Generally speaking, when people gather in large numbers in the nation's capital at their own expense in challenging economic times protesting unprecedented growth in the power and size of government, it might be smart to take notice. Yet, with all the good sense shown by Marie Antoinette when she remarked that the hungry citizens of France assembled at her door should "eat cake," the thousands of citizens who showed up yesterday in Washington, D.C. to protest specific legislation and government spending are being marginalized, laughed-off, laughed at, and called names by a large group of pro-government journalists and commenters. The idea that somehow Americans have lost the right to assemble and petition the government for their grievances because the Democrat party won the last election is still being peddled by some journalists who who appear to have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to free speech.
When the citizens of France assembled on the eve of the French Revolution, they probably looked more ragtag than yesterday's group in Washington. And while actual hunger is a far greater spur to action than the fear of economic ruin, we would note that it is unlikely that Marie Antoinette ever said anything about cake. She was, however, viewed as a huge spender by the suffering populace and the infamous phrase, likely never uttered, was widely accepted as truth.
A comprehensive wrap-up of the numbers attending can be found at Michelle Malkin
, although crowd estimates range from 60,000 to 2 million. This 6 1/2 minute video of the march
, taken by a bike rider following a route from Freedom Plaza to the US Capitol gives a shaky, though very interesting view of the sights and sounds of the day. Of particular interest is the upbeat mood of the crowd, looking far more ready for a political rally or Fourth of July parade than a revolution.
The photo was taken by mar is sea Y who posts at Flickr.