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Gettysburg, a tale of two crowds: Santorum vs warmed over 1960s protestors

The crowd who showed up to “protest” Rick Santorum’s arrival last night to speak to an overflow crowd of supporters and assembled TV cameras and a national audience in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, looked like a solid phalanx of leftists transported from the 1960’s and slightly warmed over for this 2012 appearance, according to various on the scene eyewitness accounts.

But mixed in with the group of disgruntled, sloppy looking protesters with faces scrunched up with hatred and carrying a wide ranging batch of anti-America and anti-Santorum and other angry protest signs – including the memorable “no vaginal probe” signs – were the “Ron Paul for President” signs.

One could not tell one outside protestor group from the other outside protestor group – they all appeared to be there to “protest” Rick Santorum and get some free TV air time for their “protest” cause and they mingled together in their protesting party in the warm spring evening.

It would be impossible to video the crowd without getting them all together in the same image – Ron Paulies and anti-war, anti-Santorum protestors.  But that’s being redundant.

Gettysburg was of course, the turning point of the civil war, the high water mark for the southern cause.

The Santorum forces hoped Rick Santorum’s appearance – which caused a line several blocks long outside waiting to get into the standing room only overflow hallway outside the filled ballroom – and the victory of primary rival Mitt Romney in Illinois tonight – also mark the “high water mark” for him and the start of a string of victories for Santorum next.

Just like at one point on the Gettysburg battlefield after Pickets Charge, there is an actual location marked as the “high water mark” for the southern cause and the start thereafter, of a string of northern victories.

The neat dressed, polite and family oriented crowd that stood on line and assembled inside to hear Santorum was a marked contrast with the outside protesters, a mix of young and old who appeared to have been transported from a 1960’s anti-war leftwing rally of disgruntled and angry protesters.

A report came to me of an exchange with one hippie looking protestor who carried a sign that protested “Stop Medicaid Cuts for Elderly.”

When asked by a couple who were there as Santorum fans if he was protesting President Obama’s cuts in medicaid for seniors, we are told the protestor appeared very confused and disoriented, unsure how to respond.

“Poor fellow looks like he was totally unprepared to actually SPEAK to anybody, he was just told to hold the sign” our source reports.

Another report was of a little girl with her mother pulling her along with one hand as the other hand held up a sign pointed towards the line of Santorum supporters outside the hotel, which informed them that “Jesus was a Liberal.”

The little girl’s sign did not appear to make any converts among the Santorum supporters in the line.

I do not know what Rick Santorum’s “path to the nomination” is at this point, nor like most of those who attended the Gettysburg rally for Rick Santorum last night, and like his supporters watching his speech on TV (as I did), do I especially care.

I do know that the biggest contrast of the night wasn’t listening to Rick Santorum and later on TV Mitt Romney’s speeches that night .  It wasn’t that while Romney does speak favorably on many of our issues while Santorum continues to be far more capable of articulating conservative values and of recruiting, motivating and energizing conservatives and values voters.

No, the biggest and best contrast that show us what is at stake in the 2012 election year was to look at the contrast in the appearance of the two crowds.

One crowd well dressed, neat, polite, conservative, well informed and able to articulate their usually Christian and always pro-family, conservative, “values” oriented views.

And the other crowd that looked like anti-war leftists from the 1960’s, with the prominent “no vaginal probes” sign to protest the introduction of HB 1077, the “Women’s Right to Know” bill that requires a examination to determine that there is in fact a pregnancy involved BEFORE Planned Parenthood can do the abortion they want and collect their fees.

In only a very small number of those cases, if the external ultrasound “picture” does not provide the information needed, then the more invasive procedure would be done to confirm whether or not there is a fetus present and its age, or is there some other problem which may require some OTHER procedure other than the abortion the Planned Parenthood is anxious to administer.

Planned Parenthood has already admitted that they ALREADY have done the ultra sounds.  They just don’t want to be required to do them and certainly don’t want to be required to show the mother.

The crowd outside appears to stand with the “vagina probe” sign carrier – and with Planned Parenthood’s  side of the argument.  “Don’t make us find out” to paraphrase them, and “don’t ask don’t tell the mother” to put it yet another way.

The conservative group of Rick Santorum supporters and politicians gathered inside to hear Rick Santorum, seemed to be on the other side.

Sources from this Santorum Gettysburg Rally say their seeing State Representative Scott Perry, who is one of seven candidates claiming to be “the true conservative” seeking the open Congressional seat in the area being vacated by 6-term Congressman Todd Platts, left them favorably impressed with him.

They do not know if he is supporting Rick Santorum.  They do know that his respect for the candidate to come and meet and hear Santorum, left them very pleased.

I do anticipate reporting later this week on the battle to pass House Bill 1077, the “Women’s Right to Know” bill which would require Planned Parenthood to inform and show the mother an ultra sound to confirm that there is a pregnancy and the age of the baby before proceeding.

I wrote this past Friday of reports that State Rep. Scott Perry had withdrawn from that battlefield and as a co-sponsor of HB 1077.  I have been awaiting his reaction to that story carried in RED STATE online.

State Rep. Rick Perry told an Action of PA member at the Santorum Gettysburg Rally that he was most interested in protecting the rights of both the pregnant mother and the baby and would be delighted to meet with a delegation from that group to discuss how this could best be done, and how they could help him in that battle.  More later, stay tuned.

We congratulate Mitt Romney for his victory in Illinois tonight but warn him and his supporters.

This Illinois defeat did nothing to quench the enthusiasm for Rick Santorum in this conservative grassroots crowd and across America.  And so Mitt Romney has two big challenges ahead of him.

First, can he overcome and defeat Santorum in future contests by enough of a margin to gain a majority of convention delegates?

And second, can he do this in a way that doesn’t turn this crowd off, and leave him alone to face the protest crowd outside who hate everything that both Santorum and Romney speak for, and whose work will otherwise guarantee the reelection of Barack Obama in 2012 along with a U.S. Senate and House that will support his liberal-left agenda?

The Mitt Romney big dollar donors who benefited from government “save Wall Street” dollars in the past, won’t man the barricades of the campaign fight between these two different crowds.  They won’t donate enough to close the gap between a GOP nominee and Barack’s Billion.

So far, we’ve not seen anything from Mitt Romney that will generate intense enthusiasm from these conservatives, which McCain failed to enlist and which caused his defeat in 2008.

The turnout in this part of Pennsylvania, a “red state” segment of the population, was actually 8 percent less than in the past, helping Obama carry the state in 2008.

And unless we do see that enthusiasm for Romney then in future primaries coming right up, including Pennsylvania on April 24, then it might turn out to be more than a just a spring-night’s dream, that the crowd at Gettysburg will have seen a second “high water mark” in this little but now historic Pennsylvania town last night.

HanoverHenry is Pat Henry on Facebook, and I’m on the lookout for new friends there.

Links to articles I wrote at RED STATE at my Facebook Notes section. 

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