Now, I am all in favor of the right that we have to peaceably assemble and speak our beliefs. I don't have a problem with these people announcing their views to Main Street, in spite of the fact that my views differ significantly from theirs; and I even commend people for taking advantage of this right, when so few people are active in politics these days.
However, I have a large problem when such a protest is not a debate or commentary on ideas, but rather an excuse for name-calling and racial slurs. Many of the signs I saw had pictures of what I can only describe as Vaudeville-era "black-face." That is, a dark-skinned face, enormous white eyes, and a ridiculous red grinning mouth. This is offensive to me. If you don't like President Obama, I totally respect that. So say, "Down with Obama!" or "Impeach the President!" or whatever you want. I have no respect whatsoever for people who hold up signs with the clear meaning that because the President is black, we should not trust him. Many of these signs also called President Obama a liar. Now, I don't know if he is or not. But he didn't lie about his intention to reform healthcare. In fact, the reforms that were passed were significantly less than those proposed during the debates. e.g., no "public option" or government insurance plan. If you don't like the healthcare legislation, say so! On none of these signs was there the word "healthcare."
If these protesters desired to protest the healthcare legislation, it would make much more sense to hold the rally prior to the time it's actually law. If their desire was to simply Obama-bash, this is fine, too. But they should actually state what their problems with him are, or they won't convince anyone who doesn't already share their beliefs. From what I could tell, they don't like President Obama because he's a Communist, a liar, and/or because he's black. He's clearly not a member of the Communist party, or he couldn't have run on the Democratic ticket. And since it's unclear exactly what they're saying he lied about, this isn't likely to get them very far. And if their dislike of him is based on his skin color, they should take another look at all those American flags they were waving around, and possibly the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as well.