Saturday, August 27, 2005

The caravan rolls into Texas

At long last, the day for the counter-protest in Crawford is finally upon us:

CRAWFORD, Texas -- This one-stoplight town of 700 residents near President Bush's ranch braced for thousands of visitors Saturday, most in a cross-country caravan for a pro-Bush rally and others to support Cindy Sheehan's anti-war demonstration.

More than 3,000 people were expected at the school football stadium for the culmination of the "You don't speak for me, Cindy!" tour that started last week in California.

It would be the largest counter-protest since Sheehan started camping out off the road leading to Bush's ranch Aug. 6. She vowed to remain unless he talked to her about the war with Iraq that claimed the life of her son Casey and more than 1,870 other U.S. soldiers.

The pro-Bush caravan was coordinated by Move America Forward, a group led by former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian and Republican strategist Sal Russo.

Meanwhile, hundreds were expected at Sheehan's camp for a somber Saturday ceremony honoring soldiers in Iraq.

Nice choice of words, AP. But hundreds of people waving candles and singing "Blowing in the Wind" is not doing anything to honor our soldiers. Thankfully, 3,000 people are about to show us what a tribute really looks like.

But lest us pro-war types get too excited about the large turnout today, the AP has seen fit to throw in this last paragraph:

Crawford hasn't seen this big a crowd since the scathing documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" was shown last summer on a screen at the football field, drawing about 3,000 people. The screening was organized by the Crawford Peace House, which also is helping Sheehan. Earlier that night, more than 300 Bush supporters held a rally to counter the showing of the film.

So a liberal event can draw thousands as well. You've made your point, AP, and in the process have even managed to bring Michael Moore into this story. Bravo!

Nonetheless, here are the facts: After a month of pandering, slobbering and round-the-clock nationwide coverage of the Sheehan protest by every mainstream news outlet, the most that they were able to draw to Camp Casey was "about 1,000" (according to the AP). The counter rally, which was sparsely mentioned by the press and only then as an obligatory sidenote has drawn 3,000 supporters. That is a ratio of 3 to 1. Consider that in light of the recent Rasmussen poll showing only 35% support for Sheehan's antics (31% from families with loved ones who have served in the military).

Looks like you really don't speak for us, Cindy.

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