A Whiff of Fascism in the Air Or Did Jerry Nadler Just Forget His Deodorant? Rally at Lieberman's House New Haven, CT, Dec. 2, 2000

We met at Stu’s house, in Ansonia, before the rally was to begin. There, we boned up on the questions we would ask. Once we felt ready to face the angry crowd, we hopped in Stu’s truck and headed from “The Valley,” one of the many long-dead Northeastern industrial areas, southeast toward New Haven.

As we left Ansonia and entered the tony New Haven suburb of Woodbridge, the air cleared, the IQs rose, and the incidence of mouth-breathing dropped dramatically. It was already 12:00. Could they, we wondered, possibly start without us? By 12:10 we had arrived in New Haven.

The first secret that Lew’s crack investigative reporters had to ferret out was the location of the rally. Stu, through painstaking research, had learned that it was at the corner of “Chapel and some street beginning with ‘A'” – our first lead. Our second was that we knew we should look at the western end of Chapel Street.

The western end of Chapel lies recumbent in quite, tree-lined respectability, the respectability of money as old as the city of New Haven itself, the respectability of Puritan lineages stretching back to John Davenport, James Pierpont, Ezekiel Cheever, Theophilus Eaton and other original settlers. Block after block of lots line up as if plotted by some rectangle-mad geometer. The houses are festooned with bay windows and turrets, wrap-around porches and Greek columns, each house unique, yet each a similar attempt to signal dignified elegance to the world.

We knew we didn’t have to look on any other part of Chapel – Lieberman would not live anywhere on the street but up here. The street runs to the southeast toward downtown New Haven. As it does so its character changes. A dozen blocks along, the houses are still large, the yards still rectangular, the streets still tree-lined, but there are signs that different lives are lived there. More and more, the houses have two front doors with separate doorbells, and not all of the resident's cars can fit in the garage or even in the driveway. Fewer of the cars are Audis or Saabs or BMWs, more of them Hondas and Fords. Block by block the street's southeasterly course is like a graph of some indicator of economic decline. Several blocks after passing through Edgewood Park, Chapel Street reaches the point on the graph where the most profitable trades practiced in the neighborhood are prostitution and drug dealing. That part of Chapel may have many Lieberman voters, but surely no Lieberman residence.

We had barely entered the neighborhood around western Chapel when we saw the police barricade closing the block where the rally was being held. We parked and hoofed it down to the rally, which was already in progress. Angry shouts ricocheted back and forth across the street between the Bush people and the Gore people. The Bush people had organized the rally. The Gore people had come to protest the fact that the Bush people were disturbing Lieberman on the Sabbath. They protested this disturbance by standing in front of Lieberman’s slate-roofed mansion and shouting at the top of their lungs.

Our plan was to devote equal time to both crowds. We looked over at the angry Democratic rabble. We looked down at our list of questions. We looked back over at the angry Democratic rabble. We looked back down at our list of questions.

“You know,” Gene said, “I think the LewRockwell.com readers are really more interested in what the people on the Republican side have to say.”

“I don’t doubt for a moment that you’re correct,” Stu replied. We ventured over to the Bush side of the street:

We breathed a sigh of relief as we alighted on the Bush side of the road. The first thing we noticed was that, for Republicans, these people were not very respectful of property rights. The crowd had bulged out across the first twenty feet or so of the yard of Lieberman’s neighbor. These poor people’s pachysandras were being trampled.

We looked around for a likely suspect to interview. We immediately saw Ray Brenner of New Haven:

Ray, it turns out, is a regular LewRockwell.com reader. We asked him a few questions:

LRC: We’ve noticed that you seem to be interviewed more than anyone else here. Can you explain that?

RB: Experience. I was at the Seabrook power plant protests in the early eighties.

LRC: Have you been to many rallies since then?

RB: Well… none until this one.

LRC: If Al Gore were an organ in the human body, which one would he be?

RB: The rectum.

LRC: What do you think Al Gore’s next invention will be?

RB: The New Communist Country.

Next we button-holed Doug Oakley of Torrington. Doug was a huge fellow wearing a leather jacket, an earring in one ear, and sporting a goatee.

LRC: If Al Gore were a villain on Star Trek, which one would he be?

DO: A Klingon from Uranus.

LRC: If Al Gore winds up being the next president, what will you do over the next four years to numb the pain?

DO: Not hunting, that’s for sure!

LRC: If this election is made into a TV series, who should play Joe Lieberman?

DO: Homer Simpson.

Doug was attending the rally with Anne Moler. She was also dressed in a leather jacket, hers with a Daniel-Boone-type fringe.

LRC: What do you think Bill Clinton’s reaction was when he heard the Supreme Court would be hearing “oral arguments”?

AM: I think he threw his pants down.

LRC: If Al Gore were a casserole, which one would he be?

AM: Goulash!

We next bumped into Bill Shields of West Haven. Bill also sported a goatee and a leather jacket. Bush seems to have the biker vote firmly in his camp.

LRC: If Al Gore were a villain on Star Trek, which one would he be?

BS: Hey, I don’t need to watch Star Trek – I live there!

LRC: If Al Gore were an organ in the human body, which one would he be?

BS: A tapeworm.

Stephen Schultz of Ansonia was colorfully decked out for the occasion:

LRC: What should Al Gore’s biography be titled?

SS: It’s Time for Another Job!

LRC: Which do you think has sold-out more often, The Yale Bowl or Joe Lieberman?

SS: Oh, definitely Joe Lieberman.

LRC: If Al Gore were a villain on Star Trek, which one would he be?

SS: We don’t want to paint anyone as the villain here. We’re Christians – we just want justice to prevail.

It was time for the GOP speeches. The police dispersed the pro-Lieberman crowd, telling them to move on down the block.

Three speakers addressed the crowd. The first was a former State Senator. We couldn’t catch his name, and we can’t remember a thing he said.

The next speaker was Tom Scott, a local radio personality and a former State Senator as well. Scott was witty, sharp-tongued, and worked the crowd into a fine frenzy. He referred to the organizer of the counter-rally (Bowsie Kemper? Bowsy Kimper? Bosie Krimper? Hey, the sound wasn’t that great, OK?) as a “poverty pimp.” Just at that moment, the Democrats finished circling the block and showed up behind the rally, chanting and shouting through a megaphone. The poverty pimp himself jiggled his enormous bulk right past the truck bed from which Scott was speaking. As he bounced away, the crowd began chanting “Stop thief!”

The final speaker was some fellow named Jim Bancroft. Our only recollection of what occurred after he took the mike is that he promised to talk for three minutes, then droned on for about twenty. Our advice to Jim: Don’t follow a radio personality the next time you speak.

As the rally was dispersing we managed to catch Scott and ask him a couple of questions.

LRC: If Al Gore doesn’t become president, do you think the Gores and the Clintons will vacation together much?

TS: I doubt it. I don’t think they like each other very much.

LRC: Do you think Samuel Tilden would have made a good president?

TS: Probably not. He was an obscure New York governor, just the right man for his party at the time.

The rally was over, and we headed into downtown New Haven to get some Thai food. There was, however, one question we didn’t get a chance to ask, so we’ll address it to the LewRockwell.com readers: At the beginning of this “crisis,” Warren Christopher was all over the news. Where the heck has he gone? Back to the embalmers so they can finish? Or did Jerry Nadler eat him after a long night of hungry agitating?  

December 9, 2000

Gene Callahan is a regular contributor to mises.org, and Stu Morgenstern is contributing editor at The Frumious Bandersnatch.

2000, Gene Callahan and Stu Morgenstern