Small Nation

There was a radical rally in DC yesterday, thousands of Democrats getting together to motivate the base to fight back against the conservative tide. One group chanted "Obama ain't no socialist - we are, we are," as they marched across crab grass filled field.

It was the left wing's first large gathering designed to counter the conservative tea party phenomenon, and many speakers warned that a Republican-controlled Congress would block or roll back progressive changes. Organizers said they also wanted to show that their supporters represent the majority of the nation.

The more than four hours of speeches, poetry and music were buttressed with testimonials from out-of-work Americans, immigrants, veterans and Native Americans. They focused on jobs, education and human rights issues in particular.

More than 400 groups endorsed the "One Nation Working Together" rally, which organizers said drew a crowd of 175,000 people - about what they expected. Beck has estimated that 500,000 people came to his gathering. There are no official counts of crowds on the Mall, and the National Park Service no longer provides such estimates.

The inability of the "One Nation" rally to pull together a substantial crowd seems to reflect the lack of interest in voting on the part of Democrats that the polls have been revealing.

The crowd Saturday, which stretched down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial then petered out down the sides of the reflecting pool, heard repeatedly that voters must band together to keep the country from going back to conservative policies. Speakers also called for a more robust jobs program funded by the federal government and the passage of big legislative programs, such as overhauling immigration laws and providing more money for education.