The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘I Went Down to the Demonstration
to Get My Fair Share of Abuse …’

Posted on | November 7, 2011 | 24 Comments

Occupy DC demonstrators are illuminated by camera flash
while trying to storm the Washington Convention Center
in scene from video recorded Friday, Nov. 4, 2011

“Though they’ve mobilized a fraction of the people who turned out for just one Tea Party rally — the 9/12 rally in Washington, which drew well into the six figures — the Occupy protests have generated far more publicity. And, at least until recently, that publicity has been mostly favorable.”
Glenn Reynolds, Washington Examiner

When I left home Thursday to attend AFP’s “Defending the American Dream Summit,” I explained that constant campaign coverage and other frustrations had brought me to the edge of complete burn-out:

When burn-out looms, one of the most important symptoms is an overpowering thirst. And I must maintain my health. IYKWIMAITYD.

My general plan was (a) to find Phil Kerpen and do an interview about his new book Democracy Denied, (b) do just enough reporting about Herman Cain and Mitt Romney’s speeches at the AFP event to justify the trip, and otherwise (c) relax and schmooze with my buddies in DC.

At first, things went according to plan. I met up with two stone-cold Cainiacs from New Hampshire, Mike Rogers and Chris Heneghan, who were kind enough to let me crash on the sofa in their suite at the Renaissance Hotel, and who also helped me cope with my thirst-related symptoms. Friday, I went over to the Convention Center and blogged a bit about Mitt and Herman, but had no luck finding Kerpen.

By late Friday afternoon, I’d given up hope for the Kerpen interview, but did get a chance to interview one lively Cainiac:

Ready to call it a day, I went to the AFP dinner with no plan other than to eat a free meal and chill out. But . . . news happens, and what followed were three posts — one, two, three — each of which got Instalanced, so that Saturday’s traffic was the best daily total we’d had in a month. Thousands watched the videos I posted, and the story behind the story is told in my column today at The American Spectator:

The rhythmic chant, kept in time by the accompaniment of a drummer, eventually deteriorated into chaotic shouting as the mob crowded around the entrance to the Washington Convention Center. A young woman held aloft her homemade 11-by-17-inch sign: “OCCUPY” with three red stars, a crude simulation of the District of Columbia flag. Flashes from dozens of digital cameras intermittently illuminated the frenzied scene by the glass doors, which were guarded by Metropolitan Police officers attempting to prevent the Occupy DC protesters from shoving their way inside.
“Peaceful! Peaceful!” some of the mob members shouted, as the self-declared “99 percent” were clearly on the verge of a full-scale riot Friday night outside the venue where the Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Foundation was holding its annual Defending the American Dream Summit. Before the evening was over, elderly women attending the “Tribute to Ronald Reagan” dinner would be shoved to the ground and three Occupiers would be struck by a car, but those incidents transpired later, after the protesters attempted to storm the doors of the Convention Center. . . .

Please read the whole thing. It’s kind of ironic how I stumbled into the middle of one of the hottest stories I’ve covered all year, when I wasn’t even planning to cover it at all.


24 Responses to “‘I Went Down to the Demonstration
to Get My Fair Share of Abuse …’”

  1. Bob Belvedere
    November 7th, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    Your last line is brilliant: In a nation of 300 million people, however, even an estimate of 0.9 percent would provide the leaders of the mob with 2.7 million witless savages to follow them lemming-like off a cliff and into the abyss of anarchy, which is all they deserve to occupy.

    I owe you a coffee and dessert when we [finally] meet.

  2. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    Great title! Good post game write up at AS. Did you witness the protesters using their children as battering rams? The video I saw wasn’t all that clear.

  3. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 8:48 am
  4. Red
    November 7th, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    I’d like to get in on that pie date 😉

  5. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    It’s not ironic Stacy. Fortune favors the prepared mind.

  6. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    Well, Bob, I would hope all my lines were brilliant, but . . .

  7. Garym
    November 7th, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    Smelly, dirty hippies!

  8. Bob Belvedere
    November 7th, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Perfection is reserved for the Good Lord, my friend. Some of your sentences are brilliant, some wonderful, others magnificent, but only occasionally can a mere mortal rise to the level of The Supreme Gonzo Of The Universe.

  9. mojo
    November 7th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    When hippies get violent, it’s best to beat them soundly about the head and shoulders.

  10. SDN
    November 7th, 2011 @ 10:53 am

    Only if there’s a 10 foot pole handy. See Portland…

  11. ThePaganTemple
    November 7th, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Why wait until they get violent?

  12. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    Oftentimes, with a radical hippie, a straitjacket is more appropriate.  

  13. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:13 am

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate and suggest that the great majority of these Occupy campers are about as harmless as grown men can be, although their female compatriots can be feisty.

    Nevertheless, they’re on the verge of becoming dangerous to themselves and innocent bystanders because, for all their lives, the serious grown ups have coddled their fantasy-land, video-game nihilism.     

  14. ThePaganTemple
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    If they had played video games enough for that to have an effect on them at least they might have a marketable skill.

  15. Chakam
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:42 am


    You do write well, but let’s face it: you’re not ready for the high-caliber journalism of the Politico.  I mean, they know how to tell the truth, without any agenda whatsoever.

  16. Greg Toombs
    November 7th, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    BTW, Stacy, Bob Teague is also a former reporter for NBC News out of NYC.  It’s nice to know he’s a conservative and was so while employed as a member of the MSM.  How far we’ve come eh?

    (Shoutout for Bob, if you’re reading this: did you know my uncle, Bob Toombs, at NBC?)

  17. Occupy DC Movement Violently Interrupts Dinner at Dream Summit
    November 7th, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    […] I Went Down To the Demonstration to Get My Fair Share of Abuse (The Other McCain – videos) […]

  18. ThePaganTemple
    November 7th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    I saw Meaghan Kelley’s coverage of the conference and Occupy DC and there stood RSM in his fedora in the foreground. Too bad you didn’t get a chance to say anything on camera.

  19. DaveO
    November 7th, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    He needs to have a sign on the side of his fedora: ‘Robt Stacy McCain @ TheOtherMcCain dot com’ – never know when one will get to do a little product placement!

  20. Bob Belvedere
    November 7th, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

    Great idea.

  21. Quartermaster
    November 7th, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

    You forgot the closing tag


  22. Quartermaster
    November 7th, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

    What I want to know is where were the fire hoses? Fire hoses would have put a serious damper on their attempted conquest of your venue. If it hurts them, they played the game, and they takes bruises. I might shed a tear for them if I cut myself shaving.

  23. Under the Fedora: Space Goats, Mea Culpas and the Mick
    November 8th, 2011 @ 4:21 am

    […] remember the Tea Party folks pushing a 78-year-old women down stairs, or scaring reporters to the point that they declare they will not cover the protests, going […]

  24. It’s Morning in Vanuatu Again : The Other McCain
    November 10th, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    […] Summit, and switching to the weekly rate made sense. So then I went down to D.C. and found myself unexpectedly in the middle of the Occupy DC riot. By the time I finally returned the car, I’d had it for 11 days and . . . $854.46.My […]