Monday, August 30, 2010

Gasp! Is someone on the Left going to demonstrate in Washington, DC?

After months of tiny-to-smallish Tea Party gatherings garnering lots of press, it finally seems to have dawned on someone from the Left that they can march in Washington, DC as well. Barack Obama's Organizing for America supposedly has millions of members, but Obama never called for a public demonstration in Washington, DC in support of his policies.

But now an organization calling itself "One Nation Working Together" is calling for a demonstration on Saturday October 2, 2010 in the nation's capital. It will be interesting to see if they can manage substantially more than the 50,000 to 90,000 that the two "big" conservative rallies sponsored by Glenn Beck managed to pull in.

The main sponsors behind this march are labor unions, and as far as I know there isn't a major media corporation giving it endless free advertising, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.


Citizen Tom said...

Are the numbers you use for determining the size of a demonstration as whimsical as your reasons for rejecting a comment? It seems that way to me. I was the biggest of the Tea Party events in DC, and you are way off.

However, I see little point in debating the matter. Who can put together the biggest demonstrations? The people who want to know do know, whatever they say.

What counts is how people vote. That is the Tea Party where the count matters, and that count we have to keep honest and accurate.

Have you noticed which political party supports voter ID?

J.C. Wilmore said...

The numbers I quote are:

1) 50,000 is the low end estimate for Glenn Beck's 9/12 rally last year. The high end is 75,000, so 9/12 drew between 50,000 and 75,000.

2) 90,000 was the high end for his 8/28 event this year, which drew between 85,000 and 90,000, with 87,000 being the number most often quoted--a number produced by a company hired by CBS News to actually count the crowd.

You saying I am way off doesn't alter the reality that these events each drew between 50,000 and 90,000 people.

It will be nice to see at least one, token demonstration from the Left. President Obama probably could have called out a couple of million people to respond to the 9/12 rally, had he chosen to. Now I doubt he could draw 250,000 on the strength of his own name. The Democrats have allowed themselves to be intimidated and cowed by these relatively small crowds of protesters without ever bothering to call out their own supporters.

In the end though, you are correct that the only poll that matters is the one taken on election day. If Democrats don't do something to reverse the trend, they will be hit hard this year. But my conscience on that score is clear: I've called for much more than Democratic electeds were willing to deliver--if they are defeated it is their fault, not the fault of progressives like myself.

And as for the issue of voter ID, which you toss in so casually at the end. You claim the Right has a superior position on IDing voters, yet the Right opposes National ID cards which would make fraudulent voting and illegal immigration both more difficult. I already carry my passport to jobs to fill out the necessary paperwork because it takes the place of the "two forms of ID" required. Why can't we all carry the equivalent of a passport--both for voting and work verification?

Citizen Tom said...

JC - Before you start trying change it, would you please take some time to figure out how the system is suppose to work?

Every problem could have a national solution, but our Constitution chartered a republic of republics. To restrain our leaders, we divide power. That includes splitting power between the local, the state, and the federal governments.

ID cards are not the problem. The issue is who issues them. Should that be the Federal Government? Voting is managed at the local level. Identification requirements have generally been managed at the state level.

Is a federation inefficient? Is that what bothers you? When the alternative is an efficient tyranny, we have no choice except to consider the tradeoffs, and that is exactly what the Founders did do.

J.C. Wilmore said...

As long as local governments continue to issue government IDs to illegals, we will have a problem with illegal aliens: including illegal aliens voting. So all your talk about the Right being better for checking voter ID is really double talk. The people the Right is trying to prevent from voting are the American poor and the American minorities.

Right wingers want government to be inefficient so they can disobey the law and get away with it. Labor laws, environmental laws, and laws that prevent illegal aliens from taking Americans' jobs.

Regardless of government size, government must be effective. That's the real rub. So called conservatives don't mind if government is big--after all, that's where the juicy earmarks and pork come from--they just don't want the government to be able to prosecute them for corruption when they cheat on their government contracts.

Citizen Tom said...

JC - As I said, I am not going to debate your rally numbers. I have seen how the news media covers these things. It reeeeeeeks of rampant bias (similar to your own). So we could never agree which numbers to use.

I am also not going to debate the status of your conscious. That is between you and God. All I know is what the Democrats have been doing is unethical. So if I did not oppose their policies, my conscious would condemn me.

Voter ID, on the other hand, is worthy of debate. Undoubtedly you are familiar with the system of checks and balances within the structure of the Federal government. Our republic of republics also created a system of checks and balances, and voter ID provides an example. In Article IV, Section 4, the Founders made in clear that it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to "guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." Whether the Founders thought that responsibility included protecting the right to vote, we can debate. However, the 14th Amendment ended the need for such a debate. The 14th Amendment guarantees each citizen "the equal protection of the laws."

If the Federal government can act to make certain every citizen has the right to vote, then it can also act to guarantee every state makes a reasonable effort to protect the accuracy of the vote count. That is, if a state is letting people vote without making any serious effort to check whether they have the right to vote, that state should find itself in a Federal court.

The point? The Federal government has no business trying to run our voting system. If it did run our voting system, we would have not court where we could voice our complaints. When we obviously do not have to do so, why would we want to trust the same people to both regulate and run electoral system? Such a situation would create a conflict of interest, the very sort of thing history suggests we should avoid.