Jon Stewart's Sanity Rally Spawns a Seattle Offshoot

And there's an unlikely local behind it.

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart says anyone who isn't "just, let's say, jumping up, grabbing the nearest stack of burnable holy books, strapping on a diaper, and just pointing your car towards D.C." is the kind of person he wants at his Rally to Restore Sanity in D.C. on Oct. 30. Sadly for us, the Washington Monument is so far away, we'd need a case of Huggies to survive the drive to the National Mall. But don't toss your "I Disagree With You, But I'm Pretty Sure You're Not Hitler" sign yet. A satellite rally that day at Westlake Park is in the works. A Facebook page for the event was created on Sunday, and at press time, 492 people had already signed up to attend. They have been suggesting sign slogans like "ALL America is REAL America," "Moderate...to the Extreme," and "BE REASONABLE." The organizer, as it happens, is someone who was once interviewed by Stephen Colbert and whose previous brush with fame might suggest he'd sympathize with Tea Partiers. In February 1999, Jim Baum was the subject of a segment by Colbert, then still a Daily Show correspondent, after his case became a lightning rod for frustration over King County land-use regulations. He wasn't allowed to board horses on his Maple Valley farm because it would have harmed wetlands that support protected species. Among the threatened species listed on a document Baum received from the county was Bipedus giganticus, or Bigfoot. It was obviously a little bureaucrat's joke that was never corrected, but it got a lot of press. Still a fan of the show, Baum was tuned in when Stewart announced his rally last Thursday. "Like a lot of people, I've been really frustrated watching the Tea Party and the nonsense that goes on," he says. "I thought, well, not all of us can go to Washington, D.C." On Monday, the city confirmed that Westlake Park is available on October 30, so Baum reserved it, making the event official, and got in touch with the state Democratic Party looking for help with staging and sound systems—although Baum says he's trying to keep the event nonpartisan. No word yet on a local satellite version of Stephen Colbert's competing "March to Keep Fear Alive."

 
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