Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Man Who Did Too Little 

Atrios and Josh Marshall are really hammering the Operation: Ignore line today, which I think is the most damning thing that can be thrown at the administration, so good on them.

I didn't go to the protest in Manhattan yesterday, as I was catching up on some much-needed sleep. Even if I wasn't an insomniac with a bad cold I'm not sure I would've gone -- the War protests have been uniformly depressing since last year. Something about the movement is stuck in, if not the '60s, at least the Clinton years. The chants (they still chant!) are ridiculous (it's hard to keep a straight face while chanting "The people, united, will never be defeated" when you realize that the sitting president, illegally elected, is lauching a war as you speak, and that the people could be as united as they want, but the bombs are still falling), the organizers and speakers use overblown rhetoric and tend to speak to the choir rather than make logical arguments, and everyone is so damn humorless (not counting their sad stabs at parody or street-theater, usually involving puppets. Honestly, the only genuinely funny protest I've seen is the Billionaires for Bush, who yelled to a crowd at a recent Karl Rove appearance, "Buy your own President!").

And this is why they get only negative attention from the press and general populace. This is why Americans, despite a near-universal belief in many of the tenants of progressive politics, hate lib'ruhls so much.

If these guys ditched their "Bush Knew" signs for "Bush Didn't Care Enough to Do Anything About It" ones, it might be more effective. If they learned how to effectively manipulate the media, if they connected with the working-class and blue collar, if they learned how to frame their arguments in sound-byte form... well, then I guess they'd become moveon.org.

Though it'd be nice to see this headline on every paper in the country. Or at least every Murdoch paper.

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