Saturday in D.C., as you may have heard, saw a reversal of sorts. A hotly-disputed number (we average those crowd estimates at 20,000) of middle-aged white conservatives of all stripes, armed with digital cameras, took to their lawn chairs on the National Mall to protest a grab bag of issues. Some of the issues drawing their ire-health care, card check-were relevant to the current conversation. Others, like D.C.'s now defunct gun ban and Barack Obama's place of birth, were nothing of the sort. So, in many ways, conservatives now find themselves in the same hopeless position as did liberals circa 2003, with a critical core of dissent energizing a nonsensical, incoherent coalition of aggrieved parties with little to put on the table and a whole lot of bile to spill. But to step all the way back: unlike 2003, when the aggravating factor was clearly the preemptive invasion of Iraq, one has to reserve doubt that the mob is truly animated by the policy prescriptions encased in H.R. 3200.
One of the most common images carried at the protest was that haunting work of art that first appeared on a wall in Los Angeles, depicting Obama as the Joker. To them, he is the nemesis of our society, but he isn't using gasoline and gunpowder to tear the country apart. These people love gunpowder and certainly think gasoline is more valuable than air. He is destroying America with everything from urbanism to international multiculturalism, tolerance, diversity and intellectualism. He is the antithesis to Palin's "Real America" and these people are out to take it back. My favorite poster: a slight waif of a girl, not yet old enough to know what a pre-existing condition is. carried a homemade sign depicting the Powerpuff Girls that read "We Must Save America."
There were a lot of people on the mall that day, but in the two hours I spent out there, in a city where the majority of the population is black, I saw but one person of color, an Asian woman. In the era of Reagan, this was the silent majority; now it's the shrinking minority. Latinos certainly aren't going to appreciate the signs that read "I don't want to press 1 for English." I don't think there's a black person out there whose breath doesn't seize up when he reads "Bury Obamacare with Kennedy". For a movement to succeed it must attract, not repel.
How long ago was it that a black woman would be denied entrance to a whites-only restroom? Well, at one point in the afternoon, a white woman wearing a shirt that said "Kill Fags," which appeared to be a homemade silkscreen job, felt a similar call of nature. At the door of [A LOCAL SPORTS BAR], she met Matt [LAST NAME REDACTED], one of the bar's managers. He told her that she could not use the restroom.
"So you're refusing?" she asked.
"Yes," Matt said. "There's no public option here."
"Bastard," she said.
"I can do you one better," Matt said. "I suck cock."
He then put his tongue in his cheek and cupped his hand, moving it back and forth in front of his mouth in the internationally-recognized gesture for fellatio.
"I'm one of those," he said, pointing at her shirt. She left to find a bathroom more accommodating to her sort.
Update: Names and locations have been redacted from this post, due to harassment of the person involved, to protect his privacy.