Washington D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood was a place for deep, profound questions about world affairs and the nature of democracy Monday evening. Questions like, does anything rhyme with “Halliburton”?
The event, called the “D.C. Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency,” was one of several “counter-inaugural” protests taking place throughout the week in the nation’s capital.
It was also neatly illustrative of why it’s George W. Bush, not John Kerry, who’s getting sworn in this week. Bush won in large part because conservative grassroots activists tend to be unified, focused, and determined.
Liberals, by contrast, are often disorganized and prone to expending a lot energy getting nothing in particular accomplished — something on vividly on display Monday evening.
The poetry read/inaugural protest drew the type of crowd you’d expect: Mostly white, college-aged kids in baggy pants and tattered clothing covered with anarchist symbols and patches and badges promoting every possible cause.
These “insurgents” apparently hold regular open-mike nights near a fountain that’s also a favorite hangout for the homeless. The event doubled as both a Martin Luther King Day celebration and an anti-Bush rally. That’s how your correspondent learned of it.
About three-dozen showed up to express solidarity, engage in free-form verse, dance as only white kids can dance and just generally chill.
And chill they did. It was so bitterly cold in Washington Monday that the official Martin Luther King Day parade was cancelled. It only got worse after the sun set.
The cold did not deter the insurgents, however, determined as they were to speak truth to power. Still there were moments when a few seemed to grasp that power was at home in front of a warm fire and therefore couldn’t hear what they said.
One poetess briefly channeled Admiral James Stockdale, asking: “What am I doing here? What am I accomplishing?”
The moment of introspection passed quickly when she broke into a show-stopping rendition of “Get The Bush Out.” (Presumably an original composition.)
More common was the kid who prefaced his work with a brief diatribe on the subject of civic responsibility.
“They say change can be made, just work through system. What kind of stupid s—t is that?” he said to applause and laughter.
That the war in Iraq was a conspiracy to promote some other nefarious agenda was taken as a given. So was the idea that Bush had somehow stolen the 2004 election, his 62 million votes notwithstanding.
“Democracy is in denial/ but your vote still counts on American Idol!” rapped another young poet.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?