Here’s what’s exciting about Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity.”
No, not its overblown name. That’s typical Stewart irony.
Not even Oct. 30’s promised mix of comedy, music and politics. “Comedy Central” didn’t invent that. How else can you turn out hundreds of thousands of young people to the National Mall? With subprime mortgage seminars?
What’s exciting is that there will be a mass political gathering that’s promoting something besides angry extremism.
Take that, Glenn Beck! Even a hyperventilating Tea Partier could learn a lesson here.
Conservative activists have done a fine job lately of cornering the presidential-resentment market. They’ve accused Barack Obama of being, in no particular order: a foreigner, a socialist, an extraterrestrial and a self-appointed messiah with a broad delusional streak.
None of this, of course, is because he is black.
Try as they might, liberals will never succeed in launching angrier or nuttier counterattacks.
The best answer to Tea Party outrage — whether from Christine O’Donnell or Carl Paladino — is not two bitter Keith Olbermanns for every aggrieved Sarah Palin. It’s aiming closer to the middle and making people laugh.
To his credit, Stewart is not positioning his event as the liberal answer to the Tea Party uproar.
“It is, in fact, not a political rally,” he told Larry King on CNN. That’s silly, as silly as when Beck made a similar claim about his “Restoring Honor” rally, held on Aug. 28. Massive Washington rallies always are political.
But Stewart is correct in shifting the target to the “75 to 80 percent” of Americans who are “reasonable people.”
Reasonable people? They haven’t been heard from in months.
“They get along,” Stewart said. “They may not agree on things, but they can do things. And the other fifteen percent control it: the dialogue, the legislation. This is for the people who are too busy, who have jobs and lives, and are tired of their reflection in the media as being a divided country and a country that’s ideological and conflicted and fighting. This is for those people.”
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