I thought I was done raging about the fact that so many liberal commentators are holding the Comedy Central rally up as the one mass initiative on the liberal side of the aisle during the last election season, especially when comparing liberal mass actions to the Glen Beck rally and other Tea party confabulations. These liberal writers forget about the other liberal Washington, D.C. rally on October 2nd, which represented a coalition of progressive and labor groups (and not the predilections of TV personalities). As I have stated before, all three rallies attracted about the same size crowd.
Yes, I thought I had spewed all my angry words about this issue.
But now comes Thomas Frank, the armchair liberal who wrote What’s the Matter with Kansas and The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule. Mr. Frank has held up Comedy Central rally as the symbolic liberal act of the 2010 election cycle in his essay titled “The Fatal Center” in this month’s Harper’s.
Frank’s point, which has real merit, is that the Democrats rushed to the center in the election, instead of remaining true to their liberal-left heartstrings. Then he introduces Jon Stewart’s rally (I added the bold):
“I was thinking about all this as I watched the last act of the 2010 election cycle, comedian Jon Stewart’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity,’ jokingly known as the ‘million moderate march…Here at last was the liberal counterpart to the Tea Party movement.”
Wrong, Mr. Frank: The liberal counterpoint to the Tea Party movement was the progressive-liberal rally, which the mainstream news media practically ignored and which everyone including liberals immediately forgot about.
Frank goes on to say that the Stewart rally was really a centrist move, which proves his point about liberals moving towards the center. If he had selected the October 2nd progressive rally as his example, he would not have made his case, since that rally stayed true to long-time progressive and liberal ideals.
I can understand why the mainstream media and the right-wing Foxites would want to replace a progressive initiative symbolically with the actions of pranksters. But why has the liberal media formulated this inaccurate and in a way offensive conflation?
My only explanation is that it is another in a series of moves by so-called progressives to distance themselves from the labor movement, which was a major organizer of the progressive-labor Washington rally, similar to President Obama’s misguided embrace of union-busting charter schools.