Although the media took last week's announcement of comedian Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" like it was manna falling from heaven, some Democrats are concerned it could hurt them in the upcoming midterm elections.
Scheduling such an event on the Saturday before Election Day, when field operatives should be diligently working on Get Out The Vote efforts in their districts, could be tremendously counterproductive.
On the other hand, as Politico's Ben Smith noted Monday, there's already a big Democrat rally planned in October:
Stewart hasn't mentioned that labor groups and other institutional Democratic organizations are already planning a big Washington rally to counter Beck: The One America rally on October 2, which has been struggling to get the kind of attention Beck does. [...]
"Midterm elections are about turnout and as has widely been reported, there is an intensity gap in this election, with the Republican base more motivated than the Democrats'. Some of that gap can be closed with an aggressive ground campaign -- we can make up 2-3% in a given race by talking to people at their doors and on their phones," emails veteran labor Democratic consultant Steve Rosenthal. "I love Jon Stewart -- rarely miss the show, but to the extent that some people who will attend his rally would otherwise be involved in GOTV efforts this is not helpful."
Nation editor Chris Hayes e-mailed Smith:
First: It's hard to imagine lots of democratic [sic] politicians showing up to a left equivalent of Glenn Beck's rally (and I wonder how many will be at the *actual* progressive march on October 2nd), but more than that is [sic] puts our current ideological predicament in stark terms. On the right, a large, well-funded, organized, ideologically zealous movement dedicated to a genuinely reactionary vision of America. On the other side? A very gifted satirist calling for everyone to just chill. If I landed here from Mars and took this in and was asked to bet on who's going to have more political success, it would be a no-brainer.
Something else lost in the discussion is that this event is scheduled for the day before Halloween.
Makes you wonder what kind of anti-GOP costumes will be on display and how that will go counter to the "million moderates march" motif.
Think about all the George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity dolls likely to be burned in effigy in our nation's capital as organizers futilely ask, "Can't we all just get along?"
Doesn't present a picture of sanity, does it?
Of course, with two liberal Clintonistas involved in putting this event together, they'll likely have folks patrolling the crowd to control such imagery.
Nobody's better at falsely presenting a "moderate" persona than a former member of that administration.