DENVER -- Never was so much hype created by so few to simulate the appearance of so many.
The hard-core left vowed to turn out 50,000 protesters for the Democratic National Convention this week. They pledged to "Re-create '68" and cause the kind of tear-gas-infused revolutionary havoc that marked the DNC in Chicago four decades ago. Police prepared for the worst riots. Media from around the world anticipated the best pictures.
But when rhetorical push came to real-life shove, the nostalgic, Marx-adoring organizers of Re-create '68 seem to have mustered no more than, oh, 68 bodies. Their presence here is dwarfed by the massive show of police, press and camera-toting looky-loos. You can't take a picture without someone else taking pictures of everyone else taking pictures of not much else getting in your frame.
The chaos-inducers' mouths were a mile wide. Their crowds have been an inch deep. What's left of the leftover '60s movement is all sizzle and no steak. Or veggie burger. Deep-fried tofu. Whatever.
At an abortion protest/counter-protest on Saturday in front of a Planned Parenthood mega-facility, I counted fewer than a dozen pro-abortion activists milling about with three times as many media members. The majority of demonstrators were more exercised about the war in Iraq than about the vaunted woman's right to choose death for her unborn child -- the stated focus of the demonstration.
And while Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean excoriates the Republican Party as the "white" party, I saw only one non-white agitator among the pro-abortion gaggle. (This goes for the rest of the Re-create '68 populace, too. It's as pale and colorless as a Colorado snowfall.) Across the street from the Planned Parenthood event, however, were many incensed black- and brown-skinned moms -- incensed that an abortion mill had been built right across from the park where their children practice football and swing on the playground set.
One of the moms said bluntly: "I don't want a f**king abortion clinic in my neighborhood!" A Hispanic mother added: "It's against the Catholic Church." (Are you listening, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi?) When asked about her views on abortion, a black mother of three told me simply from her minivan: "I don't believe in it."