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October 03, 2010

Side By Side: 8/28 vs. 10/2

You have to see this comparison.

You won't be surprised to hear a lot of extremist groups sponsored this "grassroots" march.

And you want diversity, you got it. The march was full of a diverse sampling of bussed-in union workers.

The union presence was so ubiquitous and so organized that it made for a kind of color coding in the crowd. Looking around, there were large groups of people bunched into separate areas, all wearing the same color T-shirts to mark their union affiliation. There were groups wearing the purple SEIU shirt, others wearing the red CWA shirt, others wearing the blue AFT shirt, and still others wearing green shirts and yellow shirts and so on. There were long rows of tables where union workers sat waiting to get people connected to their groups and their buses. There were thousands of union-printed signs.

Organizers will deny that the march was a total union job, compared to the more grassroots character of tea party gatherings. And it's true that union allies like the NAACP also played a big part in staging "One Nation Working Together." But it's safe to say the rally would have been nothing without labor's money and organizing strength.

...

Kathryn Riss said she attended the 1963 rally at the Lincoln Memorial, when she was just 16 years old, and came back 46 years later for the inauguration of Barack Obama. This time, she traveled from New Jersey on what she called the "peace bus" ("the Communications Workers of America very graciously paid our way," she explained), and she held a homemade blue flag with a white dove stitched into the middle.

As Michel Barone said, they assumed the Tea Party was a bought-and-paid for false demonstration because that's what theirs are.

And Glenn Reynolds says "I told you so."

Despite my pleasure in saying I told you so, I dont deserve all that much credit. It was easy to see this coming if you paid attention.

Both political parties are out of touch, and ordinary Americans are very unhappy about it, as they watch the Treasury being looted, the economy sink, and the political, journalistic, and financial ruling-class figures escaping the consequences of their ham-handed and self-serving actions.

But while ordinary Americans are mad as hell, this time they really dont have to take it any more. Institutions have failed them, but Internet tools like blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, and personal tools -- like the cheap handheld video cameras that beat back bogus charges of Tea Party racism again and again -- mean that they dont have to rely on failing institutions.

...

But those establishment GOP figures who think that theyll cruise to victory and a return to the pocket-stuffing business-as-usual that marked the prior GOP majority need to think again. This election cycle is, in a very real sense, a last chance for the Republicans. If they blow it, were likely to see third-party challenges in 2012, not only at the Presidential level but in numerous Congressional races as well.

For the national GOP, its do-or-die time. So guys, youd better perform -- unless you want me to be writing another I told you so column in 2013. And trust me, you dont.

One thing I've advised people in a bloodletting sort of mood is to bear in mind how quickly this all happened, and how enormous it is. And I say that as a way of suggesting, "Allow those who didn't quite get it a little leeway in catching up with the new normal."

I thought the Tea Party would influence the GOP. I did not think that the GOP would wind up influencing the Tea Party. Know what I mean? I thought the Tea Party would be the tail that dog wags; but it turns out, the Tea Party is the dog, and the GOP merely the tail.

This sudden upheaval was entirely unpredictable... except, of course, to those who predicted it, but for those of us who didn't predict it, it was entirely unpredictable, we're still catching up.

I say this in interests of promoting peace. We're not enemies; some of us are just nine months behind the news, you know?


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posted by Ace at 04:54 PM

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