I spent the morning with a few hundred people at the #StopWatchingUs rally near the Capitol. The location, next to the reflecting pool (the less famous of two on the mall), allowed a crowd to march dramatically from the rally point of Union Station and fill a space that, in the view of cameras, looked positively massive. And most of the cameras I saw belonged to foreign news organizations, which find it tough to resist a story of Americans rebelling against their own collapsing state. (One domestic journalist on site: Mike Isikoff, conducting interviews with non-Snowden whistleblowers, for NBC.)
Among the sponsors and speakers: 2012 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, Code Pink. Among the attendees: More than a few Tea Partiers and young, small-l libertarians, possibily equaling those who could be put on the left.
Enthusiasm for the president was minimal.
Police circled the event but went largely unnoticed.
Jokes about the possible perversion of NSA snoopers were common.
As were references to the Constitution.
As were code jokes that I was too unsophisticated to get.
But nothing attracted the press like a Code Pink protester in a papier-mâché costume.