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
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Hey, grammar nerds! Stop freaking out about 'alot.'
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- The elusive 'It factor' in presidential politics
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
Subscribe to the Week