Fight of the century, Possibly of the millenia.
Everybody knows what the tea party members oppose. High taxes. Big government. Obama's health care plan. High-speed rail.
Now, for at least some local tea party members, there's one more to add: manatee protection.
A Citrus County tea party group has announced that it's fighting new restrictions on boating and other human activities in Kings Bay that have been proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"We cannot elevate nature above people," explained Edna Mattos, 63, leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots, in an interview. "That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights."
Federal officials "want to restrict the entire bay," she contended. "They don't want people here."
Last week, Mattos, who says she has 800 members signed up on her group's website, and other tea party members picketed outside a public hearing on the new rules. Because they weren't allowed to bring their signs inside, she said, "my anger took over" and she sent a sharply worded e-mail to thousands of tea party members across Florida, urging them to write to Congress to block the Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Should we kill manatees to adhere to the bible?
- Do you send strongly worded emails when you are angry?
- Do the feds not want tourists in the bay?
- Are manatees more dangerous than high speed railroads and public health insurance?