters waved handmade signs, chanted and sang throughout the program before attending their own rally.
“There wasn’t many of us here, but God was here…and [we were] also in the innumerable company of angels who we cannot see physically,” said one NOM supporter from Illinois.
Next, the Judge Bus pulled into a parking lot just outside of the Port of Burlington Visitor Center and was greeted by it’s largest crowd of the tour, a group of 72 attendees listened to King and Perkins make their usual comments.
At the end of the rally, a local unidentified man was given the microphone and felt compelled to point out the NOM Tour Trackers to the crowd and warned attendees from speaking to us. He kept referring to us as “Wonk Room,” our friends at Think Progress, but we appreciated the gesture nonetheless.
Their largest rally was followed by their smallest.
Chuck Hurley, Steve King, Bob Vander Plaats and Tony Perkins met 4 people (and a rather large dog) in a park in Ottumwa.
In Pella, at the next whistlestop, we spoke to a teenager who was one of 23 attendees agreed to go on camera to give us the youth perspective. She too was deeply concerned about activist judges, but was unable to name a single decision other than the same-sex marriage decision that she disagreed with.
For the final stop of the tour, the Judge Bus returned to the city it started in Des Moines, hosting a rally in front of the Iowa Supreme Court.
Sixty-five NOM supporters joined Vander Plaats, Perkins and Tamara Scott from Concerned Women for America.
Perkins again focused on unimagined rights language from the decision.
“It’s fine to have Goofy and Dumbo at Disneyland, but not on the bench,” he said to applause.
Scott then offered one of my favorite moments from the tour. She was leading the crowd through a call and response exercise in which she’d ask a question to which the audience was supposed to respond “No.”
“Are you anti like the media makes you out to be?”
“No,” the audience screamed with zero sense of irony.
It was the only time I laughed out loud during the speeches. I don’t know, maybe you had to be there.
As a final cherry on top of this tour, check out this Judge Bus compilation of interviews, featuring the always entertaining Bob Vander Plaats at the beginning — and a shout-out to all of us at “
Wonk Room,” er, Courage’s NOM Tour Tracker: