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Please see the update below.
When we arrived today at the Dirksen Office Building, we saw a disturbance outside the entrance -- and I turned to the First Mate and groaned, "Oh, man, we're going to have to push through some protestors." To my surprise, the protest turned out to be a pro-Alito rally, with most of the people wearing red shirts and chanting pro-Alito messages.
It struck me as somewhat odd, though well intentioned. Chanting slogans just amounts to tribalism or cheerleading. I would have been more impressed by someone standing on a ladder, stating why Alito should be confirmed. Chanting "Alito" in a song first written about a dog named Bingo invites itself to satire, and deservedly so.
It's great that conservatives get together to rally themselves and generate enthusiasm and energy. However, when the world is watching, we should take care to use that opportunity to show that we are the party of ideas and not just sloganeering.
UPDATE: We met with the group that staged this rally later in the morning. They belong to a group called TeenPact, and they are a group of very bright and articulate high-school students. They each gave a one-minute speech, which they delivered well and with good affect. It's terrific to see young people come so far -- from every state in the union -- to participate in any way in this process.
Lesson: dig a little deeper next time, a good lesson to learn.
UPDATE II and BUMP: One of the young women in the program is Ms. Emily Echols, who sued the FEC and won a Supreme Court decision 9-0 allowing minors to contribute to political campaigns. She is now 17 years old and wants to pursue politics. I asked for a show of hands on how many bloggers there were, and I'd say that we're looking at 75%. Outstanding!Sphere It View blog reactions
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