Grassroots vs. Astroturf – in pictures

Colorado-based photojournalist El Marco has a must-read detailed post loaded with photos, that describes Nancy Pelosi’s quick in/out visit to a public clinic in Denver, Colorado, where she was scheduled to view improvements made to the clinic with Stimulus funds. Upon hearing of her plans to visit Denver, around 200 protesters opposed to the current proposed government health care reforms quickly gathered outside the clinic. The event was also attended by a group of around 40 pro-health care reform protesters organized by the Democrat-affiliated ArapaHope Community Team (ACT).

Although El Marco’s post contains quite a bit of written detail about the event, the pictures are what tell the real story of the current grassroots protests against big government. The protesters opposed to a government takeover of health care showed up individually, in casual dress, carrying mostly home-made signs:


In contrast, the protesters in support of the Obama Administration’s health care reforms were bussed in, carried professionally printed signs, and many of them wore t-shirts provided by political organizations:


El Marco also tells the following anecdote about some of the pro-Obama protesters:


This clinic is adjacent to Denver’s day laborer pickup street, Park Avenue. Being fluent in Spanish, El Marco asked these guys “¿hablan ingles?” “casi nada” was the reply from our amigo on the left. I asked him if he could tell me what the signs said. “¿Quien sabe?” (who knows?) was all he said to me, with a big grin. I’m kicking myself for not asking them how much they were getting paid to support the grassroots.

While it’s not exactly true to claim that conservative or “Tea Party” affiliated protests are “unorganized” (people do plan event dates and locations, maintain Facebook accounts and web pages, and send out emails and Tweets) there is nothing about conservative protests that compares with the top-down organization exhibited by pro-Obama supporters. Despite the crazed conspiracy theories oozing out of the moonbat fever swamp, there are no giant PAC’s (like Organizing For America), no huge member-driven organizations that can command compulsory attendance (like the SEIU or other labor unions), no direct political party command, and no widespread coordinated training for local organizers or attendees (like that provided by ACORN Community Organizations International) behind the “Tea Parties” and related conservative protests.

Tea Partiers show up voluntarily, and many of them take time off from work in order to attend rallies and protests. They make their own signs. None of them have been coached or trained. And virtually none of them have ever shown up at a political protest before. Opposition to the Obama Administration’s massive deficit spending and power grab schemes is truly grassroots. It is driven by the passion of ordinary Americans who demand accountability from their elected officials, and who expect their representatives to listen to them when they are ready to vote on major policy initiatives (like health care reform) that will literally have a life-or-death impact on the people living in this country.

I think there’s a word for this … oh yes, it’s democracy. We are supposed to have a bottom-up representative government in this country, not a top-down command system. Thanks to protests like this one, Washington DC may finally be getting the message — if not now, certainly by the time of next year’s midterm elections.

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

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