High tea was served at Savannah's Forsyth Park on the 5th of July, and I missed it. How depressing. First, every Tea Party needs a mad hatter, and secondly, the food would have been outstanding because I just watched the high tea episode of Two Fat Ladies the other day. The grub I could have brought would have been a delicious companion to the pork that was there.
Although it's name presents a bit of irony for a Tea Party, the Queen Alexandra sandwich would have been the perfect snack for Monday's gathering. You start with a mustard butter, tart and Southern all in one. Add some simple chicken salad - poached chicken with some mayo, salt, pepper, and some hot sauce. Finally, you top the sandwich with an ingredient for which there is never a shortage at a tea party - tongue. You could 'bam' it a la Emeril, but since 'bam' is also the middle of 'Obama', that might not be a good idea for a Tea Party.
A Tea Party also needs good tea, no Mal-Wart generics please. Some folks prefer blends such as Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast, some prefer green tea, but since most Tea Partiers likely prefer 'made in the USA', the only place growing tea in the States is the nearby Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina. Savannah Bee Company on Broughton and Brighter Day Natural Foods on Bull Street are among the places you can find Charleston Tea around here. A cup with a teaspoon or two of Savannah Bee Company honey will make your innards wanna dance. I have never made Charleston Tea iced, but I don't see why it wouldn't make a fine old fashioned sweet tea, and you'd definitely need iced sweet tea for a Tea Party down here. Of course, one of the perfect companions to sweet tea is a barbecue pork sandwich, which perhaps explains why Jack Kingston spoke at the Savannah Tea Party.
Congressman Kingston knows that I can make that crack and remain his friend. I like Jack and always have. When the radio station budget cut me and many others out of jobs last year, Jack called my house twice over the ensuing month to ask after me and my family (John Barrow also called, but then again, I live in his district. Kidding, John!). Unlike some Members, I have no doubt that Jack believes in his convictions, one of which just happens to be that earmarks, the Member of Congress euphemism for pork dollars, are a good thing. Many times on my old show and in private conversation, Mr. Kingston passionately defended earmark spending saying good projects, particularly those dealing with the military and national defense, wouldn't see the light of day if he wasn't able to steer that money around the grubby hands of the faceless Washington bureaucrat. Perhaps that's true, but it doesn't make it right, and it contravenes what the Tea Party appears to be about.
Surveys consistently show that the Tea Party is, primarily, a revolt against government spending, something President Obama and many Democrats (and some Republicans) don't seem to understand. This is why it was puzzling to see under the list of Savannah Tea Party speakers, next to the young patriots and the professional name-callers, a Congressman whose John Hancock has been attached to more than $200 million in earmarks over the last three budget years. Sure, $200 million is to Washington what the size of a 'rhymes-with-hiss' ant is to a human, but regardless of the worthiness of a pork project, most folks have figured out that you can't talk about the need for deficit reduction while simultaneously adding tens of millions to that deficit each year.
Correction, you can if you are Jack Kingston, since he represents about as safe a Republican District as you can find. As I said, I still like Jack a lot, so we will just have to agree to disagree on that type of pork and maybe enjoy the other type from Wiley's or Wall's if I am invited to the next Tea Party. I will even bring another Fat Ladies special, delectable chocolate-painted Fruit Tarts....well, I'll bring the fruit tarts as long as Nathan Deal isn't coming.