Are we ready for yet another vague, half-baked protest against a bunch of nebulous concepts? I know I am! In fact, this protest is so nebulous and ineffective that even if everyone who claims to be attending actually does show up, you won’t even know it’s there. Fantastic. This one’s the rightfully oft-maligned Trucker protest that’s supposed to happen between October 11 and October 13. It should be patently ridiculous to all sentient life-forms, but the premise for this event is that a bunch of truckers are going to clog the Washington DC Beltway and then… do something. Honestly, we don’t know– their aims seem to change almost every hour– first, it was to demand the impeachment of Obama “for Benghazi”, then it was to demand Obama’s impeachment for unspecified “high crimes and misdemeanors,” then it was to demand the arrest of Obama, then it was to demand the impeachment of everyone in congress, and now (10/8) it’s to demand the arrest of elected officials who have “violated their oath of office.”
It doesn’t end there, though. Because this event is being organized (and we use that term in the loosest possible manner) by professional idiots, it’s drawn in the militia movement. Take a look at this screenshot from their Facebook group. Please note the antics of one Rich Miller, who’s from Erie, PA: “Are they picking up the militia yet ? Got about 20 souls and double that in arms.”
Not only does he think this is a TSHTF wet-dream, he wants the truckers to PICK HIM AND HIS BUDDIES UP. “Hey man, I want to overthrow the government and start up some right-wing death squads, but I DONT HAVE A RIDE!” It’s still anybody’s bet as to whether Rich Miller is yet another government provocateur or he really believes this bilge, but this entire event really did spawn from the patriot / militia scene.
This whole catastrophe is an outgrowth of the equally farcical “Overpasses for Obama’s Impeachment,” which is yet another Facebook-based campaign that believes it has some form of cosmic mandate because a handful of fools managed to scribble anti-Obama messages on bedsheets and hang them from highway overpasses. There’s a fair amount of commonality between the groups. We’ve not written about either of these drooling, amorphous things until now because we recognize that simply having a Facebook page with a thousand “likes” doesn’t mean a damned thing. But as the date gets closer and the story is picked up by more and more media outlets apparently hungering for something amusing to latch onto, we’re compelled to write about this mewling, adenoidal circus because they’re trying to worsen the traffic in our town.
Here’s a message straight to the heart of the trucker strike: traffic in this town is bad enough (in fact, it’s the absolute worst in the nation) and any affinity you may have had will be vaporized when you turn people’s typically hour-long commute into an interminable slog– or however long it takes to impound your rigs and seize your Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs). Second, if you were serious about your tactic of taking a major city hostage by way of clogging its major arteries, wouldn’t you have been better served by picking a city that actually has a transit system that isn’t in perpetual gridlock? Our highways degenerate into parking lots at THREE IN THE MORNING. Can’t you go back to Zanesville or Keokuk and instead terrorize THEM by hampering their ability for emergency services to save lives?
Something else is evidenced by this stunt, and that’s the majority of people really have no conception as to how Washington operates. Simple jokes about “does Washington work at all” aside, it’s as if people have no clue that this is a major metropolitan area just like any other, with the added factor that there are a lot more cops around. This isn’t Oz, there is no great and powerful wizard behind a curtain and you aren’t touched with some form of divine power just by existing in this point of the universe. Legitimate strikes conducted by actual workers have figured this out long ago– the most poignant example being the stirring example of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union routinely striking and shutting down ports in protest of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq and in support of the Occupy movement.
Let’s tackle this mess from a practical standpoint: the beltway is four lanes in each direction and sixty-four miles in circumference. Given that the typical eighteen wheeler is sixty feet long, this would take forty five thousand and fifty six trucks to fill up all eight lanes of the beltway. Just how exactly are they supposed to trek the nine miles from the beltway to the Capitol itself to make these “arrests?” What are they going to slow down? The Maryland side of the beltway? The Virginia side? Which direction? Perhaps they’re merely ignorant of the fact that there are countless numbers of exits that people can use to get on the beltway if someone decides to snarl traffic. Who knows? Come October 14, this will be a humorous footnote to this year’s lackluster roster of protests.
We’re ashamed this also merits any amount of words in this piece, but let’s underscore it: this is not a “leftist” or “progressive” or “worker” related event. This event germinated in the bowels of the “patriot radio” crowd and the militia movement– both so intensely right wing they recently added disgraced Pennsylvania police chief Mark “Fuck You Libtards” Kessler to their ranks.
The irony of the entire event is that most of the truckers taking part are non-union, which means they’ll be losing time and money in this foolish escapade, and if they’re private drivers, they risk getting fired. With their rigs seized and CDLs suspended, how exactly are they supposed to find jobs? Well, if you’re a teabagger trucker, the solution is obvious: do as much stupid crap as you can, and when you get caught for breaking the law, blame Obama. Look, Obama didn’t suspend your CDL, Obama didn’t write you a ticket for reckless driving, Obama didn’t impound your rig, and Obama didn’t make you come to DC and ruin the commutes of millions of people to satisfy your infantile egos– that was your fault. Why not follow the advice of your own worn out slogans and take some personal responsibility for your own actions?