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Nancy Pelosi was in town Saturday to do a fundraiser for Russ Carnahan, which event seems to have come off uneventfully.  Uneventful, though, does not mean that the presence of such a visceral target of right-wing fury went unremarked by the local fringe-wingers who put on their best Saturday night bib and tucker to celebrate the Speaker’s visit. High points of the eventing:

–Ed Martin, who is running for Carnahan’s congressional seat, held his own wannabe populist chic “shadow” event, which he called the “‘Welcome to St. Louis Speaker Nancy Pelosi’ Pork and Beans Party!”  This guy belongs to the same party as Kit Bond and Roy Blunt and he’s calling Nancy Pelosi out about pork?  

That wasn’t all he got wrong, since the  pièce de résistance at his pork and beans banquet was his claim that Pelosi was flying in for a political fundraiser on a military plane. Unfortunately for Mr. Martin’s credibility, the claim was false. Pelosi traveled to St. Louis in a commercial plane paid for by the campaign.

–The ubiquitous, local teapartiers infiltrated the Carnahan fundraiser. Local fringe diva, Dana Loesh, has posted what I suppose one could call contraband video of Pelosi’s comments on her Webpage, where one can enjoy the added bonus of parsing Loesh’s rather startling use of language – evidently her kinship with Sarah Palin goes beyond the political.  

Loesh, who seems to be hunky-dory with those Republicans who were almost too eager to march in lockstep with BushCo as it decimated the United States’ prosperity and reputation, captions the video thusly: “Wherein Nancy Pelosi praises Russ Carnahan for following her lead instead of leading on his own.” Irony or what?

I do wonder, though, if any of the “infiltrators” paid the $250 charge for tickets. If they didn’t, would Loesh’s video, demonstrating her presence, justify sending her a bill for the price of entrance?

–Finally, the funniest – and the most chilling – response to Peloisi’s visit was posted on the St. Louis Tea Party Webpage prior to her arrival by Bill Hennessy. He issued a somewhat half-hearted call to arms, including this hilarious list of Dos and Donts for anti-Pelosi protestors:

•Be in groups of 2 or more, never alone, from the time you park to the time you pull away.

•Pick an end time and stick to it.  Trouble starts late and with stragglers.  The other side won’t (usually) try anything in a large crowd.  (They’re brave in a funny way)

•Carry a camcorder and photograph or video everybody – not the “celebrities,” the people

•Don’t be surprised if the other side inserts plants to start trouble to be blamed on us

•Don’t give in to taunts

•Pray before the event, by yourself or in groups, for courage, patience, and resolve

•If there is a theme, stick with it.  If it’s hippie, dress like a hippie.

•Don’t worry about being called AstroTurf.  Don’t. We’ve already won that battle, and the whole world knows that the people with the printed signs are the AstroTurfers.  Coordinated, planned protests are not AstroTurf-they’re just street theatre.  We can use some of that.

•Don’t spread yourselves out-stay packed.  Safety is more important than appearances at this point.

You can laugh all you want about the teapartiers willingness to sacrifice their usual revolutionary war hero shtick to go underground as hippies – these folks do love a good theme party – and about the level of self-delusion manifest here. Hennessy seems to think the teapartiers have shed their association with Astroturf after all – but am I the only one that gets the chills at the level of paranoia that permeates this list?  

Although it does animate my own paranoia, I admit, when I read that the biggest group of gun nuts in the state is being told to ” Carry a camcorder and photograph or video everybody – not the “celebrities,” the people.”  The people – that, my friends, is you and me and who knows what these fools are capable of.