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February 6, 2011

Stacy McCain asks and answers, "How many times have we heard variations of this argument?"

“Oh, Buckley purged the Birchers and therefore, we must now cast aside Uncouth Person X and distance ourselves from Populist Organization Y, because above all else, the Official Conservative Movement must maintain its precious respectability!”
If we had listened to that argument in 2009, there never would have been a Tea Party movement. Republicans would have rolled over and played dead and gone along with the whole Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda because it was not respectable to oppose Keynesian “stimulus” spending, cap-and-trade, nationalized health care, and so forth. -- Hey, Remember That Crazy Conspiracy Theory Glenn Beck Was Talking About? : The Other McCain

Posted by Vanderleun at February 6, 2011 2:21 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

They kept talking and bullshitting in 1774-5 too until 3% of the population said "Enough!"
What is the reset button? I don't know just where it is, but you can bet your ass there is one.

The Egyptians just don't have the guns; otherwise that would be a lot more noisy then it is.

Posted by: Peccable at February 7, 2011 5:22 AM

Old-line conservatives were/are comfortable being houseboys, and even look the part with their nice suits and bowties. All they're missing is a tray of mint juleps to complete the ensemble.

It's hard to respect men who fulfill Janeanne Garofalo's fantasy of what a "conservative" is "supposed" to be.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at February 7, 2011 11:37 AM


I've read that "3%" notion before (over at Jaded have, specifically). Where does that urban legend come from?

A plurality of Americans supported the notion of independence, and a whole lot of them aided and abbetted the cause.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at February 7, 2011 11:41 AM

The three percent notion seems to refer to the percentage of the population at the time of the revolution that actually took up arms. It may be apocryphal and an popular email forward. A good example of the text is at


Wiki gives the numbers as: "At the beginning of 1776, Washington's army had 20,000 men, with two-thirds enlisted in the Continental Army and the other third in the various state militias.[8] At the end of the American Revolution in 1783, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded. About 250,000 men served as regulars or as militiamen for the Revolutionary cause in the eight years of the war, but there were never more than 90,000 total men under arms at one time."

Posted by: Anonymous at February 7, 2011 12:59 PM

The three percent notion seems to refer to the percentage of the population at the time of the revolution that actually took up arms

That's what I thought, thank you. Unfortunately, touting that statistic implies that support for rebellion was very low. For every man under arms there were at least ten who supported their aims both materially and with moral support and other acts to effectively promote the rebellion.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at February 7, 2011 2:36 PM

I've always heard that 1/3 supported independence, 1/3 wanted to remain under the Crown, and 1/3 didn't care and just wanted to be left alone.

So I guess I can see how only 3% of the total population actually took up arms themselves, but I don't know just how accurate that is. It sounds a little low.

Posted by: rickl at February 7, 2011 5:01 PM

The 3% has been answered. More supported the Revolution. 3% is the number as close as they can get to the armed people in the field.
Lets not get piggy here, there were women who did the fighting too.

I'm from Vermont, (now South Carolina near Cowpens) where many battles took place along the shores of Champlain. The people took up arms as a militia, fought, then went back to farming.

Posted by: Peccable at February 7, 2011 5:11 PM

Established Dems are harder to uproot because they are either represent die hard blue constituents or they are too powerful. Blue dogs, we can take out. But hardly anyone is loyal to a RINO. Both parties have a lot to lose.

Posted by: RedCarolina at February 9, 2011 7:19 PM

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