With the massive One Nation rally in DC over, the post-game analyses have been flying furiously around the media and Webosphere. It was clearly a successful event that served to energize progressive activists and demonstrate that the left is not cowering under the national basement.
However, most of the press is making the mistake of comparing One Nation to Glenn Beck’s Acute Paranoia Holy Rollover Revue. This is typical of the horse race mindset of the media that is incapable of putting information in context and making relevant evaluations.
Let me make this crystal clear: The purpose of One Nation was NOT to draw more people than BeckFest. That would have been a shallow and unproductive goal. The purpose was to motivate the activists and organizers who attended, as well as those who watched from afar, so that they would be more effective and engaged in these crucial final weeks before the midterm elections. It was also intended to demonstrate the commitment of progressives to maintaining the course of the past couple of election cycles and to show the media that not everyone out there is a Tea Bagger. There were several reasons why attendance was never meant to be the yardstick by which this event would be measured.
First of all, One Nation did not have the benefit of the highest rated cable “news” network (Fox News) pumping out promotions for the event day in and day out for six months. They didn’t even have the second highest rated cable news network (MSNBC). Only Ed Schultz made much of an effort to promote One Nation. And while he is a popular radio and TV talk show host, recent surveys show that 70% of the country have never heard of him. It would be absurd to suggest that he would have the same impact on marketing that Glenn Beck, Inc. would have (despite what Ed says about himself).
Secondly, the demographics of the audiences are not remotely similar. Beck’s audience is a much older and more affluent crowd. In fact, he has one of the oldest skewing programs in all of cable news, including a high percentage of retirees. That’s partially how he manages to produce such high ratings in the middle of the day when normal people are at work. His viewers as a group are far better able to afford a trip to the nation’s capitol. They also are more likely to have the spare time available for outings like these. The folks attending One Nation are more likely to be working people who cannot just take time off from their jobs and their families, and sink scarce funds into traveling.
Thirdly, the incentive to attend a rally often hinges on the celebrity star power of the event. While the speakers at One Nation were all fine people who are dedicated to positive change, there was no one with the fan base of Glenn Beck. His devotees regard him as a prophet whom they must follow with unquestioning allegiance. Plus he had help from the Queen Tea, Sarah Palin, who has her own bevy of believers. Can anyone honestly say that 8/28 would have drawn more than a handful of garden-clubbers in a Dodge Caravan if someone like Newt Gingrich was the headliner? For evidence of this look no further than the second annual 9/12 rally a couple of weeks ago that featured teen idols Dick Armey and Andrew Breitbart. They drew a crowd that barely exceed a triple-a ballgame, and far fewer than One Nation.
On a side note, Beck’s fabled popularity may have peaked. A report from New Jersey yesterday reveals that his appearance at the first of his “Restoring America” gigs was filled to only 10% of capacity. Perhaps the $50.00 tickets (or $125.00 for “VIP privileges”) suppressed demand enough to allow 90% of the seats to go unfilled.
The above notwithstanding, One Nation can be considered a roaring success if it achieves its goal of invigorating the electorate, recruiting volunteers, and turning out voters. The right has become fully invested in an outcome that requires them to take majority control of the House and Senate. If they do not, they can only be regarded as failures. That is their projection, not mine. It’s all they’ve talked about for weeks. Now they must be prepared to be judged by the standard they set.
The past few weeks have seen momentum shifting in the election nationwide. The right may be played out. The left are just getting warmed up. In order to close the deal we need to insure extraordinary turnout. So get involved and make the demagogues on the right eat substantial portions of crow. Organizations like MoveOn and Democracy for America are presently recruiting people for their GOTV projects. Call them, or a local Democratic campaign office, and be a part of something positive.
16 thoughts on “One Nation Working Together Till Election Day And Beyond”
Why can’t these people clean up after themselves?
Because they think the government will take care of it.
“The purpose of One Nation was NOT to draw more people than BeckFest” TRANSLATION: We really had a pathetic turnout.
“One Nation did not have the benefit of the highest rated cable “news” network (Fox News) pumping out promotions for the event day in and day out for six months” TRANSLATION: And “Beckfest” did not have the advantage of the AFL-CIO, the NAACP, and over 400 organizations backing it. It also did not have these organizations paying for and bussing in folks.
“Only Ed Schultz made much of an effort to promote One Nation” TRANSLATION: Actually, Beck talked about this rally plenty, even encouraging folks to attend, so that means Ed gets the benefit of all of the Unions, the NAACP, AND Beck’s Audience.
“They drew a crowd that barely exceed a triple-a ballgame, and far fewer than One Nation.” TRANSLATION: One Nation drew more folks than a Triple-A ball game.
“One Nation can be considered a roaring success if it achieves its goal of invigorating the electorate, recruiting volunteers, and turning out voters.” TRANSLATION: If we get our asses kicked in November we’re going to have to change the definition of “success”
“The right has become fully invested in an outcome that requires them to take majority control of the House and Senate. If they do not, they can only be regarded as failures” TRANSLATION: Okay, we know were going to lose the house, and while we’re going to lose a lot of senate seats there’s still a chance we maintain a one or two seat lead. Lets set the bar of defeat REALLY high, and then when we only lose by a lot – instead of a real lot – we can claim victory.
every point made is trumped by the fact that one nation and all its supporters don’t take advantage of ignorance, hatred, fear and prejudice. not to mention these events are definitely not direct models of future voter turnout. dems are in power, thus most dem voters probably see little point in sacrificing a weekend to rally for the party they put in power, why should they, they have shit to do. they won, that was their rally. voting again will be their rally.
the objective point should be made that these rallies (just like faux news and msnbc) do not change minds. I’ve made that point a lot lately. they are meant to draw media attention to a cause (or Beck’s wallet and reputation) and a fuzzy feel good feeling for those that agree with said cause. in other words, just like mark says, it’s intended to energize those that would agree. also, I don’t trust polls that exclusively poll land lines, I don’t trust any pundit or politician that tries to scare me or tell me voting the other way will literally destroy my country, and I don’t trust rich people that establish organizations that try to get me to vote against my own economic self interests. go by what they say and do on the floor and in the job, avoid influence and just go for pure unbiased information. objectively, republicans and rightist pundits have no credible argument to change my mind at this point. sorry for ranting mark.
No need to apologize.
There is so much wrong in your comment I don’t have time to waste responding to it all. I’ll just hit a couple of particularly egregious points.
1) BeckFest DID have organizations busing in people. Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks both spent millions promoting the affair and hiring buses around the country.
2) You’re right, Beck did talk about One Nation. He called it an evil enterprise of people that want to destroy America. I don’t think that counts as an encouragement to attend.
By the way, how will your definition of success change if the GOP doesn’t win either the House or the Senate? And I repeat, the GOP set this standard, not me.
Scott says: “Why can’t these people clean up after themselves?” You should ask the previous administration that same question, Skippy.
“how will your definition of success change if the GOP doesn’t win either the House or the Senate? And I repeat, the GOP set this standard, not me.”
First of all, I’m not sure that the GOP set this standard, maybe the right-wing radio, but not the GOP. Sure, there has been talk of it, but I have also heard Nancy Pelosi “guarantee” that they’ll hold onto the House and the Senate. Does that mean that’s the Standard that the Dem’s have set?
Personally, I’ve never felt that the GOP was going to take the Senate, although they will definitely narrow the gap. I’m thinking 52-48, maybe 51-49. Sure, there’s a chance they take the senate, but I wouldn’t put money on it. If all 100 senators were up for re-election, it would be a bloodbath.
The House, yes, the republicans will take the house, and if anyone over there wants to put money on it….. But your question was “how will your definition of success change if the GOP doesn’t win …”, so I’m assuming you think the goal of the Beck Rally was to get Republicans elected, which only tells me that you never actually watched any of it, since it wasn’t a political rally. Sure, there were political speakers (Palin for one), but there message was one about restoring honor and charity. Now I’ll give you this much, the Beck rally was a snoozer, so maybe I nodded off during the “We’ve got to get out and vote for the GOP and stop the left and….” speech, but the truth is, I don’t think it was there.
However, the 10/2 Rally was pure politics, and a pure Democratic love fest. So let me ask you, how will your definition of success change if the Dem’s don’t win?
Wow. That was a long evasion. I’ll just answer your question.
My definition of success doesn’t change. I regard the loss of either chamber as a failure. That’s my standard, not the DNC.
And if you don’t think Beck’s rally was political, you were definitely asleep. The religious content itself is political because the GOP regards Christianity and its principles as part and parcel of US government. Beck knows very well that pushing Christian themes is a political act on behalf of a party that embraces the Christian Coalition.
Nice spin Mark. Look, Beck aside, isn’t it pretty much the GOP and the Dem’s goal to win in pretty much any election? Has there ever been a time that either party said “well, our goal is to only lose a little, not a lot.”
For me personally, getting control of the house and senate would be great, but getting control of the house and keeping the senate from a super majority will do. And hell, I’ll even give you the Senate if we get rid of Reid. The mere fact that there are so many, oh, lets say “interesting” GOP candidates (Angle, Paul, O’Donnell, etc) and most of them are beating their opponents shows you how far the Dems have sunk.
And to watch Pelosi hand over the reins of the House to Boehner…. priceless.
“Beck knows very well that pushing Christian themes is a political act on behalf of a party that embraces the Christian Coalition.”
Then what are these folks doing as part of the 10/2 Rally?:
General Board of Church and Society- United Methodist Church * The Religious Institute * Resurrection Temple of the Lord * Prayer, Praise and Worship Centers of America * National Missionary Baptist Church * National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
If pushing Christian themes is a right-leaning political stance, these folks were at the wrong rally.
Now I can certainly understand why the Democratic Socialists of America and the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) were sponsors, they truly represent the values of the left.
Spin? I directly answered your question. What the hell do you want? And there were many times when a party regarded losing only a little to be a de facto win. In fact, the DNC sees these midterms exactly that way. I thought that was the very thing we were discussing.
Secondly, does the presence of religious groups at One Nation confuse you? That doesn’t make it a religious event. It was purely political – as was Beck’s. I am being what is called “consistent” here. I know that’s hard for right-wingers to understand.
nothing beck will ever do will be non-political.
Take note that Chad evaded my question.
Maybe because your question was stupid and pointless. As if you wing nuts give a damn about pollution and cleaning up trash all of a sudden? You never cared.
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