Will Jon Stewarts Anti-Glenn Beck Hissy Fit Rally Hurt the Democrats?
Democrats look at the electoral map and see that they’re doomed. Their hope rests on the resilience of liberal activists and union members, who will be spending the final 72 hours of the campaign pulling voters to the polls. And all of a sudden here come Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, turning a joke into a mega-rally and plucking liberals right out of their get-out-the-vote operations during their most crucial weekend.
But instead of canvassing neighborhoods and doing GOTV, these activists are instead going to go watch Jon Stewart do his snarky, mugging for the camera shtick the weekend before the 2010 Election.
This is high-grade Democratic nightmare fuel. In 2008, college kids from Washington, D.C., campuses regularly boarded buses to campaign for Obama-Biden in Virginia. In Iowa, twentysomething Obama volunteers erased bad memories of Howard Dean’s messy campaign by getting to know locals and mastering caucus politics. Both of these activities seemed more useful than an attention-getting rally that, like so many rallies, will just reinforce what the activists think. And what they think when they watch Stewart and Colbert is: “Aren’t these right-wingers a bunch of rubes?”
Democrats don’t think this is helpful, and a few of them poured their hearts out to Politico‘s Ben Smith. “To the extent that some people who will attend his rally would otherwise be involved in GOTV efforts,” wrote party strategist Steve Rosenthal, “this is not helpful.”