Jack, first thanks for stepping up ;) I also got one pro-Bush email, where the author basically supported Bush on the basis of needing to win in Iraq.
Re: cool: anarchists aren't very cool, and I don't think he meant it as a way to insult the people he interacted with. Where he talks about this in the article (which I hadn't linked to, but I should have) he's actually defending the Repulicans as being more egalitarian than the Democrats. I'll quote:
If you've ever hung out with the Tricia Enrights and Joe Trippis of the world, you know that the operative vibe of the Democratic insider is wisecracking cool. It is not a reach to say that the ideological vision that mainstream Democratic politics has offered America since Clinton has been the supercool high school, the party of the popular kids. For all the talk about the Democrats being the party of inclusion, it really doesn't feel that way from the inside.
That's not true of all Democrats, of course. I thought it was very different, for instance, in the campaign of Dennis Kucinich. For the most part, these people were motivated by something other than ambition, and just being part of that campaign meant you were in a besieged minority, with the whole world out there laughing at you. Kucinich supporters stuck up for one another, because they had to.
You get that same besieged fraternal feeling in a Republican campaign office. There is no M*A*S*H ensemble-cast repartee. Nobody wears T-shirts that mean something, and nobody looks cool. As I would later find out, most Republicans hate "cool" ("They all think they're so cool and artistic," griped one woman as she watched Fox coverage of Democratic delegates arriving in Boston). Many of the parent volunteers I met were especially bitter because they think that cool is what liberals use to lure their children away. Which they might very well be right about, of course.
As far as the people in protests, they are actually on the whole very smart informed people. The news likes to find the most inarticulate person they can, and then take a 5 second clip that makes them seem even less articulate and informed, but that's not representative. It is unfortunate that protesters are widely misunderstood by the general public. The confrontational manner of protests doesn't really help either, but you have to give them credit for getting off their butts and doing something. I know lots of activists -- and there's many possible criticisms. Old schoolers are dry and overwhelming in their intellectualism. Anarchists are flaky. There's still some crazy communists who think they are the vanguard of the revolution. But being uninformed and simplistic isn't generally a valid criticism, it's just one the globalists and neoliberals have chosen to glom onto.