"Racism, racism, fight, fight, fight/Workers of the world unite"--a Communist leafleteer provided some zest for the Glenn Beck rally and handed out fliers to bemused participants. In my mere 20 minutes at the rally (I had a lunch engagement) I heard little from the stage and saw less, save the apparently middle to upper-middle class crowd, very thick just NE of the Lincoln Memorial. I have no way of estimating its overall size, except to observe that where I was it was denser than, say, the Fourth of July crowd. I did hear numerous complaints about the sound and the lack of a view, as many people left, but maybe the audience further back had better sound and perspective on the stage.
In case someone else hasn't made this obvious point, I note that the Lincoln Memorial unites the Beck crowd, the counter-rally, and the original civil rights March on Washington through its presentation of simple justice. After all, it was Lincoln who defined slavery as "you work, I eat." That was at the heart of his attacks on slavery in the 1850s, and it is the moral precept that condemns slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and compulsory redistribution of wealth today. And it is the logical deduction from the proposition that all men are created equal. The Communists and others who don't share American principles would have a different view of the matter.
On the methodology of counting crowds: Consider this photo analysis. That's fine as far as it goes, but this is like taking roll at the start of class and ignoring all the students who sneak out (and others who come in later). As I came in, around 11 a.m., I saw innumerable folks leaving, some complaining they could not see or hear. Others may have found the heat too hard to take. Yet they should count as attendees, too. Many more people were coming in than leaving. So the count needs to take into consideration the total numbers who were there throughout the day--not just a static snapshot of the event. Maybe some (overly clever) social scientist (a new-bred economist) has devised a methodology for doing this. So my total count would exceed the static count at the crowd's greatest size by a considerable factor.