Our friends over at Mediaite.com are attempting to put a positive spin on the events on the Washington Mall this past Saturday, the 10/2/10 rally, but they put forth this argument, and I feel the need to comment:
On that score, much has been made of the fact that labor unions chartered buses for thousands of their members, versus “Restoring Honor” attendees who “paid their own way.” This seeming contrast ignores the fact that unions are funded by their members, so by definition, the union members on those chartered buses did pay their own way. You couldn’t really ask for a more textbook example of grassroots action.
Uhm, I can.
Union dues are charged to everyone, not just those that wanted to go to the rally.
Union dues are not optional.
Every union member could not attend the rally, only a limited number of buses were rented.
Using your same tortured logic about the definition of Grassroots, what, exactly, wouldn’t be grassroots? If the Government bused in people you could argue that since taxpayer money was used to fund the trip, it was grassroots. If a company financed the bus trips for their customers, you could argue that since all the money the company has comes from the customers, that they too are grassroots. Seriously, what wouldn’t be considered grassroots under your logic??
The Restoring Honor attendees had to arrange for their own buses, plane rides, train tickets, and/or drive themselves – having leadership at your union book and pay for the bus trip isn’t quite “textbook grassroots” – it’s more like “Astroturf.”
Now, I will agree with at least one point raised by Mediaite.com – namely that gathering 175,000 estimated attendees is an accomplishment (no matter who funded the buses ;^).
Link to Mediatie.com story: ‘One Nation Rally’ Proved its Point, Despite Reports to the Contrary, Comparisons to Glenn Beck Rally