Home > Entertainment, Political Ranting > I So VERY Much Wish I Could Be in DC Next Month

I So VERY Much Wish I Could Be in DC Next Month

September 17th, 2010

Leave it to Stewart & Colbert to use zany comedy to Do The Right Thing. Beck promised a rally to restore “Honor” (something right-wingers seem stuck on doing over and over again) but seemed to fall just a teensy bit short, as “honor” is nothing more than a buzzword for these people. The Comedy Channel duo, on the other hand, promise to restore sanity, and you know they’re going to do their job a hundred times better.

After a lengthy, persistent Internet campaign started by users of the site Reddit that raised over $200,000 for charity, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have relented. They will host opposing rallies on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on October 30.

The announcement started last night on The Daily Show, when Stewart announced his Rally to Restore Sanity, a call to the nation to “take it down a notch for America.” The name, of course, mocks Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally — so naturally, Stewart compared his choice of date to Beck’s choice of the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“Now you’re probably saying to yourself, October 30, 2010, that rings a bell … the 36th anniversary of George Forman [sic] and Muhammad Ali’s Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire! Yes! But that’s not why the date is significant. I’ll tell you the significance of October 30th. You see, The Daily Show’s actually already going to be in Washington doing shows.”

As his segment drew to a close, Stewart provided some sample protest signs for the realistic, sane ralliers to carry. They included, “I disagree with you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler.”

But naturally, Stephen Colbert wasn’t going to take that lying down. On The Colbert Report, he lashed out against Stewart’s call for reason, noting that “reason is just one letter away from treason.” So to counteract Stewart, he announced his own rally, “to fight Jon Stewart’s creeping reasonableness, [and] to restore truthiness.”

Colbert’s rally, The March to Keep Fear Alive, will also occur on October 30 in Washington. Colbert, naturally, used fearmongering to get people to attend. “People should definitely book their hotel rooms now,” he said, “or their children might turn gay.”

I just love it. The “Rally to Restore Sanity” vs. “The March to Keep Fear Alive.” Perfect counterpoints. There are reports that they have indeed reserved public spaces; if it is in fact for real, there could be a huge turnout for this. [Having now watched the show, I can’t believe it’s not real; Stewart was insistent.]

What would be so great, just a perfect cap to all of this, would be if they had way bigger crowds. I mean, way bigger, so big that Fox could not possibly deny Whose Crowd Was Bigger, as they seem to really get off on that kind of thing. I wish I could go–my diaper is all ready to go–but I don’t know if the Friday evening flight from Tokyo would get me there in time.

And gee whiz, what’s that with the timing? Three days before the midterm elections? What a coincidence!

You know, my only hope in all of this is that the polls are in fact wrong, that there’s a dynamic being missed here. That too many Tea Party radicals are getting too much attention; that the polls are not counting “registered voters” in their prediction of Republican landslides; that Dems bunch up their pantyhose and actually push the Tax Break for People Who Are Not Rich and force Republicans to either vote for it or vote against it, either one being a good thing for Democrats. That Obama will be as effective on the campaign trail as he was two years ago. That the sane moderates, even the ones who say they don’t like the Democrats, will, when faced with a voting machine, wake up, come to their senses, realize the insanity they face, and do what they did in 1992–vote the way they know is the only reasonable way.

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  1. Troy
    September 18th, 2010 at 05:37 | #1

    Leave it to Comedy Central to create a counter-demonstration.

    For the past year+ I’ve been saying to myself ‘where is the Left — why aren’t we mounting public demonstrations against this teabagger BS’. Teabaggers are 10% of the population, same size as the Left.

    CC stepping up is something of an indictment of the Left in this country. I guess the sad fact is that the baby boom is turning 55 this year and has lost whatever “revolutionary” impulse they had. The name of the game for them is status quo.

    The “Real” leftists today are in the Kucinich and Nader camps — a la Michael Moore — and are intensely unhappy with Obama’s centrist and conservative policies.

    One thing I read today is that the Clinton-Obama practice of triangulation on Republicans is leaving them no space in the debate.

    They’re reduced to name-calling and character assassination — “class warfare”, “Obamacare”, etc.

    Keeping the Bush tax cuts on the lower 98% was a deft touch. I just hope the DINO wing in Congress doesn’t torpedo it. I think they will — anyone voting for this taxraise on the upper class isn’t going to be welcome in their clubs anymore.

  2. Troy
    September 18th, 2010 at 05:53 | #2

    Oh, since Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of DC (daylight savings ends on the 31st) it’s only a ~2hr flight to DC.

    Getting back before Monday will be tough, given the ~16 hr flight.

    Friday Leave NRT 7PM Arrive BWI 9PM Friday.
    Saturday Leave BWI 9PM Arrive NRT 2AM Monday.

    Prices are pushing $2000 . . . ouch . . . be more economical and carbon-friendly to pay someone to bring a cutout of you.

  3. Tim Kane
    September 18th, 2010 at 06:21 | #3

    “Taste Great vs. Less Filling.”

    I actually might be able to attend this. I mean, about a 10% chance, but a 100% desire to be there, so maybe I can increase that some. It looks like it would be incredibly fun. And a chance to demonstrate sanity to the insane minority. I hope there’s two million or more people there.

    Count me down as one of those on the left vastly dissapointed in Obama style “centristism”.

    It’s not that I’m a Naderite, Kuchinich, Michael Moore type, I don’t really feel I relate to them. I would be perfectly happy with centrist, mildly progressive policy solutions.

    The problem I have with Obama is, he STARTS at the center, and immediately starts making concessions and compromising BEFORE bargaining even begins to take place which leaves us with a “centrist” solution that is neither ‘centrist’ nor a ‘solution’. Exhibit A is Health Care. Public option shouldn’t have been the starting position, it should have been the compromise – or something like that. Single Payer should have been the starting position. So now we have health care package that is, essentially, incomplete. We’ll have to wait until either Obama is gone or politics force his hand to fix that.

    I’m not exactly a baby boomer, but I’m old enough to remember reading about in current affairs class in high school, the leadership crisis during the Carter administration.

    It’s much the same thing now.

    Given Obama’s policy positions, it’s probably better that he creates a leadership vacuum – though its really a function of the split allegances he has: BigMoney and progressive Democrats. Doing nothing allows him to suggest to both constituencies that he is secretly on their side.

    So, yes, the fact that Comedy Central is filling a leadership vacuum on the left (and I would say in the middle as well – which is why I think this thing could have really big numbers) says a lot about what kind of compromised duce bags are in the leadership roles of the democratic party.

    Anyway, in the spirit of Homer Simpson, I say: “God bless those pagans.”

  4. Troy
    September 18th, 2010 at 07:39 | #4

    Tim, I think the problem is that centrism electorally works and what has become leftism today doesn’t.

    The Fundie contingent in this country are deathly afraid of social ism or anything on the road to it, since they’ve been educated to associate atheism with social ism (and government telling them to bottle their evangelism in the public sphere since the 1950s, too).

    Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if us secular humanist lefties outnumbered the Fundies, but we don’t — evangelicals and conservative Catholics outnumbers us 2:1, or if the Senate didn’t so tilt towards rural hick states. 40% of Kansas is “Born Again” and 80% of them voted for McCain/Palin.

    Obama simply didn’t have the votes in the Senate to establish the public option. He’s a pragmatist who realizes half a loaf is better than no loaf, and stealing the Republicans thunder is a great way to marginalize them out of his hair.

    Or would have been if the national economy hadn’t totally been fatally compromised 2005-2007.

    Republicans have the 40% religious conservative electorate of this country covering their backs. It’s Rove’s strategy that got Bush into the Texas governorship, and it’s what McCain and the neocons behind him were pandering to by selecting Palin.

    This election is an excellent test of the religious nutcase right, whether it is a viable political direction. There are a LOT of Palinesque teabagger religious nuts running — incumbents DeMint in SC, Vitter in LA, the new nuts in Delaware and Nevada.

    The soul of the Republican party is at stake. Plutocrats vs. Fundies vs. Birchers. I gotta get out of this place.

  5. Luis
    September 18th, 2010 at 10:29 | #5

    I see this rally as a dose of reasonableness. You know those extreme protests by people like Phelps and others, and the people who infiltrate their ranks and hold up signs that say stuff like “I HAVE A SIGN,” and “I WAS PROMISED DONUTS.” People who see the nutjobs screaming and respond by essentially saying, this is silly and we need to show it up with mild humor. All of the things Stewart was saying fit perfectly with that–let’s take it down a notch, we’re about reasonableness, being regular people, and just plain being sane.

    While most of the news coverage has straight reporting of the events, one story prominently stuck out on Google News, pouring cold water on the event–claiming that the permits have not yet been granted and giving the impression that the event planned is relatively tiny and might not even get off the ground. Then I saw the URL and realized it was Fox News’ report on the event.

    Although frankly, that is my worry. I think people are of the impression that this is going to be a huge event that dwarfs others, with people filling the whole mall, and large stages set up with video screens and so forth a la Beck. That was certainly my impression. If CC has indeed only reserved a small portion of the mall, what happens if way more people than planned show up? Or will people realize that it’s not going to be huge and stay away? Anything that could go wrong might be used against reasonableness. I just hope these guys know what they’re doing.

  6. Troy
    September 18th, 2010 at 14:20 | #6

    “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!”

    The Teabaggers have a self-consistent worldview of liberals selling out this country to Satan and his social ist minions.

    They don’t want Victory Mosques in lower Manhattan, government taking money from them if they don’t get some minimal health insurance, women to have the right to kill their unborn babies, gays the right to destroy marriage, or us kowtowing to islamic radicals anywhere in the world.

    Riding behind these idiots are the pro-wealth plutocrats who want to preserve their class winnings since 1980.

    And the teabaggers, who are some combination of the two.

    Anybody who’s confused about the stakes this November isn’t going to be reached with a display of reasonableness in October.

    This is a f—ing war.

  7. Tim Kane
    September 18th, 2010 at 23:24 | #7

    I recall reading, in my youth, how the Mandan Indians would heard a stampede of buffalo’s towards a cliff as a way of mass harvesting buffalo.

    The Tea Party is the buffalo, and the plutocrats are the Indians. Unfortunately the buffalo will take most of America with them when they go over the cliff. For the Indians, this is precisely by design.

  8. Troy
    September 19th, 2010 at 06:39 | #8

    No, the plutocrats are fully down with TP.

    TP stands for less government, more religion. They are not antithetical to the neocon agenda at all.

    Ron Paul’s opposition to the intervention in the mideast is a counterexample, but his own son has distanced himself from principled non-interventionism, going so far as saying a nuclear attack on Iran is “not off the table”.

    This is exactly what movement conservatives want, a federal government so f—-ed up that it can’t get in their hair with regulations or prevent them from further Christianizing and dumbing-down our society.

    If this continues much longer we’re going to have to right the Union off and regroup in “blue state” state sovereignity, admitting the destruction of what Lincoln saved.

  9. Troy
    September 19th, 2010 at 06:40 | #9

    right the Union off and regroup

    (awesome semantic slip)

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