Preliminary impressions; the march on Washington
First impression: I am semi-suicidally depressed I wasn't there.
First thing I found out (God bless the Internet!) from people who were there and are known to me, the numbers are not "thousands" of people, but tens or hundreds of thousands. Possibly topping a million.
(Counting crowds is dicey and notoriously subjective. You imagine a square, try and count the people inside it, then count how many squares cover the crowd. Some accounts say the crowd covered about half the area of Washington that were there for the inauguration. Which leaves the question of how dense the respective crowds were.)
First important point: This movement is not a Republican Party surrogate and it is national in scope. I attended a Tea Party in Jamestown, ND (pop. 12,000) a while ago and got the same quote heard there:
"Actually, I'm pretty disgusted with both parties."
Second: There is an attempt by the Republicans to co-opt it - and they are getting told in no uncertain terms to sit down and shut up.
Third: It is not a libertarian movement per se, though it has strong libertarian elements. It might be more on the conservative side. Populist? Dunno, first tell me what that means.
I think it's a "pissed-off movement."
How it'll translate into election results... dunno.
I'm wondering if a suggestion Paul Harvey made some years back could be the basis of a national election plan. What he suggested was that until spending is reined in and the budget ballanced, evey non-incumbent's election slogan should be, "Elect no incumbents!"
There should perhaps be a short list of exception: Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) (yes, I'm aware he's a little nutty on some issues, mostly foreign policy) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK.)
A website could be set up to list who's an incumbent, and the election slogans could be the same for everyone:
(blank) is an incumbent!
Vote for (blank)
He couldn't be worse.
And BTW, go here: http://www.reason.com/blog/show/136042.html
for an account by eyewitnesses.
And scroll down to this perceptive observation:
"When people with jobs are out protesting, then you know the government is really screwing up."