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If This Is "Sanity," I'll Stay Unrestored, Thank You

I was busy at work Friday and Saturday, so I missed Comedy Central's Laughapalooza on the Mall. Fortunately, I've seen how folks have covered Tea Party rallies, and it's like they didn't actually show up there either, so I feel fully qualified to offer my opinions and observations.

First up, the crowd was overwhelmingly white. There were hardly any minorities in the coverage I did see.

Second, there were a lot of nuts there, with the prerequisite hate-filled signs. The organizers did a really lousy job at "preserving sanity" and keeping the crazies at bay. Why, it's almost as if they intended to appeal to the nuts.

Third, one of their key celebrity guests was noted Islamic radical extremist Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens. Islam, who supported the fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie's death. Rushdie earned the wrath of "radical" Muslims for depicting Mohammed in a novel. I seem to recall organizer Jon Stewart ripping his bosses over their cowing over a similar threat when South Park wanted to depict Mohammed; one wonders if that subject came up either before or after Islam performed "Peace Train."

Oh, and the Salman Rushdie incident wasn't the only time Yusuf Islam has dabbled with extremism. He attended a fundraiser for one of Hamas' Canadian front organizations, recorded a song for another Hamas fundraiser, and has been tied to numerous radical Islamist terrorists. Essentially, he portrays himself as the civilized "face" of Islam, raising money to further the ambitions of the more openly radical.

And remember, he didn't just show up. He was invited there by the organizers and put front and center as an exemplar of "sanity." (Counterbalanced by a certified expert on crazy, Ozzy Osbourne.)

"Rally to restore sanity?" If this is sanity, I'll stay "crazy," thank you. Their vision of sanity requires a bit too much denial -- if not actively rewriting -- of reality.


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Comments (52)

Reason TV has a good video<... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Reason TV has a good video


I think the rally puts a nice punctuation mark on the argument that the left has absolutely nothing to contribute to rational society. The winner was the lady criticizing the right for having posters of obama with a Hitler mustache and when asked if pictures of Bush as Hitler were acceptable her response: "Oh. I see your point". Perfectly incapable of seeing their own behavior and highly critical of others who behave in the same manner. 150,000 useful idiots just identifying themselves.

The most reasonable people were the libertarians who looked out of place actually advocating for specific issues. But then again it seemed as though they were not with the crowd but proselytizing it.

I attended the rally. I go... (Below threshold)
James H:

I attended the rally. I got in around 11 or so, and a friend and I walked around. There were so many people there that we really couldn't get a good spot to see and/or hear Jon Stewart, but we wandered around looking at people.

For those of you who don't know me, or who only think you know me, a quick summary of my own politics:

  • Around twenty or thirty years ago, I would have qualified as "Republican" in the vein of the Rockefeller Republicans (sans NY drug laws), with a middling-strong libertarian streak and a moderate to liberal outlook on most social issues. In today's political environment, this puts me to the left of most people here and of the Republican Party, but somewhat to the right of the more strident people attending the rally.

  • In terms of party identification, I am independent, but pollsters would classify me as a "liberal leaner." I tend to vote Democratic, but I am open to voting for moderate Republicans. I am unenthusiastic toward today's Democrats, and I am hostile toward today's Republican Party.

  • I do not intend to vote in this year's election. No statewide seats are up for election, and my congressional district is gerrymandered such that my congressman cannot lose. My vote would be a wasted effort.

My observations regarding the rally:

  • There were a lot of people at the rally. The crowd stretched from the Capitol building to about two-thirds of the way to the Washington Monument. Metrorail was insanely crowded.

  • Nerdiness quotient was above-average. I saw one Cylon ("Toasters against Teabaggers"), a Duff Girl, Batman and his entire rogue's gallery, a Cthulhu sign, two stormtroopers, a Jawa, and at least one Jedi.

  • Crowd was heavily Caucasian, but members of other ethnicities were in attendance.

  • By politics, crowd was heavily liberal. Signs tended to be either ironic, mocking Republicans and the Tea Party, or calling for the legalization of marijuana.

A couple more observations:... (Below threshold)
James H:

A couple more observations:

  • I'm not sure that Jon Stewart accomplished what he wanted with this rally. He might want "sanity," etc., etc. He might see value to bipartisanship. But his audience here was largely liberal and likely unreceptive to Republicans.

  • I do not believe this rally will affect the election one way or the other. Democratic voters will continue to vote for Democrats. Republican voters will continue to vote Republicans. The Sun will rise in the East, and Fox News will continue to insist its corporate jets have no left wings.

The left needs to bite the ... (Below threshold)

The left needs to bite the bullet and nominate Colbert and Stewart for the 2012 election. Its really their only hope.

On a side note, how can anyone listen to Cat Stevens sing Peace Train anymore?

I definitely have to give S... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

I definitely have to give Stewart and Colbert(aka Snotty and Snottier) credit.
Their embarrassing, lefty snooze fest has now replaced "The Star Wars Holiday Special" as the worst TV production in history.


If there was anything that ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

If there was anything that exemplified the utter tone deafness of the event it is having Cat Stevens sing "Peace train".

I find it hard to imagine that Stewart fails to see the irony in having a man who said that he is willing to murder people who offended his faith singing a song about peace.

James, like you I have no i... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

James, like you I have no idea as to Stewart's actual goals or intentions. Whatever they were, if they were not in keeping with the actions/behavior of people who chose to get involved (like Winfrey and Huffington) than I would say Stewart plan was compromised and undermined.

I think I'd like to know more about the behind-the-scenes jostling that took place. But it seems unlikely just now that such information will become available.

Hey, doubt they thought abo... (Below threshold)

Hey, doubt they thought about this, but while they were on the mall smugging and mugging, their political opponents were busy doing what real campaigns do the weekend before an election ... working for their candidates and issues. Real application of sanity there.

Stevens fame for being an a... (Below threshold)

Stevens fame for being an angry muslim > mucical fame.

James,Thanks for t... (Below threshold)


Thanks for the report.

"I would say Stewart plan w... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"I would say Stewart plan was compromised and undermined."

That's possible. I don't think he has the ability to control whatever message he wanted to get out in this event. Unlike Beck, who has a clear ideological message that he wanted to deliver, Stewart did not have that. Without a clear message it would be easy for others to co-opt the event to get their message out.

The whole thing reminds me a lot of some people I knew in college who lacked the vision to actually stand for something but thought themselves smart by mocking and tearing down others. That's pretty much what Stewart makes his living doing. That is why this event was a failure. It stood for nothing other than mocking people of real conviction.

It seems, as with so many o... (Below threshold)

It seems, as with so many other things, they are trying to change the definition of the words "sanity", "reality", "fear", etc. They have to do this so they can live in their delusional little world and not have to deal with the cognitive dissonance.

I mean seriously, I posted a statement showing factually, logically and objectively how allowing the Bush tax cuts will hurt the middle class and poor more than anyone else, and the response was, "Oh you're just hateful, you bitch! Eat $hit and die, won't you? I refuse to roll around in the mud with pigs like you, just crawl back under your hate rock and die"

But I'm the hateful one ... right.

Lisaakay,That's be... (Below threshold)
jim m:


That's because you confronted them with facts and data. Libs don't want to hear about facts, it intrudes on their 'reality based' life. They need to sustain their "hope" and "Change". They believe that consensus is more important than truth and that if everyone believes the same things then those things will magically become true.

In regard to the links Mr T... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

In regard to the links Mr Tea has given us, a couple of points. One, it sure looked as though Yusuf Islam was indeed endorsing Khomeini's fatwa. However, I fail to see how saying something stupid and hateful, even dangerous, 21 years ago disqualifies Cat Stevens from singing at a concert, or a semi-political event, in 2010. Any more than say, Ted Nugent, or maybe Eminem, or Fifty Cent, should be silenced. And why is he not given a pass on his remarks 21 years ago, but Christine O'Donnell, you guys insist, should be for her more recent remarks? Indeed, according to you guys, she should be a US Senator!

"Peace Train" is a good song, and would be even if freaking Lee Greenwood sang it.

Also on the links, I wonder if Mr Tea has even read them beyond the headlines that the oh-so-reliable-for-unbiased-accuracy sources Hot Air and the Jawa Report gave them. FYI, the UNRWA is not a Hamas front group, and not all charities helping civilians in Gaza are terrorist front groups, either. A jailbird terrorist claiming that he knows Cat Stevens isn't exactly ironclad proof of "ties to terrorism" in my book.

And a question for Jim M: Have you ever, sir, posted a comment in which you DIDN'T claim to know what "all libs" or "all Muslims" or "all Democrats" or "Stewart and Colbert" or "Obama" REALLY thought? What "they" believe? Why do you think you know what others think?

One, it sure looked as t... (Below threshold)

One, it sure looked as though Yusuf Islam was indeed endorsing Khomeini's fatwa. However, I fail to see how saying something stupid and hateful, even dangerous, 21 years ago disqualifies Cat Stevens from singing at a concert, or a semi-political event, in 2010.

He called for another man's DEATH, Bruce, for the sole reason that that man wrote an objectionable book. To this date he has not retracted anything he said, and has instead attempted to spin his comments without apologizing for them.

And this is someone that the organizers of this rally thought would would be a good choice to help "Restore Sanity."

Maybe they just thought it ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Maybe they just thought it was a cool song, as I do.

Nugent, Eminem, and Fifty Cent have all called for the deaths of gay people, and been criticised for it. But people still like their music. I like their music.

Well, I guess all can be fo... (Below threshold)

Well, I guess all can be forgiven, then, if someone writes a cool song.

(rolls eyes)

BTW I think it's funny that... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

BTW I think it's funny that Stewart and Colbert can organize a rally at which the crowd was as big or bigger than Beck's nutfest, and the only thing wingnuts can find to criticise is that the guy who sang "Moonshadow" played there.

Except the crowd wasn't big... (Below threshold)

Except the crowd wasn't bigger, cupcake. It was smaller. Significantly smaller.


I love it. The lefty idiot... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I love it. The lefty idiots swallow the line that this joke was a bigger rally than Becks, or the TEA party rally before that. Yet the pictures clearly demonstrate the falsity of that notion.

Once again they think that if they just believe hard enough then magically what they want will come true.

So much for a reality based community.

Well, CBS says 215K, Pajama... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, CBS says 215K, Pajamas Media says way less, Canadian TV says 250K. That's why I said "as big or bigger," but my point is still valid if I had said "as big, or almost as big."

And that's MISTER cupcake to you, Otto.

You vote for your own comme... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You vote for your own comments, don't you, Otto?

Look at the pictures Bruce.... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Look at the pictures Bruce. For crying out loud do you never think for yourself or do you just regurgitate what the dems and media tell you?

Wait. Never mind. I already know that answer.

"You vote for your own comm... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"You vote for your own comments, don't you, Otto?"

I voted for it Bruce. Sheesh!

Hey, Jim, even if I accept ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Hey, Jim, even if I accept Pajamas Media's estimate of 60% of the Beck rally's crowd size, the point is, you guys are bitching about the musical acts.

The. Musical. Acts.

It was a big crowd, whoever's estimate you accept, considering it wasn't an overtly political rally, but kind of a lark, really.

And, even though it wasn't overtly political, it was still kinda the antithesis of the paranoid fantasyfest that was Beck's event. It was ABOUT sanity, not lurid depictions of the "other" and scary warnings about how demonic the other side is.

Oh, and the voting thing? Some of these are jokes, ladies and gentlemen. Is this thing on?

Bruce, here are several est... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Bruce, here are several estimates for the attendance at Glenn Beck's rally:

Sky News: 500,000
NBC News: 300,000
D.C. Official: 300,000-325,000
Glenn Beck: 300,000-500,000
ABC News: 100,000+
CBS News: 87,000

CBS, with its history of making up news to suit their political purposes comes up with a clearly fraudulent number.

The median of those estimates would surpass the high end estimates of this weekend's joke. The crowd only filled a fraction of the space that Beck's did.

Fine, Jim. Beck's rally was... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Fine, Jim. Beck's rally was a regular Tea Bag Woodstock. Huge.

But really, Cat Stevens? That's got you outraged?

No Bruce we are laughing at... (Below threshold)
jim m:

No Bruce we are laughing at the inclusion of a radical muslim who has said on TV that he believes that people deserve to be murdered for blasphemy against islam and that he would gladly do it himself if told to.

So in a rally purporting to restore sanity to the American political discussion they thought it appropriate to include a person that says people should be murdered for their beliefs.

We are not complaining. We are laughing.


Well, hey, he might not hav... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, hey, he might not have been my first choice either, but it's still a good song.

I'm just messing with you, Jim. It's something "all libs" do. I'm telling you so you'll know, and be able to explain us when called upon to do so.

Nope, Brucie, no need. ... (Below threshold)

Nope, Brucie, no need.

Fine, Jim. Beck's rally ... (Below threshold)

Fine, Jim. Beck's rally was a regular Tea Bag Woodstock.

What I love about leftist drones like Bruce is that they just can't help themselves. Here Stewart is trying to "restore sanity," and yet Bruce here just can't stop using that middle-school insult. I guess he hasn't gotten the memo... the latest talking point is to call for "working together."

I'm going to enjoy your bitter, bitter tears on Wednesday, Bruce.

it was a rally to restore s... (Below threshold)
jim m:

it was a rally to restore sanity not civility.

it failed in either aim.

Hey, Otto, I usually refrai... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Hey, Otto, I usually refrain from the "teabag" thing, but "Tea Party Woodstock" just didn't quite express it, know what I'm saying? Some things just sound better.

Like I said, some of these are jokes.

I could care less if the li... (Below threshold)

I could care less if the libs want to have Cat- Joseph-Ismail-fatwah-Stevens be the face of the tolerant left. But it is kind of ironic that he sang Peace Train don't you think, maybe it's now called Piece train, as in the we'll separate a piece of you from your body if speak badly of Islam.

"maybe it's now called Piec... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"maybe it's now called Piece train"

Stevens was probably referring to the July 7, 2005 trains in London where his coreligionists blew 52 innocent people to pieces.

Hey, Otto, I usually ref... (Below threshold)

Hey, Otto, I usually refrain from the "teabag" thing,

Sure you do.

but "Tea Party Woodstock" just didn't quite express it, know what I'm saying?

Actually... no. I don't. I'm curious: why doesn't "tea party Woodstock" not quite express it? And what is this "it," anyway? Your hatred of the tea party movement?

Some things just sound better.

Ah. Got it. Some things, like your use of a juvenile sexual term for the opposition just sound better. I'll keep that in mind the next time you're here pretending to be reasonable or demanding that we refrain from insults.

I am a little confused abou... (Below threshold)

I am a little confused about the purpose of all these gatherings. The first (I believe, 8/28) did have a goal. the next two, not so much. Glenn left me scratching my head until Jon came along with his Rally to Assure Beck that he is Relevant or as Treacher put it Rally to irritate Beck back.

"Why, it's almost as if the... (Below threshold)

"Why, it's almost as if they intended to appeal to the nuts."

They succeeded. And what did they 'accomplish'? As usual. Nothing.

Well, Otto, I defy you to c... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, Otto, I defy you to come up with even ONE instance, before today, when I used the term "teabag" or "teabagger" (and I've used the term "Tea Party" many times) so your "Sure you do" snark is a fail.

Second, if you don't know why some things just sound funnier than other things, I don't know what to tell you. People STUDY stuff like that, but, you know, it's pretty undefinable in my opinion.

But if you want to get your knickers twisted because a blog commenter made a joke with Tea Bag in it, ONE TIME since the Tea Party "movement" gained prominence, knock yourself out. This "sneering leftist asshole," to use your own charming colloquialism, can take a joke - why can't you?

As a guitar picker for many... (Below threshold)

As a guitar picker for many years I am a fan of Cat Stevens music. Not Josef. When we jam, one or two of his songs come up when we are going acoustical. But calling for someone to be murdered in the name of Allah is plain wrong no matter what the self professing intellectual giant of Bruce thinks. It is wrong, wrong, wrong. If you really want sanity Bruce, say what he did is wrong.

I also liked how all the musicians were introduced by first and last names but Josef was not called Josef Islam. Hmm!

This was an irrelevent uncultured, meaningless event that was put on by a Network for ratings and sponsorship. They made millions. Shame of Stewart for taking advantage. He is a corporate sell out. Also, he would not let press roam the crowds. Hmm! ww

To me , nothing says "resto... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

To me , nothing says "restore sanity" like painting a Hitler mustache on a Jewish congressman who lost relatives in the Holocaust.

Willie, I didn't say that w... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Willie, I didn't say that what Cat Stevens said 21 years ago wasn't wrong. I said it was stupid, hateful, and dangerous, but, yeah, sure, it was wrong, too. And it was 21 years ago, and, I don't know if you've noticed, but Rushdie is still alive despite nutbags like him saying, 21 years ago, that he ought to be killed.

And "Peace Train" would be a good song if Pol Pot wrote it.

As far as a network putting on a show for ratings, sponsorship, and to "make millions," umm, what's wrong with that, exactly? Why do you hate capitalism?

Not to put too fine a point... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Not to put too fine a point on it but Fox did not carry the broadcast of Beck's rally. His rally was really apolitical in that it focused not on the coming election but on honoring the military and restoring traditional American values. But then that is why the left hated it so much isn't it?

Contrast that to the deliberately political rally this weekend that was broadcast by the Comedy Channel and was deliberately political and to a lesser extent deliberately offensive.

Ironic that Comedy Channel can promote a political event with Cat Stevens but they cannot support the first amendment rights of their own content producers (South Park).

Bruce, it isn't what he sai... (Below threshold)

Bruce, it isn't what he said then -- it's that he still stands by it now, and he's demonstrated his commitment to Islamic terrorism repeatedly, by helping out terrorists with fundraising.

Remember the woman being slammed over talking about "witchcraft" over a decade ago? Even then, it was old news -- but she's still getting slammed over it.

Remember George W. Bush's DWI in the 1970's? That was a key issue, too. Never mind that presidents rarely do much driving.

The difference here is that Yusuf Islam has NEVER repudiated his words, and his actions show he still believes in them. So that's why they're still relevant.


Irony obviously escapes you... (Below threshold)

Irony obviously escapes you, JT.

Col. Patrick Lang (Ret) was impressed:


Again, calling for killing ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Again, calling for killing someone is wrong. But your consistency on these matters leaves something to be desired, Mr Tea.

Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago we went round and round about the congressional candidate in Nazi drag? You know, the one who celebrates the idealism and heroism of racist traitors by dressing up and prancing around in an SS uniform? HE continues to defend what he did, and says the website that claims the fucking SS maniacs were "idealists" who were "defending their way of life" is, you know, right on.

And, also, I've addressed your arguably specious claims about Yusuf Islam's "helping terrorists." Again, the UNRWA is NOT a front group for Hamas, and, again, not every charity that sends aid to Gaza is a terrorist front, either, despite what Hot Air insinuates.

Ok, so the argument of your... (Below threshold)

Ok, so the argument of yours is faltering, so you drag out a shiny.

Getting VERY old, Bruce.

Unrwa not necessarily a "front group" for Hamas, but their past propensity to hire rocket scientists, I mean terrorists, as "school teachers" is well documented, and their lack of apology for such mirrors ol' Yusaf's lack of apologies.

Your dIstract and distort get kinda old and hackneyed after a while.

Documented where, Dr Epador... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Documented where, Dr Epador? Little Green Footballs? The Jawa Report? Hot freaking Air?

Those are the unimpeachable sources Mr Tea has cited so far. Maybe you have others. I'm listening.

Ah, Bruce, they're against ... (Below threshold)

Ah, Bruce, they're against UNRWA because their masters tell them to be against it, so they can starve people to death in the biggest concentration camp in the world, Gaza.

Hey Galoob, maybe their fri... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hey Galoob, maybe their friends the Egyptians could open up their border to Gaza huh?

Why is it that libs never, ever consider that option? My guess is that they'd rather have a good reason for their Antisemitism.

So keeping the palis bottled up in Gaza is not just due to the Israelis. But don't tell anyone. It ruins the narrative.

Funny how the palistinians ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Funny how the palistinians are always starving to death in Gaza. Decades it's been but they haven't died yet. You don't see pictures of malnourished children like you used to from Somalia or Bangladesh.

Yet another canard from the left. Great story. No truth. Just believe hard enough and it will be true. The only difference is that this one is fueled by their own racial hate.

Ironic, 2 Canadians and an ... (Below threshold)

Ironic, 2 Canadians and an islamic radical entertaining the crowd. I wonder if magic mushrooms were served? (Of course they were, I saw them holding signs and dressed funny)






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