Wednesday, February 18, 2009


From my college days protesting Jimmy Carter's revival of draft registration (still in place) to the days of early 2003 when I joined the crowds in the frigid streets of New York to demand an end to plans for a war in Iraq (still going on), I've gone to a fair number of demonstrations -- all of which seem, in retrospect, to have been utterly futile. Demos and marches may have had a real effect on American politics a couple of generations ago (while also generating a nasty backlash), but now they influence no one and barely make the papers.

So if the right embracing this utterly futile tactic, I couldn't be happier. We post-Vietnam era lefties have spent nearly forty years trying to build our own version of the glory days of progressive street protest -- if you guys want to try it, if this is your comeback plan, I say go for it.

I'm writing this in response to anti-stimulus demonstrations that brought hundreds (hundreds!) of people out into the streets in Denver and Seattle. I see from Michelle Malkin's write-up of the Denver demo that the right has adopted many of the least effective tactics of the left -- the live prop pig, for instance:

(Good one, righties -- having a mock candidate for president who was actually a pig worked out so well for the Yippies and the left in 1968, didn't it?)

Making sure that people in the crowd, especially behind the speakers, are confusing the message with slogans that are completely unrelated to the subject of the demonstration -- that's another popular lefty tactic I see the right is adopting:

And are the demonstrators operating on assumptions that are completely different from those of average Americans, a fact they seem incapable of grasping? Perhaps. Here's my favorite Seattle demonstrator:

And they don't seem to understand that most of us are not curling up at the end of a long day with Rand or Hayek:

Really, guys, keep this up. Go for lie-ins and die-ins and teach-ins. Use big puppets. That's what we did for decades, and look how much power we had from, oh, about 1980 to now.

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