On the Rally to Restore Sanity / Fear

Marc Cooper

This is not a light-hearted moment. This is a not a moment that allows smug moral superiority about being “sane” in a chaotic era of political craziness.

This is a time of national emergency. This is a weekend that demands the firm leadership and vision of a commander-in-chief who can calm some fears, reassure some of the reluctant and re-motivate those who invested so much in faith in the promise of change.

He hopes that Obama will appear, do a strong rally and act like a leader, like in the glory days of the 2008 campaign. That ain’t going to happen. But he’s certainly correct about this not being a time to be smug or ironic.


Red America shows up for a raucous, passionate, blunt rally on the mall. Blue America shows up for a tongue-n-cheek, ironic, humor-based rally on the mall with no explicit reference to an authoritarian, fear-based society but a comedian in character who makes the point indirectly.

All of which translates into not much in terms of political change. I’m watching it live as I type this. It’s fun, humorous – and lightweight. It also seems to get close to making serious political points then pulls its punches.


  1. “This is a time of national emergency.”

    Run for your lives!!!! We’re all going to die!!!! I guess Marc Cooper is down on Jon Stewart because Cooper’s a supporter of Colbert’s rally to restore fear. I for one am sick and tired of the perpetual apocalypticists in the Democratic and Republican parties. The notion that we are constantly in a “state of emergency” is the precise means by which Democrats and Republicans are able to so easily subvert and erode rights, liberties and the rule of law.

    Just a few weeks ago, Obama renewed the “national state of emergency” with regard to the 9/11 attacks. It was a “national emergency” to go to war in Afghanistan. It was an “existential emergency” to go to war in Iraq. It was a “national emergency” when they passed the PATRIOT Act. It was a “national/global emergency” when they passed the bankster bailouts. Just about the only thing that isn’t a “national emergency” for the professional hysterics in the corporatist parties is the dictatorship of the corporatist parties. And that’s highly suspicious.

    • Cooper is no corporatist. He was a translator for the Salvador Allende government when the coup happened, barely escaped with his life, married a Chilean women, and is quasi-Socialist and a long-time leftie. I think he was trying to say that politicians on both sides are complacent and that real problems exist here now that aren’t being addressed.

      But absolutely, the squealing about national security is tedious indeed. And it looks like we’re about to escalate in Yemen. Sigh…

    • BE AFRAID! BE AFRAID! BE AFRAID! Usama binDead since Dec. ’01 and his gang of born again gay mexican muslims are comin’ to getcha’. O’Yeah, gonna steal all the jobs and rape all the (white) women.

      I’m thinking the people in this country are so flippin’ stupid we deserve whatever we get.

  2. I agree with the TPM thing. This is probably the biggest left-oriented rally on the mall since the immigration reform rally this past March, and it’s gotten more attention than any left-oriented event in a long time. But it’s so timid it’s pathetic. It’s celebrating “inactivism” and while Jon Stewart derides the stupid media, he’s part of it – Viacom owns his show and the rally. The take away message is, don’t worry, just laugh away the nation’s problems.

    I’m glad I stayed home and worked for the local Green Party instead.

  3. maybe the fact that this is the Left’s biggest, most visible rally in a while is bigger cause for concern than the fact that the rally itself is entertainment-oriented.

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