In yet another feeble attempt to overthrow our supposedly fascist and oppressive government, right-wing lunatics once again took to the street in a horrendously embarrassing fizzle.
According to the "Operation American Spring" Facebook page, on Friday May 16th ten or possibly thirty million people were to storm the nation's capital to "restore the balance of our Bill of Rights and the Constitution," and replace "a handful of the worst Republican and Democrat" holders of office, According to the page and various emails that were sent out, the group specifically targeted President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Capt. Karl, the apparent anonymous mastermind of what were supposed to be millions of patriotic Americans taking D.C. by storm was unsurprisingly vague as to how participants were planning to force them out of office.
The Captain, writing on the Facebook page, warned of the dire consequences that the massive militia would face by taking part in this march:
Will this be a cake-walk? No, it will be painful, and some people may die because the government will not be non-violent; some of us will end up in a cell, and some may be injured," organizers warned. "If that's what it will take to save our nation, do we have any choice?
Apparently not many teabaggers are willing to die or suffer from a blister for the cause, which might be why only a handful of right-wing nut jobs turned out for the auspicious event. Much like October's "Rolling Protest" which threatened to be thousands of patriot truckers taking up three lanes in D.C. and bringing the city to its knees, ended up creating barely more traffic than the city experiences on any normal holiday weekend. According to USA Today:
There were reports of scattered groups of trucks making their way toward Washington, D.C. About 15 pickup trucks bearing the official Twitter hashtag of the ride -- #T2SDA (Truckers to Shut Down America) -- were spotted early Friday near Doswell, about 85 miles south of the capital.
Operation American Spring (OAS) turned out to be more hot air from a dwindling, pathetic, but loud minority. So loud that some of the media actually reported on it -- if for nothing more than a few laughs. As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show Friday night.
For context here, there are maybe like 320 million people in this whole country, and that includes babies and the infirm, but they are expecting 10 to 30 million people. That's their plan for tomorrow, and if they're expecting that many people, statistically speaking, you're probably going.
So what happened this past Friday? Despite the six months of planning, the mass emails and a Facebook page with over 26,000 likes, only a few dozen showed up. Some rain seemed to have dissuaded the other ten million. As one participant from Texas told the Washington Times, "We were getting over two inches of rain an hour in parts of Virginia this morning. Now it's a nice sunny day. But this is a very poor turnout. It ain't no millions. And it ain't looking like there's going to be millions. Hundreds is more like it."
Here's a video of some of the protesters, militia, and speakers:
There are also some really great pictures of the march over at Wonkette.
I'm constantly and comically amazed that such a tiny minority of ignorant and hateful people can manage to make as much noise and can draw so much attention to themselves despite all of the evidence contradicting their views -- Not to mention the consistent epic failures like these protests.
Just the other day I was at a fairly large gathering. I was talking and joking with a friend about the GOP and more specifically Mitch McConnell. We were laughing about the spoof ads John Oliver ran about McConnell and old white dicks on his HBO show. Another old white dick overheard the conversation and interjected with, "Most of the country doesn't see things the way you two idiots do," he said. I looked over and reminded him that two national elections and recent polling show that most of the country does in fact think like us and then watched as the blood rush to face and the veins on his neck started to throb.
Uncharacteristically, I walked away before he decided to take a swing at me. I've learned that there's no winning against someone who immerses themselves in FOX News, Facebook hate groups, and who clearly has a disdain for facts or real numbers. The echo chamber is that strong, and many in it seem to be hopelessly impervious to reality and incapable of critical thinking.
Groups like OAS don't seem to do much research, though it's hard to expect that from anyone who denies science, facts, and evidence as a general rule. The Before It's News website, known for its hyperbolic and bombastic blog posts ran several live feeds of Friday's event and somewhere amidst the pollution of advertising and calls for anarchy is this photograph attempting to depict the mass protest they are calling for.
You may recognize it. It's a photo of taken of the "Let Freedom Ring" ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. The same march that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
And yet they chose a different path. In the face of hatred, they prayed for their tormentors. In the face of violence, they stood up and sat in, with the moral force of nonviolence. Willingly, they went to jail to protest unjust laws, their cells swelling with the sound of freedom songs. A lifetime of indignities had taught them that no man can take away the dignity and grace that God grants us. They had learned through hard experience what Frederick Douglass once taught -- that freedom is not given, it must be won, through struggle and discipline, persistence and faith.
Good thing it didn't rain.
I'm sure Josey Wales (another pen name), who wrote the article at "Before it's News" won't appreciate the irony, but the photo of the Mall gets used a lot because, well, it shows how many people will turn out en masse for a worthy cause and until the right-wing nut jobs have one of those, they may want to consider not using a photograph of something that represents, at least to them, all that is wrong with this country.