Crisp, cool crowded, sunny funny day
OK, underwhelming after a week of hype. I would say there are 60,000 people out there shuffling along the walkways to see at a great distance two specs, Jon and Steven. It is much better on television.
There truly is no significance to this event other than to have a good time. Americans deserve that.
Sarcasm and jaded behavior are expected from a disappointing political performance by a lethargic Democratic Congress that finds it easier to make promises than to deliver “change we can believe in.”
President Obama made promises that he alone could not possibly keep given the circumstances. Yet, progress has been made, calamity and complete collapse avoided. It is hard to get back into the game when you have been so beaten down, but the American public perseveres.
The people who made it to the National Mall today have jobs. They are among the “elite.” They have cable TV and can watch Comedy Central.
American Government, by contrast, has never been so taxed by demanding circumstances and desperately needed reform and reengineering to fix systemic errors. I don’t think voters grasp the magnitude and difficulty of the task.
You can’t address systemic problems by tinkering and constantly changing the team. One thing I see in President Obama is seriousness about the responsibility. Jimmy Carter had that seriousness as did Bill Clinton. They keep working at it while some of the population snipes and beefs.
In the end, the nation will only get better when people pull together as one team, on people, addressing our common needs for security and health. Everything else is a luxury.
“Stewart, Colbert Set to Hold 'Non-Political' Rally in Washington Ahead of Midterms
Published October 30, 2010
In this Oct. 2, 2010 file photo, Stephen Colbert, left, and Jon Stewart appear on stage at Comedy Central's 'Night Of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert For Autism Education' at the Beacon Theatre in New York.
WASHINGTON -- A "sanity" rally blending laughs and political activism drew thousands to the National Mall on Saturday, with comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert casting themselves as the unlikely maestros of moderation and civility in polarized times.
Organizers insisted the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, just days before the congressional elections Tuesday, wasn't about politics. Still, supporters and left-leaning advocacy groups hoped it would rekindle some of the voter enthusiasm for Democrats seen in 2008, particularly among young adults.
Festive crowds swarmed on to the mall hours in advance, stickers and signs reflecting the call for people to chill out. "Vote sanity," stickers said. Slogans urged "relax."
But also: "Righties, don't stomp on my head," a reference to a Republican rally in Kentucky at which a liberal activist was pulled to the ground and stepped on.
Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show," is popular especially with Democrats and independents, a Pew Research Center poll found. Colbert of "The Colbert Report" poses as an ultraconservative, and the stage Saturday was stacked with entertainers associated with Democratic causes or President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign.
Even so, Stewart said the day was about toning down anger and partisan division. "Shouting is annoying, counterproductive and terrible for your throat," he said on his website.
The list of entertainers included musicians Sheryl Crow and The Roots. Actor Sam Waterston and Don Novello, who years ago played Father Guido Sarducci on "Saturday Night Live," were also expected to appear.
The rally generated extensive buzz on the Internet, with more than 226,000 people on a Facebook page created for the event saying they would attend. The liberal Huffington Post was sending a caravan of 10,000 people on 200 buses from New York, while Oprah Winfrey expressed her support by providing travel expenses to a "Daily Show" studio audience of about 200 members so that they could attend.
Comedy Central's park permit puts the crowd estimate at 60,000. There were plans for satellite rallies in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and Honolulu.”