Bloggers from across the spectrum weigh in with eyewitness accounts of the "National Day of Action" pro-immigrant marches. Others wonder what will happen in Italy after a shockingly close election. And the latest twist in the investigation of an alleged rape by Duke lacrosse players prompts some to question "innocent until proven guilty."
La marcha: As hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their political supporters turned out nationwide Monday, bloggers documented the demonstrations. At Metroblogging Los Angeles, amateur photographer Dave Bullock captures the scene on the West Coast. Explaining the pictures of demonstrators "feverishly waving their American flags," Bullock notes that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa "opened his talk with a polite request for the protesters to roll up and stow away their non-American flags. He said that the flags from other countries would not help their cause, and most of the protesters obliged his request." (See the complete collection of Bullock's photos on his personal Web site.)
At Legal Fiction, the liberal Publius, who attended the march at the Mall in Washington, also remarks on the American flags. "The crowd consisted of families and children and groups of friends—all of them waving American flags and holding signs reading, 'We are America,' or 'First-Generation American' and so on," Publius writes. "Personally, I get annoyed with the deification of our flag, but it worked yesterday. It seemed very appropriate."
But at Latino Issues: A Conservative Blog, Josue Sierra looks at pictures from the marches and doesn't like what he sees. "These protests are highly organized, politically calculated, PR managed, opportunistic events," he writes. And right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin counters the images of flag-waving protesters by posting video clips—including those of "the inevitable Che cultists"—from her own trip to the "illegal alien demonstration" on the Mall. (Malkin also posts a roundup of anti-American signs elsewhere across the country.) Meanwhile, the conservative behind Confederate Yankee weighs in with a modest proposal about the annexation of Mexico.
Read more on the marches.
Florida on the Mediterranean: Almost six years after America's bruising presidential election recount, Italy may be facing a similarly protracted recount. Although Italian Interior Ministry results indicate challenger Romano Prodi's coalition won both houses of parliament, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is refusing to concede, citing in part the thin margin in the vote for the lower house—49.8 to 49.7 percent.
At the libertarian Reason's Hit and Run blog, David Weigel remarks that the electoral mess demonstrates the "quirks of having a relatively recent Constitution that can be amended without much fuss." He tries to imagine what would happen under similar circumstances in America. "It's interesting to wonder what the current crop of Republicans would do if they were facing electoral defeat and the Constitution was flimsy enough to 'correct for errors.' "
Meanwhile, at the American Prospect's progressive TAPPED, Matthew Yglesias predicts a Prodi victory will reveal that Italy is "less divided than it seems." He notes, "Even the narrowest of margins for Prodi's coalition would allow him to remedy the current situation where some television stations are owned by Berlusconi, and the other television stations are owned by Berlusconi's government. Everyone likes to complain about media bias, but the situation the Italian left's been dealing with is truly off the charts." The prospect for a peaceful resolution seems less likely, however, when reading Italian Stefania's comments at the "politically incorrect" Free Thoughts. "I very much doubt there will be stability. I doubt that the left will be able to rule even just for 1 year. I doubt they will be able to pass laws (and let's hope this is the case!)," she writes. "Now, the last word lies on the Supreme Court. Just like Florida in 2000. But this is the right thing to do."
Read more about the Italian election.
(Blue) Devil in the details: The case of a dancer's alleged gang rape by members of Duke's lacrosse team took another turn Monday, when lawyers for the players revealed that DNA tests provided no evidence linking players to an assault. The district attorney, however, has indicated he intends to pursue the case.
At liberal legal site TalkLeft, defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt says it's time to move on. "If the accuser made up the rape claim, the damage she caused to these young players, to the lacrosse team which had its season cancelled, to Duke University and its reputation and to the team's coach is incalculable. And, it will be a huge stab in the back to true rape victims everywhere, who already fear they won't be believed if they come forward." And at La Shawn Barber's Corner, the eponymous "former liberal" raises the specter of Tawana Brawley. "Don't expect so-called black leaders, loud and wrong as usual, to apologize for accusations of racism or to even make a statement on the matter," she writes.
But at Feministe, Jill argues that just as the players' defenders were reluctant to rush to conclusions before the test results, they should not do so now. She cites UNC law professor Rich Rosen, who says the results don't settle the matter, and concludes, "There's obviously a lot we don't know."
Read more on the alleged rape case.