Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 12th Protest

It’s the day after, and it’s time to have a look back and put it all in perspective.

First, what am I talking about? Chances are good you might not have even heard, but there was a “Tax payer” rally in Washington on Saturday, September 12th. The goal was to protest Obama’s “tax and spend” policy (in stark contrast to the Republican “spend and spend” policy). Considering there are over a hundred million tax payers, surely millions showed up.

Before we analyze the numbers, here are some statistics for marches and rallies in the Washington area over the past century:

Aug 28 1963: “I have a dream” march = 250,000 people
Oct 15 1969: Vietnam War protest = 200,000 people
Nov 15 1969: Vietnam War protest = 600,000 people
Apr 24 1971: Vietnam War protest = 500,000 people
Sept 19 1981: Reagan protest = 260,000 people
Apr 25 1993: Gay Rights march = 300,000 people
Oct 16 1995: Million Man March (black rights) = 400,000 people [FALSE ADVERTISING!]
Apr 25 2004: Pro-choice rally = 800,000 – 1,100,000 people

This should help give some perspective when analyzing the attendance. So how did the September 12th protest go?

There’s quite a difference between conservative estimates and estimates by Conservatives. Right wing sources put the crowd size at a ballooning 450,000 on some sites, 1.2 million on others, and 2 million is a nice round, popular answer.

However, news agencies all reported “thousands” or “tens of thousands.” ABC News quoted the highest figure, estimating 70,000 at the busiest point.

Let’s see… protests with that few people… well we got this one:

Aug 8 1925: KKK march = 35,000

That’s comparable.

In fact, this site has a picture which shows the difference between the estimates by Right Wingers versus the estimates by unbiased, neutral sources.

And don’t try pulling any of this “liberal media” garbage; the media wanted this to be a huge story. They showed up expecting enormous crowds, and hyped it significantly. More coverage was given to it than any anti-war protest under Bush. People just didn’t show up because there isn’t that much support for this cause.

Of course, those evil left wing causes have huge lobby groups organizing them. This protest had none of that… except Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks Foundation, the Heartland Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. Yep, just people spontaneously organizing for a cause...

What’s especially strange is the crowd. They aren’t really all Republicans. Many are Libertarian or simply hate Obama. The signs are particularly idiotic. Many mention things like “trading liberty for security,” which has nothing to do with anything Obama is doing. It was relevant for Bush. The same goes for government spending.

In fact, many slogans used were just recycled stuff the liberal shouted at conservatives for the past eight years. Even the Right Wingers are going green when it comes to signs. Other signs at the rally include:

“Jesus is the Messiah – Not Obama”
“Just Say No to Chicago Style Politics” with Obama Photoshopped as a pistol-wielding gangster
“Czars Get Out”
“Traitors Terrorists Run Our Government”
“"Don't blame me. I voted for The 'American.'” [birther alert!]
“You Can’t Fix Stupid But You Can Vote It Out” [really? Obama is stupid?]
“Hey Obamacare, Hands Off My Body” [Nice ironic use of pro-choice slogan]
“Save Freedom, Stop Obama”
“The Greatest Communist President We Ever Had”
“We Want Our Freedom Back”

And if you’re looking for Nazi references, look no further.

Also, can anyone tell me what freedoms we lost under Obama?

The problem is, all of this nonsense is just a small, fringe group of fools who the media have become convinced are deserving of “equal coverage.” Why do we need to balance our coverage? Why does justice need the counter balance of injustice? Tolerance with intolerance? Intelligence with stupidity?

The media is wrapped up in creating a debate. They construct a false dichotomy, whereby everything is either liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, and no one is wrong, just different. Now that is liberal bullshit.

Republicans are trying to capitalize on a largely independent and Libertarian crowd and cause, one which has absolutely nothing to do with Republican politics as practiced in the last eight years. However, I’m not sure why they would want to be associated with a protest that can only draw NAMBLA sized crowds.

It was also the whitest crowd I have ever seen on TV. It looked like a NASCAR event was going to break out at any minute. You could have made a fortune selling SPF 80 sunscreen at this event.

The Republicans are burying themselves. They are quickly becoming the party who cried wolf. They are raising the alarm bells and shouting tyranny while Obama is providing reasonable compromise that doesn’t infringe upon any core Republican values.

If this is how Republicans act when confronted by a civil opponent, I think it’s time to show them what real oppression is. Who do I vote for to institute ideological gulags?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post and I especially appreciated the link used to compare the crowd sizes.


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