The estimates I've heard so far suggest as many as 250,000 individuals took part in the "festivities" nation-wide. I don't know the source of this figure. If it is in fact from the shout-monkey right, then 100,000 or less would be more believable. (The audio of Neil Cavuto leaping from a private crowd estimate of 5000 to an on-stage estimate of 15,000 would have been more entertaining had it been less cynical)
My heart goes out to all those precious over-taxed babies who were able to take the time away from their offices and desks and employees and drive from all over the state to watch a bunch of cynical blowhards sell-out our national birthright in exchange for a pot of message...and pretty thin soup, at that.
I recognize a lot of these faces, in bulk if not in specific: I've known these people all my life, and they're just as nice as they can be. To your face. Mean as a snake otherwise, like as not. Little more than wealthy & well-connected suburbanites urging largesse for themselves, their companies and their investments at public expense. Look closely: this is a disappearing species - not true apex predators like the Rockefellers, DuPonts, Bushs, etc (most of these tarred as "liberal" for some unfathomable notion), but wanna-bes; individuals so wedded to their dreams of wealth that they'll defend their avatars (the flesh-and-blood rich) against reason, against logic, against fact, against history - against their own manifest self-interest, if it come to that.
And, just because I know my friends...I know there are some who will bash anyone and anything once the tar of "OMG TAXXES!!!1" has been applied. For them, a few words about taxes, qua taxes: Taxes pay for contract enforcement, fire departments, sewers and sewage treatment, food safety inspection, civil and military defense, forest rangers, 911, and the interstates. Take away taxes, you take away these things - and many thousands of other things that I would then have to figure out how to arrange for myself (food safety? sewage treatment? interstates?), contract for separately (contract enforcement? forest rangers?), or do without entirely (emergency services of every kind?).
There is a segment of the population that says let the private sector provide these things; however, the private sector has not exactly proven itself in the public-services/utilities department. When everything is a la carte, shoddy products, dishonest marketing, and all-the-traffic-will-bear pricing impose financial and safety burdens that are (I submit) far beyond the weight of the taxes we currently shoulder in this country.
It is the libertarian conundrum: how to provide the scale and quality and availability of infrastructure and services that modern society requires to function without passing the hat on the one hand (taxes) or getting in debt to a loan-shark (unregulated private business) on the other. This issue didn't bounce me out of being a libertarian, but it's certainly an uncomfortable thing for an honest libertarian to contemplate. Too bad these days, libertarian has come to mean 'knuckle-dragging, people-hating, money-loving, demagoguing fear-monger' (also known variously as "Mike the Savage Weiner", or "Crocodile-Tears Dundee").
A little too 'Ruby Ridge' to actually play well with others, if you know what I mean.
My very own ironic, acerbic, and uncannily accurate takings of the public temperature;
Analyses and reality-checks issued for the value thereof;
Smack-downs proffered where necessary, olives and laurels where appropriate.