I'm actually going to recommend you go over to Michelle Malkin's place and look at the photos. The photos are of the various ill-named "tea parties" that right-wingers have been throwing all around the country.

Now look, it's obvious that I think the people in these photos are either ill-informed or are just suckers for a system that's using them, but their reaction to government action that bothers them is something I celebrate, even if they don't seem to get that their analogy of the tea party is historically inaccurate. I'm a lover of protest, because it shows that people care deeply enough about something to get off their asses or from behind their computers and actually inconvenience themselves to advance something they believe in.

That's why I try to do it myself when I can. Too many times I've satisfied myself by saying that I was doing my part by blogging about something, instead of putting myself out there in public, and I realized that I was only fooling myself. Blogging can only be a small part of any activism--eventually, you've got to get out there and have a presence. Some of these people did it in crappy weather, and for some, no doubt, it was their first experience at public protest, which can be tough.

My first experience with it came during the run-up to the Iraq War, in the fall/winter of 2002 when I was a grad student at Arkansas. I ended my class early and walked over to the big area between the library and the student union, and was surprised by the size of the crowd. Fayetteville, while liberal by Arkansas standards, was still in Arkansas, after all, and I was actually nervous about "coming out" as a liberal, you might say. But after that one, I was hooked, because I saw the power that numbers gives you--not political power, but the feeling that you're not alone.

So even though I think the people protesting the stimulus package are incorrect on the facts and unaware of the potential damage the nation faces if the government doesn't do what it's doing, I celebrate their willingness to put themselves out there and express their feelings on the matter. Good for them.

P.S. Notice I said look at the pictures. The accompanying text is full of the nutballery you'd expect from Malkin. But the pictures are nice, and the signs are, umm, illuminating.

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