There are a couple of persistent right wing talking points that need to go away. They both boil down to accusations that those filthy, stinky union slobs (or any Democratic protesters) leave their rally sites an absolute mess, and that it costs millions of dollars to clean up after them.
That finger-pointing is nearly always followed by, "You'll never see OUR side do that. We leave everything spic'n'span white glove clean. In fact, we're so self-righteous, we go on the Tee Vee Machine complaining about how we gotta send our guys to pick up after your guys!"
Brought to you by the RWNJ Dep't. of Neener Nanner.
However, this seems to be just a wee bit of an exaggeration.
Exhibit A (H/t: MrsEeyore):
Every time there has been a Tea Party affiliated, based or ideologically connected event on or near the Mall, the landscape takes on a post-apocalyptic feel afterward. Trash everywhere. Discarded signs litter the pavement and sidewalks, strewn amidst empty water bottles, food containers and soda cups. Maybe tomorrow will be different, but I’m not counting on it and I’m obviously already affected by it.
So, if I have but one simple request for you this weekend, it’s this: pick up after yourselves. [...]
If you really love America and want to restore honor to our nation, you’ll stop trashing the nation’s capital. If you really want to show us the love, go the extra mile. It doesn’t take much effort to hold on to that sign just a little longer, until you find an empty receptacle, or even until you get back to your hotel room.
Spokesmen for the National Park Service and “One Nation Moving Forward” said that the pictures and videos of garbage taken by conservative bloggers and websites, as well as The Daily Caller, are a misrepresentation of the liberal rally.
National Park Service spokesman, Bill Line:
“To imply that this past weekend’s event is more dirty, contains more trash or is filthier than any other demonstration is not grounded in reality... This trash you have on [TheDC’s] front page could be found at any other large rally that has happened previously at the Mall and could happen in the future." [...]
Line said the garbage at the “One Nation” rally was no different than any other rally. Trash, it seems, is apolitical.
“It is common, typical, regular ordinary, commonplace. You get the idea?” said Line. “It’s very commonplace with ANY rally, march demonstration, anywhere on the Mall where you have large numbers of people.”
And finally, the best exhibit of all, Exhibit C, from, of all people, the executive director of the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation and a local field representative for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (H/t: _ccm):
Hundreds of thousands of passionate, angry, and often raucous protesters at the Wisconsin State Capitol in the past two weeks have been astonishingly respectful of the National Historic Landmark building itself. [...]
On day ten of the ongoing protests Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz estimated that around 500,000 people had spent time in the building. [...]
Remarkably, the protesters have adopted an ownership ethic in the building, treating it with the utmost care and respect. Thousands of signs with protest slogans, information, and wayfinding information are taped to the granite and painted walls, without exception, with low adhesion blue painter’s tape. Memorial installations are left completely free of signage. Trash and recycle bins are prevalent, and there is no discarded trash anywhere. Demonstrators organize daily cleaning crews. They are also evangelistic about their respect for the building. Handwritten signs on glass display cases, rest room doors and granite pillars demand care, cleanliness, and respect for the building they call “Our house.”
Someone might want to tell this guy: