Correction, May 2: The headline on this article originally and incorrectly referred to Uno de Mayo.
Bloggers focus on the immigration rallies sweeping the country and take pleasure in roasting or toasting comedian Stephen Colbert's angry denunciation of President Bush.
Uno de Mayo: Hundreds of thousands of people gathered across the country Monday to celebrate "A Day Without Immigrants" to demonstrate the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy. While the Senate is weighing a bill that attempts to increase border security and offers citizenship to certain illegal immigrants, the House has passed a bill that would erect a fence on the border and would make illegal immigrants felons.
One blogger explains how she organized a "shut down" within the Brooklyn bakery where she works. "I didn't wake up Saturday morning thinking that I was going to organize a shut down. …[H]earing that it was really important to the kitchen staff and that they would do it if they felt like they had support was all we needed to want to participate," she writes at New York's IndyMedia Web site. On Loteria Chicana, teacher Cindylu writes about her mixed feelings about whether she should attend a protest. "It's easy to go a day without spending, but not teaching or working with students didn't come easy."
"I just called the Grove for a breakfast burrito but they are closed today due to the one day boycott by immigrant workers. So what am I supposed to eat? Honestly, I'm starving right now. I could care less about prison over-population, gang violence, bi-lingual schools debate or really any other immigration hot button issues, I just want someone to wrap my burrito," bemoans San Fransisco's Juan Octavias, who supports the rallies. And on Democratic blog Daily Kos, protester Georgia10 notes that between 300,000 and 500,000 people attended the Chicago rally and writes, "Whether you believe protests are effective or not, whether you agree with those protesting or not, it's hard to deny that these people, with their mere presence, have proved that the art of protest is still alive in the streets of America."
On Anderson Cooper's 360° Blog, CNN's Keith Oppenheimer, who attended the Chicago rally, pronounces it a "coming out party" for previously apolitical immigrants. And many are linking to Slaves of Academe's Oso Raro, an academic who calls for a new Chicano movement and writes, "The irony of the impending Congressional legislation and the unsightly racism it has unleashed is that it may become one key to this cultural formation, this new state of being, this uniquely American creature: The Latina/o."
Detractors also abound. "Sí, sí, the boycott, blah, blah," writesYonder Lies It's Julio Sueco, a Chicano based in Sweden. "… [M]y uncle always murmured things the likes of if it is Workers Day the best thing you can do to celebrate it is by working. No arguing there, and I mean no arguing, jíjole I worked." Other conservatives are outraged at a Spanish translation of "The Star Spangled Banner." (Listen here; read the Chicago Tribune's translation here.) Michelle Malkin insists, "It's a politicized rewrite for the purposes of galvanizing pro-illegal alien amnesty forces. The song includes improvised rap from Latin pop stars trashing America's immigration laws as 'mean.' And the chant at the end brags: "We're Latinos, baby!" Wondering why "the U.S. is being so 'forgiving' to so many people who are fugitives from the law … [l]etting them live here and giving them taxper benefits," Sir Gregory recommends sending undocumented immigrants to Iraq "since we are technically kissing all their asses by allowing them to live here and ignoring the fact they all broke the law." Captain's Quarters' Ed Morrissey excoriates ANSWER, the group organizing the protests, for blending immigrants' rights with International Workers' Day. He goes on to predict a "backlash in Congress." At Moonbattery, Van Helsing complains about ANSWER's goals."[W]hat ANSWER wants regarding illegal aliens is immediate unconditional amnesty for all illegal aliens. They are of course opposed to border defence. In other words, they want the USA to voluntarily cease to exist as a sovereign nation."
Ill rapport: Bloggers are reacting along unsuprisingly partisan lines to Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents Association dinner over the weekend. Colbert mocked the president's approval ratings, rationale for war in Iraq, and more in the guise of his Colbert Report conservative talk-show host character. (Read a transcript of Colbert's monologue or view a video clip.)
Commending Colbert for "touching on three of the four crimes for which President Bush should be impeached, removed from office, and imprisoned," liberal Boiling Mad points out, "This is extremely witty, must-see TV." Scientific Research or Bumbling Incomprehension's Ursula Lynn writes, "Stephen Colbert is my new hero. He was my old hero, but now he gets the New hero slot, too." And on The Political Animal, The Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum asks, "[D]id anyone notice that George Bush's routine was every bit as pointed as Colbert's? For those who didn't see it, Bush worked with a double who acted as his "inner voice," saying the things that Bush himself is forced to hold in. But despite the laughter it received, that inner voice made it crystal clear that Bush really didn't want to be there and really doesn't like having to pretend to laugh at their jokes. He was pissed off about the whole thing — and that was before Colbert spoke."
The Moderate Voice's Joe Gandelman, a political independent who attended the dinner, points out, "If in show biz you measure the success of a comedy set by the duration and volume of laughs, Bush & impersonator were a smash. By THAT standard, Colbert wasn't since he got (with a few exception) mostly softer 'titters.' " And Unqualified Offerings' Jim Henley, a freelance writer, explains why Colbert's speech got so few laughs. "The instant Colbert confides in the President from the podium that 'I have complete contempt for these people too' and they realize he means it, the audience is lost to him. What they wanted was safe, American "of course we can laugh about ourselves, ha ha, it's the national duty!" pseudosatire. What they got was an ass-ripping by a man who could barely contain his disgust with his surroundings. It's a fierce performance, but it's not great comedy."