Liberal Reactionaries

I am not sure what is more amusing, watching middle class Americans marching for Conservative principles in the Nation’s capital or Liberals (at least the Liberal blogs) becoming apoplectic in reaction.

On September 12,  some thousands of Americans exercised their right to freely assemble and petition their government for redress of grievances. Estimates on the numbers who came vary by orders of magnitude. The Washington Post reported that 30,000 registered with FreedomWorks, but that was only one of the organizers. The New York Times reports a “sea of protesters” composed of “tens of thousands” that far exceeded the expectations of authorities. The tens of thousands figure is also carried by the Washington Post and Washington Times. It is safe to say that the tens of thousands value really means a “a lot of people and we really don’t know how many.”

Matthew Hemingway of National Review on the scene believes the numbers were in the hundreds of thousands. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin headlines a 2 million crowd estimate, based on a barrage of tweets and posts but apparently no authoritative sources. Many crowd estimates cross-referenced each other in a information-lacking echo chamber. Inflating crowd estimates from supporters and minimizing estimates from those opposed to a demonstration are a traditional Washington DC sport. Here is a link to a time lapse movie of the march taking from a high building, documenting that there was quite a crowd.

Like any crowd, there are a few at the fringes. Both the NY Times, Huffington Post, and Think Progress  found what thety were looking for and noticed several tasteless pre-printed signs that read “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy.”  This is milk toast tasteless compared to the vicious anti-Bush attacks during antiwar rallies.  The Washington Post noted that most signs were hand printed and from the pictures posted by the Washington Post, most people appeared to be hard working middle class people for whom public protests were a new experience. The NY Times notes that, “many came on their own and were not part of an organization or group.”

However, the Huffington Post and Think Progress feel necessary to demonize the protesters by focusing on a few oddballs . These sites  cannot even acknowledge that the honest concerns of the protesters. Even if you believe, as the Huffington Post and Think Progress that these protesters are wrong, confused or used, only the angriest and most partisan perspective would group  all  the demonstrators together and assign the worst motives.

We should perhaps forgive the Left. The seem to be a bit disoriented, unaccustomed to the fact that there is a President and Congress sympathetic to their views. Public protests and marches are their preferred tactics. Shouting chants is a Left wing sword wheeled in service of the people. How dare Conservatives usurp the means of the Left? They are for the exclusive use of the Left, the true representatives of the people. Perhaps, in a couple of years the Left will grow acclimated to dissent — but don’t bet on it.

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