A reader writes:
I'm an Army vet and a Navy family member and prior to the invasion of Iraq I was one of the ragged, resentful, and naive out on the streets demonstrating against the inevitable invasion. Except I am neither ragged, resentful, nor naive. I was exceptionally well informed and took to the streets out of a crisis of conscience. The folks I stood vigil with and marched with were, for the most part, some of the most thoughtful and gentle people I've ever dealt with. Like me, most of the people I met out there were brand new to the world of protest.
We didn't have a friendly media outlet promoting our every move. The media was hostile and interpolated us in a way that was unrecognizable. There was no anti-war blogosphere to speak of, even people like Josh Marshall over at TPM had bought into the rush to war (I forgive him). Move-On was active but nothing close to the force it would grow into. We were alone.When I protested the war I was made out to be the scum of the earth. What must it be like to show up for a protest, denounce your Country, bad mouth the President, threaten armed revolt, and have your very own media outlet brand you a patriot.I know many tea-baggers, or tea-bagger sympathizers, and to a person, they are poorly informed, and instead of being alone and acting out of a crisis of conscience they are a part of a herd being stampeded by right-wing interest groups and right-wing media. They are the Clinton bashers dusting off the same tired old rhetoric. I hear nothing new and nothing authentic. For Ross to suggest a comparison is intellectually lazy.