by Abe Sauer
The last time gas prices spiked over $4 per gallon, the Tea Party exploded with rage against the sitting president, hanging the totality of the blame on his administration. Of course, by “exploded with rage,” I mean “didn’t exist.”
This time around, the Tea Party is taking action to draw attention to the fact that Barack Obama is gouging Americans by making sure gas prices are high by causing war in Libya, not opening Alaska to drilling and saving our national energy reserves to power Chinese tanks after China’s inevitable invasion of the U.S. We spoke with Chris Lotto, Arizona activist and co-creator of the “The ‘Hope and Change’ Sticky Note Campaign,” a movement that places anti-Obama sticky notes on gas pumps.
Yes, America, like a couple on the verge of divorce, can only communicate with Post-Its®.
Last Saturday afternoon, Lotto, who lives in Phoenix, launched the Facebook call to “Purchase a pad of large sticky notes. Write on each one, “How’s that Hope & Change working out for you?” Every time you stop to fill your vehicle with gas, place your sticky note somewhere on the pump before you drive away. DO NOT be destructive in ANY way! Place your sticky note somewhere, so as not to impede the next customer’s ability to read the pump’s digital readout.”
By the end of this week, the page had over 8,000 fans who had sent out over 50,000 invites to join and dozens of pictures were rolling in of notes placed on gas pumps from Ohio to Wisconsin to Texas.
Of the pre-printed sticky notes that are beginning to appear, Lotto said, “I would prefer they hand write each one, as I want more the appearance of a down home, grassroots movement.”
Lotto said he “created the Facebook page entirely on my own.” But since his accounting firm “does not permit employees to use work computers to log onto Facebook” he “asked several other ‘active’ members of my page if they would allow me to make them co-administrators of the page, so they could monitor for any uncivil-like posts.” Those administrators all have varying levels of Tea Party involvement, such as Diana Gonzalez Horton, who is a member of Ohio’s 9–12 movement. (Lotto says he is “not a Tea Party member, although my beliefs fall in line with the Tea Party’s beliefs.”)
One administrator is Greg Hedgepath, associate of YourDaddy.net, a site that’s having what we’ll call “a little trouble” getting past the release of Obama’s long form birth certificate. Greg himself is no reporting slouch, having broken wide open such scandals as “Ex-CIA Agent Reveals: ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ has infiltrated Obama Administration” and how “a network of Mexican-American women, known as BMWs (Big Mexican Women), have been assisting Afghanis in illegally traversing the United States.” Greg is the lucky proprietor of the Facebook handle /stopobama.
“I was actually working in parallel with them and did not know they had the Facebook page created at the time of my first post,” he told us. “By the time I was finished with my second post my wife had found the Facebook page. Chris was gracious to add me as a creator/admin since all I have done is promote this all week long.”
His site has “had over 20,000 visits to the three pages I have put together since the 4th,” he said. Plus he promised a new video later today at his YouTube channel.
“That’s about it as far as my input into this campaign,” he said. “I guess you could say I did start it but was not the only one doing so” — something he addressed on his site.
Almost all are fans of Feedomworks, Fox News and are very, very “pro-Israel.” Lotto himself is a member of nearly every “defend Israel” Facebook group out there, including the “Mossad” one and “I am a Jew and I will NOT vote for Obama in 2012” as well as the groups “Shame on Gov. Jan Brewer for Vetoing Arizona House bill 2177 Birther Bill” and “R.I.P. Banned FB accounts that spoke out against Islam.”
But this is about gas.
The campaign calls for an expansion beyond gas stations, and some stickers have already turned up in grocery stores, denoting Obama’s complicity in the price increase of some basic American food staples, like Cinnamon Burst Cheerios.
It has also inspired a “union threat” of a counter-campaign in which pro-union thugs in Wisconsin will put stickers on brands that supported Governor Scott Walker’s campaign. Fox 6 News from Green Bay (which we last read about when its cameraman at the state capitol was mocking protesting students for their ignorance), noted that “Grocery stores will call police on anyone they catch planting stickers.” As a commenter on the story notes, “This is getting crazy. I hope some union thug gets his lights punched out for tampering with peoples food.”
Lotto says that the movement is not grassroots, it’s “gas-roots.” It’s an appeal to humor that the Tea Party is using more, the kind for which is has always relentlessly skewered the left. Just look at this bit of genius promoting Obama as President of Brazil.
The sticking-political-messages-on-other-people’s-commodities tactic shows no sign of abating. It’s a long way to 2012, and the GOP proper has completely lost control of its constituency, so everyone should prepare for what’s probably going to be the most ugly election in recent history, and, with every free surface in the nation plastered with neon squares, I mean literally ugly.
And in the end, the only winner will be, as always, Big Post-It®.
Abe Sauer can be reached at abe sauer at gmail dot com.