The Million Moron March

An estimated 1-2 million angry white people gathered in Washington today to protest… stuff.

Update: Missed it by that much, as Maxwell Smart used to say. ABC was falsely credited with estimating the size of the 9/12 Tea Party in Washington as 1 million to 1.5 million by Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks. Michelle Malkin then cavalierly rounded this number up to 2 million. ABC News had actually gauged the crowd at between 60-70,000. Not to suggest that these Teabaggers routinely engage in wild exaggerations or grotesque untruths…

Mark Kleiman has an especially funny take on the attendance controversy, also drawing a similar conclusion — “they’re no more careful, and therefore no more to be believed, when it comes to statements about, for example, the content of health care reform.”


22 Replies to “The Million Moron March”

  1. I love how everyone against Obama’s good-intentioned-but-historically-proven-crap plans just magically become described as “Angry White People”. Because we just “know” that black people can’t possibly be against Obama…it’s not a preconceived notion, it’s just a stereot… I, mean… “common knowledge”!

    Oh no, just look at those poor black people, they’re being forced to protest!!! Even if my whole family was at this protest, I bet the “unbiased” media would claim some idiocy like “Oh, they thought it was a ‘support Obama’ rally” 😉


    Take a good look at those pictures, 70,000 CAN’T fill a picture like that. Those of us that can visually count know that.

    Believe what you want, the facts remain regardless.

  2. Hey Reality Bites, it helps if you use credible sources for your argument. Malkin and WND? Ha ha ha. The WND cites the Daily Mail for its proof. Would you like the latest on Eastenders? The Daily Mail has that too.

    Considering every other news source seems to be reporting tens of thousands, I’d say nice try, but you cited Malkin so I won’t.

  3. *Yawn* So we get the usual canard of:

    -only lefties have a right to protest (because their cause is just)
    -when the right protests, they are “racists” or “morons”

    As for the size of the crowd, who knows. Conservatives have always held protests in small numbers, so the fact that they can gather more than 50,000 is a testament to itself.

  4. Shorter Hitfan: “Everyone is the same and there are no political differences between irrational lunatics and sane people. I’m bored. NEXT!”

    Get off the computer and go read a newspaper.

  5. hitfan: Conservatives can only protest in small numbers.

    I’d love to hear that logic in two months. “We CPC members can only vote in small numbers, so getting 20% of the vote and only 60 seats is a testament to itself…”

  6. I have not heard one statement to make even a little bit of sesne in those two clips (I trust there were very few if any in general in such gatherings). The good part is that despite the money spent by various factions to get large crowds at these no-issue protests, they fail miserably… which is in line with the expected % of people completely not in tune with even conventional reality, let alone a more profound understanding of how things truly are… it’s not that Obama’s policies takes care of the interests of most people, he does not even do that, it’s seeing how ignorance is provoking such abnormal behaviour that is… well, not really suprising…
    The small number of people, the racial composition are not even major issues here… the complete lack of a rational discourse or debate in these gatherings is what would be more beneficial to report on… in a way in which those people that participated can begin to see how lunatic their behaviour is, not one in which we put them in a loonie corner, that will not help but exacerbate their feeling of separateness…

  7. “So we get the usual canard”

    “usual canard”, indeed. do go pound all that straw up your ass.

    btw, the frequency with which i’ve been called “nigger” (no, i do not have the honor of that distinction) on the internets has seen a severe up-turn since obama took office. “wigger” is also charting well.


  8. RB — I know the description “angry white people” infuriates so-called conservatives, but the fact of the matter is that the protesters are:

    1) angry (about a variety of things); and

    2) 99% white (take a look at all of the photos and footage available — you’ll be hard pressed to find much ethnic diversity in the crowds — an estimate of 1 in a 100 black participants isn’t unreasonable).

    So, while you might find that statement to be an unfair characterization, I would argue that it’s factually indisputable.

    Reality bites, as they say. 😉

  9. The whole counting of crowds in Washington is such a canard anyway, and as with all political posturing, the powers that be at any given time spin it to great effect.

    I lived in Washington for 10 years, and routinely saw the crowds for protests – both in the city and on the mall (though I didn’t check out each one for certain).

    You could get a sense of how many attend in so many different ways – hotels, metro riding counts, etc, etc. Yet everyone always pegs it on that one tidbit count from news reporters.

    There was a long period of time where the Parks Service used to provide a “semi-official” count, but that stopped in the 90s. Ironically, what hastened that was the fact that they were widely panned for vastly under-estimating the crowds at the ’93 Gay and Lesbian March on Washington. I had attended it while living in the midwest at the time. Yes, I was an attendee so people may claim bias, but I can honestly say I never saw so many people in Washington at one time for any single protest event. Hotels were booked all over the city and well into Maryland and Virginia. The metro was overrun all day, The multi-block parade route that was a big part of the event had folks starting even as the initial marchers were still waiting to start.

    In the middle of the day, as the parade was in full force snaking through the city streets downtown, the Park Service decided to release their count (OF the grassy MALL!) and pegged it at 300,000. That meant of course that the 300,000 were protest participants who WEREN’T marching in the huge parade. It was actually somewhat of an embarrassment for them, as news agencies immediately began reporting that fact and pointing out that hotel representatives throughout the city said they had never seen so many people overflowing the city for an event, saying it rivaled and surpassed even some of the largest inauguration celebrations.

    Personally, I can honestly say I’ve never felt so much a part of a “crowd.” I was there for 3 days, and not once at any time of day did I walk anywhere without feeling like I was moving in a crowd. I couldn’t even get into a metro stop at one point because the crowds were so big – and that never happened during the entire decade I lived there. I have photos on the mall where I’m standing near the Washington monument and you can see crowds all the way to the Capitol on the other end. and down towards the Lincoln Memorial nearly a half mile in the opposite direction.

    Yet to this day, if you look up “data” on the event, you’ll always see this reference to “300,000” people attending the protest. It is part of the “official” record forever, though typically with a footnote that there are “disputes” about the actual number of attendees.

    Sorry to babble, but it is a memory that has stuck with me and probably shaped my young political mind more than I realized at the time . . . being a part of something so big and realizing how it was being manipulated even as the event was still unfolding.

    Strangely, I see these people yesterday and hope they do become a bit more engaged – in a real way. It’s sort of sad to see some 50 year old man saying “I’ve never done anything like this in my life.”

    I may disagree with them on almost every point – and I do. But it is democracy, and it still makes me feel sorta good in a way. Not the manipulation and misinformation and real hatred in some of their eyes and messages. But the ones who seem sincere and awakened. Well, for them, I hope being awakened means they are prompted to seek a real understanding of the issues that spurred them to action. Maybe some good can come from that.

    Oh, and btw, I saw the photos and news accounts. They may have had tens of thousands, but I’ve seen concerts on the mall that attracted more people than the images and video accounts I saw. If I were there in person, I’d be in a better position to judge. I got pretty good at it when I lived there ;).

  10. Joseph: related to the “Shorter Ignatieff” thread (you are probably not checking it anymore but this in reply to your last clarification there):

    Joseph: OK, I understand your concern (seems to be gut feel more than anything) but how do you arrive at this conclusion that running as a Coalition will give Harper a majority? Please explain the logic behind it and if you also have some kind of empirical data to supports some of your assumptions, that would be help too.

    Running the right candidate in each riding (and there will be only a few on which the three parties will have a more serious dicussion as to whom shoulod represent the Coalition) should overcome the ~ 30-35% of convinced Conservatives in most of them (even in some ridings in Alberta)… so do you honestly think that Harper will be able to spin cooperation so negatively that people will forgo voting their natural inclination and run towards somebody that made it pretty clear would be very dangerous if given a majority? Or is it something else that talks to how lame (and quite often regressive as far as what they supported in the past 2-3 years) the Liberal party has become and a concern that a successful Coalition may embolden the NDP and the BQ? In which case, it would be pretty darn selfish…

    September 12, 2009 at 8:34 am … and I would defnitely invite the Greens to be a part of the Coalition too, they deserve at least a few seats in the Parliament and this could be a great start… May is a breath of fresh air in that company, she did seem one of the most sane ones in last year’s leaders’ debate…

  11. iciu,

    I certainly don’t have empirical evidence, but here’s a very quick response. We could probably have a much better conversation at some point or if we ever met. I can say I’d be interested in hearing how you think it could come about.

    If the idea was really that one candidate representing the coalition was run in each riding that could work. But that’s not how I saw it working out. It certainly didn’t seem like the parties were merging, which seems to imply they’d run separate candidates yet somehow be agreeing those elected would work together.

    That just seems like a big target to me.

    What you are proposing is an actual unification of the parties, at least that ‘s how it sounds to me.

    How exactly do you see that happening? It just seems far to pie in the sky for me to consider it as a real possibility.

    And the other possibility which is to run with the promise of acting as a coalition after the election just seems like far too big a target for Harper to hammer at all election.

    At the end of the day, I think Canada has strengths in having a variety of parties, though it presents challenges. I’m not sure I would advocate a 2-party system, which is where I think you end up if you start getting a full left / right divide.

    I just don’t see the parties forming a “coalition candidacy” for each riding, and I’m not sure I’d want to see it even if I thought it was feasible.

    You obviously believe it’s possible, but to me it just sounds like a fantasy.

  12. RT: sorry for deviating from the topic, it’s only so much we can talk about somebody elses’ morons…
    Joseph: to be honest, it did not even cross my mind that if they do not try the same Coalition tactic from last year (and honestly, I don’t think Michaelle is going to have the guts to give Harper another free pass) and they do get to another election, they would still run with no common strategy and just with the promise of another Coalition, I can see how that could backfire big time with some scare tactics from the Conservative side (not quite convinced we are as gullible as our southern neighbours but you never know).

    I don’t see this as a unification of the left and a disapearance of the NDP, BQ and the Greens, I don’t see that possible here, nor desirable… I am not sure the BQ would support electoral reform as they would surely lose some seats… so, worst case scenario, The Liberals, NDP and Greens could run a single candidate under their original party banner (even if it’s associated with the Coalition) based on what makes sense in various ridings (I would give at least 4-5 seats to the Greens but for exceptional individual candidates)… this would effectively kill the Conservative aspirations of governance for the next 4 years and in that time, the Coalition could put Canada back on a more progressive track and take it from there as to how they want to run afterwards… on future elections, even if they run separately, all they need to do is talk to the GG right after election day and advise they are ready to form another coalition government… the reality is that in Canada, with a decent electoral system in place, we would likely have mostly coalition governments that could learn to work together in a cooperative manner and with an inclusive attitude, most common people that vore conservative are doing it out of ignorance (yes, in my opinion), nothing much ever truly good for them came out of Conservative rule, especially a majority one…

  13. … as much as it may sound idealisitc, I think we need to start somewhere with a different strategy and view… doing the same thing (like the Liberals seem to be bent to do now) and expecting a different outcome is one of the reasonable definitions for insanity so then… why the hell do we try it again, just because we are slaves to our habots and preconceived ideas and we don’t know better?…

  14. habits… afflictions… deep seated ignorance… confusing appearance for reality… mixing and confusing the absolute with the relative… having a false sense of things and idea being fixed and permanent and with some sort of inherent existence…
    if not now and not us, then whom and when?… we’ll change after everybody else changes first?…

  15. sapphireandsteel, an msnbc reporter reported “hundredS of thousands”. That’s a pretty big concession for a channel that has been on Barrack’s nuts since day one.
    It may not be millions, but it’s a damn sight bigger than “70,000”.
    Add to that, most news source never actually said WHEN that estimate was made.

    Notice how they say “tens of thousands” for the >picture<, not for the entire procession.
    You want a credible source, how about your eyes? Tens of thousands can't fill overhead pics like that 😉

    redtory, the key word there is "available"
    Here's some raw uncut footage,

    again, more black people (and a latino!). It is also
    COMPLETELY unrealistic to think there was going to be a sea of minorities.

    It shows clear bias to put the description of the procession as "angry white people", because you're devaluing the opinions of all the other races involved. That's discrimination, something liberals claim to champion against (before anyone assumes, I'm an independent). It doesn't matter what your explanation for the discrimination is, that's exactly what it is. No offense, but who the hell are you to claim that my opinion doesn't matter, just because I don't fit the social narrative of "all black people love and support Obama"? Not saying you're a racist, just that you're promoting a mindset that is actually contradictory to anti-discrimination (which, for the most part, is an oxymoron). 😉

    Even if every Black person in the US was in support of him, that would only be a 13% approval rating, which means support or not, we aren't the reason he got voted in. 😉

    I find it funny that people still defend Obama with a fanboy-like fervor, even as he increasingly turns his back on them:

    Take a look at the broken/stalled ones, those were some pretty big campaign promises (like incentives for more jobs and closing Guantanamo). So far, he's mostly passed bills that cause more government intervention and more spending. If you guys really think Bush was bad with money, take into account that Obama has spent in 100 days near the same as Bush did over EIGHT YEARS!
    And with projected deficits like this, expect the US's international worth to drop even more than in the Bush years:

    I also find it interesting that people here will look to ABC and the like for negating articles about anti-Obama groups, yet they get a bad case of amnesia the second those same outlets are against an Obama plan.

    Anyone remember this 20/20?

    No? Oh I get it, they're only "credible" when Obama is made to look like a diamond-farting wunderkind! Gotcha! 🙂

    Here's a collection of news articles chronicling the "wonders" of universal health care, from multiple countries:

    If you want some REAL improvement on American health care system (for quality AND cost), push for this type of care,

    Not care from government, which has proven itself a failure at handling anything regarding your money (Social Security) and your health (We already have government-run health care, it's called Medicaid, and it's utter shit).

    Hell, Hawaii tried it already and shut it down after 7 months

    I would apologize for getting a bit off-topic, but Obama tried to overshadow the march with his healthcare speech, so it kinda relates.

  16. novagardener

    Fuck’n idiots. Amazes me how so many people protest/vote against their own self-interests.

    Indeed. A bunch of retirees on Social Security and Medicare decrying government “intrusion” on their lives.

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