Wednesday, July 18, 2007

On the blogs this evening, Digby is nonplussed as Chris Matthews observes:

Well it's certainly a wholesome looking crowd for an anti-war bunch.

When I was in college, in the distant wake of the '60s protest scene, the most reliable chanters of chants and carriers of signs were a collection of ostensible loons who called themselves the Spartacist Youth League. Whenever anyone wanted to chant a chant or carry a sign about pretty much anything at all, they'd be there, livening up the scene with calls to Communist revolution, so that America's government could start serving its citizens as well as, say, Soviet Russia's. Pretty much what you'd expect from a CIA-sponsored campaign to discredit the left.

And as time went on, even as late as a few years ago, folks like them would be reliable presences at any protest which was even faintly tinged by association with "the left", or later on, just "liberalism", holding up signs making outrageous demands about irrelevant issues (calling for a $20 minimum wage at Iraq war protests), and generally making everyone around them look foolish.

But as we've seen at FEMA, putting boobs in charge of large government agencies can dramatically diminish their effectiveness. Matthews up there is talking about a protest on Capitol Hill. A demo that prominent, with national coverage, right down the road from CIA headquarters at Langley, and no one thinks to send a few token loons from central casting?