13 Sep 2009

Estimated Two Million Demonstrate in DC

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Yesterday’s mass protest against federal spending was estimated by the comparatively neutral Daily Mail as made up of “up to two million.”* US Parks and Recreation estimated 1.5 million.

All this was not even front page news for the New York Times, for whom the numbers involved dwindled to mere “thousands.” The Washington Post more generously acknowledged “tens of thousands.”

The astonishing demonstration of massive popular opposition to socialism naturally proved a problem for the left’s commentariat. The preferred discounting technique was demonstrated by Think Progress: point to Confederate flags, identify expressions of opposition to Barack Obama as “racism,” describe open expressions of conservatism as “offensive” and “radical.”

Glenn Greenwald at Salon dismisses all opposition to Obama as illegitimate, coming from people with heretical and unacceptible views, worthy only of contempt and dismissal.

What I find amusing is the leftist Greenwald’s claim to proprietorship of “the country’s core founding values.” Since when was the left in favor of the framer’s republic of federalism, individual rights, personal responsibility, and limited government?

Nothing that the GOP is doing to Obama should be the slightest bit surprising because this is the true face of the American Right — and that’s been true for a very long time now. It didn’t just become true in the last few months or in the last two years. Recent months is just the time period when the media began noticing and acknowledging what they are: a pack of crazed, primitive radicals who don’t really believe in the country’s core founding values and don’t merely disagree with, but contest the legitimacy of, any elected political officials who aren’t part of their movement. Before the last year or so, the media pretended that this was a serious, adult, substantive political movement, but it wasn’t any truer then than it is now. All one has to do is review their behavior during the Clinton presidency — to say nothing of the Bush years — to see that none of this is remotely new. Nothing they’re doing to Obama is a break from their past behavior; it’s just a natural and totally predictable continuation of it.

UPDATE 23 Feb 2010: The Daily Mail, at some point subsequent to this posting, revised the estimate in its article downward to “As many as one million people.” The original estimated figure was also cited here.

ABC News also denied having made a 1M to 1.5M estimate.

Michelle Malkin sheds more light on the numbers controversy.

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