White Kid's Woodstock in DC
I was offline all day so I missed the live coverage of the Stewart/Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. By all indications it was a great success. CBS hired an aerial estimator who put attendance at 215,000 people, far surpassing the estimated 87,000 at Glenn Beck's earlier fan club gathering. And there could have been more but, "TBD reported that because of the high turnout many would-be rally attendees retreated to bars to watch the event." I also read that a lot of people were stuck outside of DC on buses.
I browsed the establishment media coverage last night. The Caucus live blog was good and had a nice photo gallery. The photo gallery at WaPo was also surprisingly good.
As with all rallies of this sort, the messaging was rather nebulous, but Jon Stewart's closing speech put the event in focus. Read it all, but I especially liked this bit:
Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.Steve Benen has the video of Stewart's speech.
Looking at the photos, a couple of things stood out. This rally was no more diverse than any Tea Party event. It was sea of white faces. The biggest difference was obviously that the attendees were young, slim, apparently healthy and packed jaw to jaw on the Mall. No room for lawn chairs and medical equipment at this one. It looked very much to me like Woodstock, only the kids were better dressed and there was no mud, literally or figuratively.
The lack of mud-slinging against the GOPers was apparently causing some discontent among the tragically cynical youth in the crowd. Hearing this morning that twitter was full of young liberals complaining that the rally wasn't political enough. Maybe they forgot these guys are on the teevee but not on Fox. They can't be overtly partisan. I mean they still essentially work for Republicans.
But though they may not realize it, the rally made a point that won't be missed by many observers. Even though there was little politicking, by their numbers they showed the world that the Tea Party isn't the only voice worth listening to in our political discourse and the dearth of progressive enthusiasm is just another media myth. One can only hope that the energy translates to the ballot box on Tuesday. (Photo Credit: AirPhotosLive.Com via CBS)