Conspiracy

Reason Writers Around Town: Matt Welch in the New York Post on the 9/12 Protests

|

Over at America's greatest tabloid, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch writes about the gulf between the 9/12 protest and how it's already being portrayed, and argues that regardless of crowd-number debates, the president has a very real problem on his hands with the anti-big-government backlash. Sample:

How do you marginalize a significant protest against a politician or policy you sup port? Lowball the numbers, then dismiss participants as deranged and possibly dangerous kooks. In the case of Saturday's massive 9/12 protest in Washington, done and done.

"Small protest," popular lefty blogger Josh Marshall reported from his armchair, as an overflow crowd (at least 100,000, by my rough, unscientific estimate) filled the 1.5 miles between the south White House and the US Capitol, spilling out all over the National Mall and even down the street to Union Station.

The Center for American Progress, whose president headed up the new administration's transition team, warned that the rally was marred by signs that "were often racist, radical portrayals of Obama." Among the dozen or so pieces of evidence? A placard claiming, "Ayn Rand is right," and one of President Obama with the caption, "When his lips move . . . he's lying."

If calling the commander-in-chief a liar is the new racism, then Americans have been boiling in hate since long before we, uh, overwhelmingly elected a black president.

Read the whole thing here.

Advertisement

NEXT: A Shocking Development

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This article is obviously racist.

  2. The ‘small number of wackos’ seems to be carrying the day. At least in the MSM. So maybe the MSM isn’t so MS.

    At least it gave me some hope for change.

  3. The Center for American Progress, whose president headed up the new administration’s transition team, warned that the rally was marred by signs that “were often racist, radical portrayals of Obama.”

    I wonder what he would do if a bunch of people showed up with signs that actually are racist. Probably shit his pants on the spot.

  4. Thank you very much. I am wonderring if I can share your article in the bookmarks of society,Then more friends can talk about this problem.

  5. signs that “were often racist, radical portrayals of Obama.”

    I’ll take the “racist” thing seriously when somebody manages
    to burn a cross on the White House lawn.

  6. “Some people just can’t believe a black man man who owns a dog named Bo is president and will never accept it,” The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd wrote this weekend.

    This sort of portrayal of “some people” who object to Obama’s policies is truly racist.

  7. It’s hysterical that there’s no way these dipshit liberals can grasp that the problem isn’t Obama’s skin color, it’s the fact that we honestly believe that he’s leading this nation down the road to hell and is expecting us to thank him for the ride. I don’t give a shit what color Obama is, I know he’s a radical liberal with extremely radically liberal advisors in key position and that’s more than enough reason for me to protest him and everything he does.

  8. Maureen Dowd is the true racist – she can’t seem to think in any terms other than race when thinking of the President.

  9. This morning’s Express (WashPost Tabloid) had an article talking how amazing it was that these clearly rabid racist protesters somehow avoided violent clashes with the Black Family Reunion that was on Sunday.

  10. They haven’t convinced anyone of their case. They are asking people to believe that they can provide insurance to the uninsured without raising the deficit or cutting benefits to those who have insurance now. And they are expecting people to believe that providing a new government health insurance program is the way to get the economy out of the recession.

    They only have one card to play; racism. And they are going to pile drive it into the ground.

  11. No, CoyoteBlue, the Black Family Reunion was down on the Mall Saturday and Sunday. I spoke to a very nice gentleman on the Metro on Saturday morning who was on his way in. They had a Charlie Wilson concert. Which is not to say that it was all that surprising that they managed to coexist (it wasn’t) but you’re wrong about the timing of the events.

    I’d estimate, from having to navigate the crowds in the Metro, that the crowd was 150,000. Maybe more than that (hard to say given all the work) but nowhere near the 1-2 million people that Michelle Malkin and the other organizers were crowing about. And the clearly insanely overblown numbers are what caused the war over populations to explode in the first place.

    Also, if you’re a protester, please try not to be rude to the DC native who’s trying to point out that you’re on the wrong train? And don’t respond to a polite inquiry about how the protest went with a 5 minute tirade about how Obama was born in Kenya. The latter happened on a couple of occasions. The former only once, but it really only takes one time to make the idea of helping tourists out seem like more trouble than it’s worth.

  12. Your estimate is low Shem. This gives a couple of good analysis that peg it at anywhere from a low of 240K to a high of 500K. It seems likely it was 350 to 400K.

    http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=21884

  13. “And don’t respond to a polite inquiry about how the protest went with a 5 minute tirade about how Obama was born in Kenya. The latter happened on a couple of occasions.”

    I call Shenanigans. I seriously doubt two of the three people you asked about the protest went on a birther tirad. Bullshit. First, by every account only a small percentage of the protestors were birthers. Second, even if you did happen to find the odd birther, it seems pretty unlikly that they would immediately go on a “five minute tirad” to a complete stranger asking a simple question. I think you made that up.

  14. The latter happened on a couple of occasions.

    No, it didn’t.

  15. One other thing, I didn’t go down for the protest, but I did ride through the mall Sunday. You would never know there had been a protest. It is amazing how neat they left the place. This is in great contrast to the innauguration, which looked like a frozen garbage pit the next day.

  16. John- I’ve lived here for several years, and seen protests and events ranging in size from tens of thousands to the Obama inauguration. If this had been a normal day on the mass transit systems, I could buy 3-400,000, but it wasn’t; there was work on three separate lines, each one a major arterial to get people out of the city quickly. Things were slowed down (most of the lines were running every 12-20 minutes, about twice the time that the run on an average Saturday) but the crowds didn’t grow to the size that 400,000 would suggest. Since the only ways into the city are metro or driving in, and since there’s no way those people drove in, the lack of commensurate crowds on the metro suggest that the crowds weren’t *that* big. Maybe 250,000 people. I wouldn’t go much higher, and my tendency is to go lower.

    Second, as for the people going on tirades, it wasn’t two out of three, it was one out of around a dozen or so, with another three alluding to it to varying degrees, with the other ones not mentioning it. I chat with touristy looking people on the Metro. Music and standing while in motion aren’t good for my stomach. And no, “every account” didn’t list almost no birthers. In fact, most of the accounts discuss encounters with birthers at length, just not the ones that you’re reading.

  17. Another great article by Matt; but again it’s too bad he doesn’t publish these in an outlet that caters to more than just conservatives.

  18. Also, if you’re a protester, please try not to be rude to the DC native who’s trying to point out that you’re on the wrong train?

    When I was much younger, and had much less patience with stupidity than I do now, I would routinely tell the tourists who would ask me which train to take to get to the Mall or the Smithsonian to take the green line and get off at the Anacostia station. I figured (and still do, to an extent) that if they were that fucking dumb, they deserved what they got.

    But yeah, bedrock rule of traveling. Don’t hassle the natives when they’re trying to help.

  19. “In fact, most of the accounts discuss encounters with birthers at length, just not the ones that you’re reading.”

    I read the ones of the people who are actually there and not looking to slime the people. I am sorry I don’t believe you. Even if you did find two people who went on a birther tired, which I doubt, it had to have been because you were looking for such people.

    Further, in the comments section of every blog covering this, there is a list of lefties talking down the numbers and talking up the birthers. It pretty clear the nut roots sent out their talking points and their people out to lie about the march. Sure enough, you show up to exactly that. Sorry, but I am not buying it.

    As far as the numbers go, the link I gave gave two different pretty systematic ways to judge the crowd. And they both put it well above 150. That is a lot more credible than your “I have seen these things before” bullshit.

  20. I have lived in Washington for years and been in and out of the city for well over a decade. I have never had a tourist be rude to me. Never. I have never had anyone be anything but gracious when I helped them out with directions. I don’t see how you two guys have so many problems.

  21. When I was much younger, and had much less patience with stupidity than I do now, I would routinely tell the tourists who would ask me which train to take to get to the Mall or the Smithsonian to take the green line and get off at the Anacostia station.

    That could get somebody killed at the wrong time of night.

  22. Sure enough, you show up to exactly that. Sorry, but I am not buying it.

    Yeah, I’ve been reading the blog since 2002, and posting here off and on since 2003 (google my name with a site search for Hit and Run if you doubt it), but I showed up here just to spread disinformation.

    I have never had a tourist be rude to me. Never. I have never had anyone be anything but gracious when I helped them out with directions. I don’t see how you two guys have so many problems.

    Protesters aren’t tourists, protesters are protesters, and with the exception of being slightly more clueless about public transit and other city-type things, conservatives aren’t any worse, better, or different than liberal ones. They all treat the city and the people in it like it’s some kind of tourist trap like Colonial Williamsburg rather than a city that people actually have to live and work in. It’s just a stage for them to play out their dramas on. Some of us don’t respond well to being expected to play a role in their little games. One day I’ll be able to move out of this city, and every time I see a protest, I’ll remember all the reasons this city was interminable.

  23. and the racism meme continues. in today’s Wash Post:
    “Anti-Obama Protests Called Racist”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/13/AR2009091302538.html

  24. “One day I’ll be able to move out of this city, and every time I see a protest, I’ll remember all the reasons this city was interminable.”

    Perhaps your pleasent attitude is what causes tourists to be so rude to you. Unless you move somehwere so shitty no one wants to visit, whereever you go, there will still be tourists to bitch about.

    I have never had a bad experience with either tourists or protestors. I walked across the mall during the million man march (I am a white guy) just to see it and everyone was very nice. I worked during the entire innauguration and got caught in the throngs coming out of the city and never had a problem. Maybe I am just lucky, but I have had a totally different experience than you do.

  25. Again, I’ve never had problems with tourists, either. They’re always happy for the assistance. Actually, its nice to see someone obviously happy and not trying to force it down or hide it in the city for a change. It’s protesters that always seem to have the sense of entitlement.

  26. I have never had anyone be anything but gracious when I helped them out with directions. I don’t see how you two guys have so many problems.

    I don’t have a problem with them being rude. I have a problem with them being morons. Which exit for the Smithsonian? I dunno, sparky, maybe the one marked SMITHSONIAN? Besides, asking teenagers for directions is never the smart move.

    That could get somebody killed at the wrong time of night.

    Tourists aren’t usually out that late looking for the Mall.

  27. I can’t stand Obama and find his supporters annoying as hell. But, I was a part of the security for the Innauguration and was in the crowd a fair amount. I honestly say every person I interacted with was really nice. Seriously. I wasn’t happy about Obama winning, but I can’t say a bad thing about the people who showed up at the inauguration.

  28. Unless you move somehwere so shitty no one wants to visit, whereever you go, there will still be tourists to bitch about.

    My city probably has the lowest tourist-to-resident ratio on the continent. (It’s not shitty, but has a reputation for being marvelously dull.) Huzzah!

  29. Yeah, but the inauguration is only a protest if the 4th of July is also a protest. Which is to say it isn’t. It was a celebration. A big party. Of course people were happy there. A protest is a very different animal. Something about going out and standing in the streets convinces people that they’re fighting some holy crusade (rather than serving as a pressure release valve so that politicians don’t actually ever feel threatened that they’re actually doing) and their behavior seems to change accordingly.

  30. One other thing, I didn’t go down for the protest, but I did ride through the mall Sunday. You would never know there had been a protest. It is amazing how neat they left the place. This is in great contrast to the inauguration, which looked like a frozen garbage pit the next day.

    In an earlier thread, a cutesy libtard provided this pic of what he tried to pass off as the Obama Inauguration. I have seen that image before. It is the ChiCom Red Army swarming across the 38th parallel during the Korean War. Nice try, but we know better.

  31. In an earlier thread, a cutesy libtard provided this pic of what he tried to pass off as the Obama Inauguration. I have seen that image before.

    What is this, non sequitur day? The pictures of the actual Mall covered with actual trash after the actual Obama inauguration are well known. Why throw out this red herring unless you are trying to change the subject?

  32. You would never know there had been a protest. It is amazing how neat they left the place.

    Just our little way of sticking it to the man! 😉

  33. Why throw out this red herring unless you are trying to change the subject?

    Secondes! Throw out some pink snapper!

  34. er, Secondes Seconded

  35. R C Dean | September 14, 2009, 12:42pm | #
    In an earlier thread, a cutesy libtard provided this pic of what he tried to pass off as the Obama Inauguration. I have seen that image before.

    What is this, non sequitur day? The pictures of the actual Mall covered with actual trash after the actual Obama inauguration are well known. Why throw out this red herring unless you are trying to change the subject?

    Love you Dean, but that Fokker just flew right past your head. I was comparing the liberals who gathered for the Obama Inauguration to a horde of Mao’s ChiComs. The pic wasn’t of trash of the non human sort.

  36. alan,

    Not pink snapperish enough. Try a little harder please 😉

  37. My side is tidier than your side!

  38. They only have one card to play; racism. And they are going to pile drive it into the ground.

    Well, I have seen another card played a lot more than the race card: If you question the health care reform plan, you don’t care that people are dying.

  39. I’m getting tired of people playing the race card card.

    I doubt there is a serious fire-breathing racist in Congress or on cable news (except Pat Buchanan). But they are speaking to masses of average Americans some of whom are fire-breathing racists.

  40. Tony

    Pat Buchanan may be parochial and provincial. but he is hardly a racist, let alone a fire-breathing one.

    Diehard racists in America today are about as plentiful as pedophiles and just about as respectable too.

    There is a huge range of difference between the guy who joins the Klan and wants to organize a lynch mob every Friday night and the suburban guy who reluctantly admits he might be uncomfortable with his daughter marrying a black guy.

    You broaden the definition enough and everyone fits it. Then it becomes simply meaningless.

  41. But I do agree that “playing the race card card” is getting old.

    But playing the race card got old first.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.