Breaking news, live from the Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington D.C.! (Actually, we already left.) The speakers, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and some baseball players, want Americans to believe again. In something. Yeah... it was vague!
We arrived at the Lincoln Memorial press area as Glenn Beck was bringing on Sarah Palin. It was hard to decipher that during his introductory speech, though, because he noted that he didn't want to have any "politicians" at his thing — just mothers of soldiers! And with that, he said "here's Sarah Palin." But she's a politician too! C'mon.
Sarah Palin talked about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and war. Then some veterans came on and did the same.
Here's the view from the lil' press area, jampacked with sweaty, grumpy stenographers and operators of massive filming apparati.
Since signs and posters were banned, interest groups, activists and other generally obnoxious people had to resort to pamphlets and flyers, passing them out everywhere. Here's a hot advertisement for Obamasutra. It is allegedly one of the "funniest and happiest books about evil," and "if you throw such sharp aphorisms at the window of the White House, the glass will crack." Call the cops on this book!
The best part of the event was probably when St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa came out to give an award to... Albert Pujols, his best player. What the hell? At the Glenn Beck Lincoln Memorial "Restoring Honor" Rally of the Century? This ain't the ESPYs! But the throngs lining the reflecting pool cheered anyway. Albert Pujols spoke favorably of Jesus, in his award acceptance speech.
That's when we left. Glenn Beck was still saying things, strange things. ("Hope. Hope is the parent of both faith and charity. Hope is the light. Faith. Now faith is..." etc. etc.) Wonderful people were spreading across the lawns for naps.
It was a uniquely brutal weather day in Washington. Hot enough to sweat through your shirt, but with enough of a breeze and cloud cover to leave you cold, soaked, and shivering.
This was pretty cool though: a loudspeaker on the National Mall — probably set up for Al Sharpton's counter-rally later on — blasting Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Dream" speech. That guy could talk! And unlike Beck, he didn't need so many freaking montage interludes to fill the time.
So yes, we, too, are disappointed not to have seen crazy mean-spirited adults lobbing spittle at each other or smashing Obama pinatas with large sticks and pocket knives. (Who knows what's happening at the after parties now, though!) This rally was America-porn for the elderly in lawn chairs. And it was great, great advertising for Fox News' Glenn Beck show.
Here are some AP photos of the rally in case you're dying to see what else you missed: