Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Pick up your stick": Restoring Honor Rally, Washington, DC

I'm on a really slow internet hookup this morning at the hotel, so I'll do what I can here.

We got up on Saturday at 4:00 a.m., left the hotel at 5:00 a.m., and walked from our hotel to the Lincoln Memorial, arriving at 6:00 a.m. Even so, we were still about a third of the way down the reflecting pool from the Memorial. We were so packed in by the crowd that there was no possibility of moving, so we stood in our places from 6:00 a.m. until the rally ended at 1:00 p.m. (we stood because I vetoed taking our camp chairs with us on the train--dumb, very dumb--plus we were plastered up against an iron railing, although the good thing about that was that the railing gave us something to lean on). And I'm here to tell you that once the sun burned off the clouds, it was a hot day. For another view of the rally crowd (and, as NewsBusters says, it's guaranteed to drive the liberal media crazy), go here.

The attendance being reported at the rally varies, but the number that most of the lamestream media seems to have decided on is "tens of thousands" (Beck joked that it would be reported as "more than a thousand"). I guess that number is technically correct, if not totally misleading and deliberately meant to trivialize the numbers. How about somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000?--and I think that's a conservative estimate (pun intended). That's the number that Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit is reporting, and judging from photos of other events at the mall where the crowd was estimated by the Parks Police, an estimate of 500,000 seems reasonable.

Here's the photo of the crowd posted at the Huffington Post, taken from the far end of the mile-long reflecting pool, the distorted perspective obviously meant to imply "something" about the size of the crowd.

I've been reading the coverage of the Saturday's Washington rally around the internet, and I don't think I've ever read such deranged, childish drivel in my entire life--about any other event, anywhere. My God, how the Left hates and fears Glenn Beck and his message. They're consistently calling it (in scare quotes) the "Restore Honor" Rally. Is that how the lamestream media would report the "Gay Pride" Rally? I don't think so.

Here's a sample, an opinion piece from the NYT by the seriously unhinged by this event Bob Herbert: "America Is Better than This": "For all his celebrity, Glenn Beck is an ignorant, divisive, pathetic figure. . . . He is an integral part of the vicious effort by the Tea Party and other elements of the right wing to portray Mr. Obama as somehow alien, a strange figure who is separate and apart from — outside of — ordinary American life."

Here's part of the "vicious," ignorant crowd who is of course being blamed by the lamestream media for being "too white."

Here's my honest take on what Beck was doing on Saturday. It's pretty simple, really: he was filling a void. Who else is stepping up to remind this nation of its goodness, of its leadership position in the world, of its exceptionalism? Certainly not our Apologist-in-Chief. Who else is encouraging America to return to the values of faith, hope, and charity that have made us a great nation? “For too long, this country has wandered in darkness,” Beck said Saturday. “This country has spent far too long worrying about scars and thinking about scars and concentrating on scars. Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished, and the things that we can do tomorrow.” Yeah, that's racist hate speech if I've ever heard it. Good grief. One of the most even-handed reports I've read about the event is at Politico: "Glenn Beck Calls for National Revival."

Sarah Palin spoke at the rally, but frankly I wish Beck hadn't invited her. I didn't have the impression that most people in the crowd were all that thrilled to see her there. In fact, at one point in her speech she was heckled by a "whistler" (no one much cared for that, either). It didn't make much sense to me--Beck was trying to make the case that the event was "non-political," and then he invites the most devisive political figure on the Right. Did he do it because he thought he needed her name to get numbers for this rally? I honestly don't know.

The people at the rally were mostly a friendly bunch. We stood along the fence with two nice young women from San Diego, and we also watched while a family from upstate New York elbowed six people into a space big enough for two. When one woman in their group heard that we were from Missouri she said, with a confused look on her face, "Oh, you must have really good hunting there." Well, Hon, in St. Louis, not so much. Ha-ha. We met a woman with a small engineering business from Washington State, walking back to our hotel. "Why are you here?" we asked her. "Because I'm mad as hell about our economy," she said. We met people from Texas, from Georgia, from Philadelphia, from Tennessee, from Florida, from Little Rock, Arkansas--from all over the country. Many, many of these people headed straight for a bus to take them home again when the rally ended. For them this was no picnic--hardly a "vacation." The word I heard several times was "pilgrimage." These people came because they were serious about making a statement--and they did that simply by showing up. And if the lamestream media wants to continue to ignore, trivialize, dismiss, and demonize these people, then so be it. Our voices will be heard most loudly at the ballot box come November.

Update. This is a good view of where we were standing, jammed in somewhere along this fence. You can see how we weren't going anywhere until the rally ended. This photo comes from Gateway Pundit.

Here below is my own photo of our view, up against the fence. It didn't help that a couple came about an hour before the start and jammed their way in front of me. That's the woman in the blue, practically standing on my feet. I told her that I'd been there since 6:00 a.m. and she said, "Good for you." I'm no good at confrontation, so I just tried to ignore her. She was a nasty piece of work, having nothing good to say about anything or anyone. I think most people were friendly, decent, and fair; I don't know what her problem was, but she didn't seem to like the rally much, especially every time the speakers took off on a religious theme, which was pretty often. That seemed to be reasonable payback for her rude behavior. However, it was something of a downer to have to look at this sadsack for the entire rally.

Update. The Stupids Step Out. Seriously, is it even possible that these two people are President and First Lady of the United States? Four Ivy League degrees between them, and they can't negotiate that umbrella under the gate? I thought this guy was the smartest man evah. As for the First "Lady" (the "scare quotes" seem appropriate there), what in the world is she doing here? Anyway, they're baaaack.

h/t for this photo from the commenters at Michelle Obama's Mirror's Blog
Obama as "Barry Poppins"--heh

Update #2. Here's a nice article from American Thinker: "The Media Left Thinks Beck's Rally Was Political; They're Wrong."

And of course we left the mall spotless.

Here's a wrap-up from Michelle Malkin: "The challenge: to trivialize this in order to dismiss it as irrelevant."

CBS gets the "lowball crowd figure" award: 87,000 showed up, according to these geniuses. And contrary to reports put out by the lamestream media, the Parks Service does continue to do crowd estimates, and they estimated this one at about 300,000.

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