Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) urged a smaller-than-expected crowd of Tea Party protesters on Tuesday to launch a Velvet Revolution-style uprising against the federal government, saying the parallels are striking between America's current government and Eastern European communist rule.
Speaking to the Huffington Post shortly after his speech, King declared that a peaceful uprising, a la the successful overthrowing of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia on the streets of Prague in 1989 "would be fine with me."
"Fill this city up, fill this city, jam this place full so that they can't get in, they can't get out and they will have to capitulate to the will of the American people," he said.
"So this is just like Prague under communist rule?" the Huffington Post asked.
"Oh yeah, it is very, very close," King replied. "It is the nationalization of our liberty and the federal government taking our liberty over. So there are a lot of similarities there."
Earlier, King implored the crowd to bring the nation's capital to a sort of paralysis. Warning, erroneously, that the health care bill would fund abortion and fund care for 6.1 million illegal immigrants, he demanded that concerned citizens "continue to rise up."
"I look back 20 years ago in the square in Prague... when tens of thousands showed up there and they shook their keys peacefully and they took over their country and they achieved their freedom back again," he said. "If you can keep coming to this city, fill up the congressional offices across the country but jam this city. If you can get on your cell phones, and get on your Blackberries and your email, and ask people to keep coming to this town. Storm this city, fill up Washington D.C., jam this capital so they can't move. And if tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of you show up, we will win. We will defeat this bill and you will have your liberty back."
Cheers from the surrounding crowd greeted the remarks. But King's prophesy seemed a long way off. The Tea Party protest was a shadow of the one that occurred during the height of the health care debate last fall -- though organizers stressed that the number was in the thousands, it looked to be far less.
And the audio setup on Tuesday was so lackluster that few beyond the circle immediately surrounding the congressman could actually hear what he had to say. In fact, as he spoke, another organizer was holding court at a nearby circle, with cheers from there occasionally puncturing King's remarks.