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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart: Are they he-man enough to face the nation's ultimate gatekeeper? The Comedy Central hosts and their posse have filed preliminary paperwork with the unflappable guardians of the National Mall - the National Park Service - seeking permission to stage a parody political rally Oct. 30, on the north side of the Washington Monument grounds. This is what federal parks spokesman Bill Line tells Inside the Beltway.

Yes, this all could be a big progressive plot to woo young voters and shore up the flagging Democratic Party. Some say the party itself is wary of the event; some posit the idea that Democrats are underwriting it. But now comes the reality check for Chris Wayne and Associates, Comedy Central and Minassian Media - the trio of entities who actually filed the application.

"Too many reporters are not getting into their minds that all this group has done is file the application. An application and a permit are two very different things," Mr. Line cautions. "How many people are expected? Their application indicated the event will generate 25,000 people - and this is not a figure that the National Park Service or the national Park Police have come up with."

Like their Fox News inspiration, Glenn Beck, who staged his own remarkable rally at the Lincoln Memorial last month, the two faux newsmen must now explain their intent. No matter how much clever patter Mr. Colbert and Mr. Stewart spew about their "Restoring Sanity/March to Keep Fear Alive" event, they still must divulge practical plans for portable restrooms, transportation, sound system, staging, program, security, sanitation.

"As with any applicant, the process includes a series of meetings between us and the three entities on the permit, to discuss whether the event they propose will do damage or disrupt the property. What footprint will it leave?" Mr. Line asks. "We'll wait to see what they come up with. The ball is in their court. And there is an assumption that reporters make, that we'll grant a permit by 'x' date. Well, there is no deadline, no time frame and no schedule that the National Park Service must act by."


Stood up in Delaware? Vexed that her Democratic opponent Chris Coons was a no-show for a local candidate forum on Monday night, Republican Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell took some umbrage

"Is Mr. Coons, like so many other Democrats this election season, hiding from voters because he doesnt want to face voter wrath about the disastrous Democrat agenda issuing out of Washington? If Mr. Coons is Harry Reid's 'pet,' as the Senate majority leader boasted, he will need to defend the policies of the Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration," Ms. O'Donnell says.

"And as Harry Reids 'pet,' Mr. Coons is already acting like a Washington politician, avoiding questions about unpopular policies," she adds.


Look - 10 convenient points. Talk radio host Michael Savage shares with Beltway readers an advance on his upcoming "Manifesto for Saving America" - straightforward advice to the White House and whatever adults are in charge these days:

"Close the borders. Defund and repeal ObamaCare. Institute a flat tax. Privatize the regulation of Wall Street. End affirmative action. Liquidate TARP. Impose tariffs on China. Strike down the anchor-babies law. Use profiling to prevent terror attacks. Run the country like a business, not an empire."


"As the 'tea party' movement continues to grow in popularity and influence, attacks from the left and the media are intensifying. With the 'racist' label largely failing to stick owing to an utter lack of evidence for it, it seems anyone loosely associated with the movement is now to be disregarded as 'crazy,' " says Nathan Burchfiel, an analyst at the Culture and Media Institute who faults ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Huffington Post and other news outlets.

"Its worth remembering that liberal columnists tried the same tactic against Sen. Scott Brown early in 2010, and he won as Republican in true-blue Massachusetts. Of course, just how 'crazy' a conservative Brown turned out to be is up for debate," Mr. Burchfiel adds.


Those who recall Ronald Reagan's pivotal "Morning in America" campaign during the 1984 presidential election take note: the phrase has re-emerged with a twist. It's now "Mourning in America," courtesy of Citizens for the Republic, a conservative grass-roots lobbying group founded by self-described "Reagan stalwarts."

They've launched a new national TV spot that compares the "better, prouder, stronger" mantra of Mr. Reagan to the bitter realities of the Obama administration, suggesting viewers seek "a smaller, more caring government, one that remembers us." The group means business; a source says the initial advertising buy on cable networks is around $400,000.

"It reminds citizens they can change all that on Nov. 2," says Bill Pascoe, the vice president of the organization, which includes Ed Meese, Peter Hannaford, Dan Oliver, Mari Massing Will, Craig Shirley and Diana Banister on its board of directors.


- 49 percent of Americans overall admire political leaders who "stick to their positions."

- 62 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of Democrats agree with that idea.

- 71 percent of "tea party" supporters also agree.

- 42 percent of Americans admire politicians who "make compromises."

- 33 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

- 22 percent of tea party supporters also agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center/National Journal survey of 1,005 adults conducted Sept. 16-19.

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