Burning Politicians in Effigy Might Look Bad

TEA Party Patriots have second thoughts

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Iraqi Shiite demonstrators burn effigies of U.S. President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a protest against a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security pact October 18, 2008 in Baghdad, Iraq.

    Burning local and national Democratic leaders in effigy looks like a great idea on paper. But once the general public finds out about it, well ... not so much.

    Some TEA Party Patriots planned on burning likenesses of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello (D-5th District) Saturday at a "Fired Up for Freedom" bonfire/rally to protest health care legislation passing through the House.

    After issuing a press release touting the burning, it was picked up by various media outlets and some national liberal blogs -- some of which had some not-so-nice things to say. Now, the organizers are thinking twice about burning the pols.

    “We’ve been getting a lot of flack about this ... about burning those two in effigy and a lot of people in the public are unhappy about it.” Danville TEA Party Chairman Nigel Coleman told the Lynchburg News & Advance. "The story has gotten so large, it’s kinda strange.”

    Apparently the protesters now are afraid that by burning the likenesses of political leaders, their group will be labeled as violent. No clue how anyone would get that idea...

    Coleman, however, told the newspaper that the burnin' is still under consideration.

    "We’ve already started stacking firewood and building the effigy," Coleman told the paper. "We will have a bonfire. Burning someone in effigy was just gonna be part of it.”

    It's all wholesome fun -- cooking hot dogs, drinking cider and pretending to light actual people on fire. Kids' stuff!

    Maybe there will be some guest speakers at the rally, too. We hear "Robert Erickson" may be available.

    UPDATE: According to the blog WhoRunsGov.com, the person who owns the property the bonfire will be held on has asked the group not to burn anyone's likeness in effigy. “We had to cancel it," Coleman was quoted as saying by blogger Greg Sargent. "The property owner won’t allow us to do it. The media attention was something that he didn’t want.”