Monday, April 27, 2009

823,076 reasons to be skeptical - Updated

823,076 - That is the estimate of total attendance at tea party events at Pajamas Media TV aka PJTV. The political class are pretending to ignore the large number of people who spent their own time expressing their political opinions. Pretending, but they can't. First, about the huge number - Rosslyn Smith at American Thinker Blog
As we approach the 100th day of the Obama reign the media is full of stories about how popular he is with American voters. Often these stories are supported by polling results commissioned by these media organization especially for the celebration. It is hard for me to reconcile polls showing wide based approval for Obama's actions with the information reported at Pajamas Media, which currently calculates the attendance at the various tea parties at 823,076 . That number is based on the media reports, videos and still photos forwarded to them by citizen correspondents across the country. I urge readers to visit their site and check out their coverage. What particularly interests me is that many of these demonstrations were held in locations your average reporter for a national media outlet probably couldn't place within 200 miles of its actual coordinates without significant help from Google Earth. For example, 500 people showed up at the Tax Day tea party protest in Abingdon, Virginia, population 7800. Then there were the 100 who showed up in Alpine, Texas, population 5,800. The names of Boone, North Carolina and Branson, Missouri conjure up images of vacation condos, not protest marches, but each resort town had a respectable turnout on April 15. It is hard for me to imagine 250 sign carrying protestors in either of the sleepy towns of Dixon, Illinois, the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan, or Fairmont, Minnesota, a southwestern Minnesota town where my father went to hunt pheasant on a friend's farm each fall. It is equally difficult to picture 300 protestors in Florence in northwestern, Alabama or, Oshkosh b'gosh, a whopping 1,000 protestors assembling at Fond Du Lac in central, Wisconsin. Add in 250 in Gillette, Wyoming. 500 assembled in Greeneville, the seat of Greene County Tennessee with another 400 marching in Newport, the seat of adjacent Cocke County, Tennessee. Then there are the 300 demonstrators in Harrison, Arkansas, 2,000 in the heart of Cajun country in Lafayette, Louisiana, 400 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, 1,000 in Loveland, Colorado, 150 in Owensboro, Kentucky, 1,500 In Rapid City, South Dakota, 650 in Traverse City, Michigan. 700 in Tupelo, Mississippi and 521 in Valparasio, Indiana. [...]
Second, Mark Davis in Dallas on the response from media and politicians:
[T]he behavioral portrait that begs to be analyzed is the torrent of unhinged tantrums thrown by those repulsed by the exercise. Disagreeing with tea party politics is fine. I would expect a massive pro-life event to be met with pro-choice responses or a global warming rally to be answered with constructive skepticism. But from White House officials to actors with time on their hands, it was not enough to simply disagree with the tea party cornerstone of lower taxes and spending. The Americans attending these events had to be eviscerated as mobs of evil, violent psychopaths. YouTube the MSNBC diatribe from Janeane Garofalo, who manages to cash a paycheck in the current season of 24, a television series that surely offends her by painting a favorable image of fighting terror. Maybe the pain of enduring such an environment fueled her attack on the generally conservative tea party crowds. "It's about hating a black man in the White House," she spewed, oblivious to the absence of that theme from the vast majority of the nearly 800 events. But why let facts obstruct a good smear? "It is a neurological problem we are dealing with," she continued, falling back on the most dog-eared index card in the radical left's file: demonize your opponents so you don't have to address what they actually say. [...]
Update: Reader Johnny gives the update: "...lawmakers knew constituents had no stomach for higher taxes. Nixing a planned sales-tax hike for a range of health services was the wise course considering the state's sputtering economy." Seattle Times When was the last time democratic lawmakers gave a fig about what people thought of taxes? Maybe - just maybe having thousands of taxpayers show up a few weeks back to protest taxes had something to do with it.

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