Monday, September 14, 2009

Partisanship by the Numbers - Estimates of the Size of the Washington Taxpayer March

None of us really understand what’s going on with all these numbers.

David Stockman, 1946 - , President Reagan’s Budget Director

How and why media estimates vary on the size the taxpayer march on Washington fascinates me. Why? Because the estimates reflect media bias.

For example, the New York Times, an acknowledged and proud Obama partisan, puts the number at “tens of thousands” and places the story on page 27 of its September 13 Sunday edition.

The Wall Street Journal, not exactly an Obama enthusiast, puts the number on at 1.5 to 2 million, and then scaled it back to “tens of thousands.” The WSJ added. “A spokesman for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services estimated the crowd at "in excess of 75,000" people. Local and federal law enforcement authorities don't provide crowd estimates.” No surprise considering Democrats dominate D.C. politics.

The Associated Press cited the media-approved “tens of thousands” number.

CNN at first said the number was 1.5 million, then backed down and used the operative “tens of thousands” figure.

ABC said the crowd was 1 to 1.5 million.

British media outlets said 2 million came.

Wikipedia simply said " the number was larger than expected.“

What frustrates me is that, using satellite imagery, which can hone down to 2 square feet, can precisely estimate the exact number? I'm sure they have detailed pictures of the crowd.

Besides the numbers game, there’s another element to media behavior – describing the make-up of the crowd. It is most often said to made up of “conservative activitists” organized by “right wing organizations.” This is an opinion, not on fact, or detailed informtion who were actually there.

I was speaking to two dear friends of mine, both loyal Democrats. I asked one what the taxpayer march and what the hundreds of thousands of protestors at town hall meetings meant. His comment was, if you’ll pardon the expression, a “bunch of dumb shits.”

I put the same question to the other Democratic friend. I threw in the fact that Obama’s popularity on handling of health care reform, has dropped to 50% or less, depending on the poll. His comment was succinct, “nitwits."

These comments reflect a common opinion among partisans in the ruling party, namely that Obama is "smart," that opponents are “stupid,” as the President said of the policeman in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ssomehow the Democrats seem to think they have some stranglehold on collective wisdom. This may be, but I doubt it. Democrat majorities,their altitude, has affected their attitude.
Don’t tinker, don’t think, don’t resist, just accept what we say. The thought that the tea parties, taxpayer marches, and town hall protests may be a spontaneous grassroots movement bubbling up from below never seems to cross their mind.

I predict this dismissive, condescending, arrogant, and elitist attitude will backfire, as the American people , who have minds of their own, become more alarmed about growing unemployment, the faltering economy, the skyrocketing debt, and concerns about inflation, taxation, and health care rationing for the elderly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for contacting me and giving me a link to your blog. I have read your profile and the blog post that you linked to in the email you sent me. I believe it it is the most thoughtful post on Obama's health care speech I've yet read.

To respond to your post about what Democrats believe about Saturday's Tea Party in Washington DC; I believe there is an elitist attitude at the center of the Democrat's thinking. It stems from the leftist/socialist attitude that only a small fraction of the people are smart enough to govern the unwashed majority. This is the heart of tyranny and it pervades not only at the top of the Democrat party but it also comes from elitist intelligentsia that instructs our youth on what to think and not how to think in our schools and higher learning institutions.

I am only a person of modest formal education but have served in the military and have been politically active for many years. I grew up in the area where freedom was born and nurtured. I believe I am well versed in the thoughts and actions of our founding fathers having seen and lived near the battlefields of the War of Independence and have grown up seeing and understanding the words the founders used to describe their vision for the new nation.

I understand the writings of the Federalist Papers and have read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence many times.

Most of the elitists you refer to would be hard pressed to describe what the Federalist Papers were about and why they were written. I served during the Cold War and have seen the Hammer and Sickle of tyranny but it seems that the current state of the Democrat party and it's leadership are hellbent on forgetting the lessons learned from that failed ideology.

The whole idea of the government takeover of health care did not just begin with the election of Barack Obama. The idea was hatched many years ago by people that have a different outlook for America than those we saw in Washington DC on Saturday. Those people we saw in Washington are me and people like me that want the Federal government to back out of our lives and provide only those things that they are authorized in the Constitution. The greatness of this nation did not come as result of our government, it came from the greatness of freedom that God has bestowed upon us.