The "competing rallies" that TV hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are holding on the Washington Mall are picking up steam — more than 125,000 people have signed on for the Saturday, Oct. 30 events via Facebook so far — and some Democrats are panicking. That last weekend before the Nov. 2 election is crucial for "get out the vote" (GOTV) efforts, and Dems are counting on young, liberal-leaning volunteers to pitch in. Could a "joke" rally stymie their hopes of keeping control of Congress? (Watch Stewart and Colbert announce their rallies)
This is a typical Democratic panic attack: Tea Party leaders are as giddy as Democrats are alarmed about the rallies' potential to pluck liberals from get-out-the-vote operations, says David Weigel in Slate. But "the Democratic panic is out of whack." The sort of liberals who'll attend the Stewart/Colbert rallies "weren't going to GOTV anyway" and are just seeking a pre-election "booster shot of smugness."
Who cares what the Democrats think? There is no connection between the election and a performance by "two really entertaining, politically astute left-leaning guys," says Steve M. in No More Mister Nice Blog. And even if there were, "Stewart and Colbert are not Democratic Party operatives," or even "cheerleaders," and worrying about GOTV isn't their job. It's the Democratic Party's job, and if they can't motivate their base, that's their fault.
"Dear Democrats: Stewart and Colbert aren't there to do your job"
Democrats aren't the only ones fretting: I can see the rally going either way for the Democrats, says James Joyner in Outside the Beltway. But "if Stewart can get a larger crowd than [Glenn] Beck for what amounts to a joke rally, it will send a pretty powerful message about how small Beck’s attraction really is."
"Stewart Rally and Democrat GOTV"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Are there too many good shows on television?
- The big, gaping hole in the liberal policy arsenal
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- A gay Mormon's complicated journey
Subscribe to the Week