Today is a great day for everyone who loves the Constitution and thinks Obama should be impeached, because the Truckers Riding for the Constitution are heading to Washington D.C. right now to cause a massive traffic jam. They'll be there soon, they're just "delayed on the Beltway," possibly due to, um, traffic. HONK HONK, Patriots!
Update: According to the Washington Examiner Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert waited for the Truckers, who were scheduled to arrive at the World War II Veteran's Memorial at 11:30 am. They didn't make it due to the rain and "unexpected traffic."
Update II: There is dissent in the ranks of the protest truckers. The movement has been "hijacked," a trucker tells The Atlantic Wire.
Maybe it's shutdown fatigue, maybe it's just fascination with Tea Party extremism, maybe it's the potential for exceptionally good photos, but this protest has been getting a lot of media coverage lately, and not just on conservative sites. U.S. News & World Report interviewed an organizer earlier this week, and The Washington Post, Politico, Huffington Post, CBS, and have all written stories about the convoy. For several weeks now, the Truckers Riding for the Constitution have been threatening to "shut down" D.C. between October 11 and October 13 by refusing to ship freight and blocking three of the four lanes of the Beltway, all in the name of righting the wrongs perpetrated by the government. Inspired by 2 Million Bikers, the Truckers are part of a growing contingent of conservative interstate-themed protests, including Overpasses for America. Many of the groups want Obama impeached and are truthers for various conspiracies—9/11, Benghazi, the Boston Marathon bombing false flag, etc.
And it's one thing for the media to jump at the opportunity to write about truck-driving, truther rhetoric spewing uber-Patriots, especially if they claim 3,000 truckers will start a traffic jam (Fox News said it might even be 10,000—it was closer to 30). That possibly warrants a story or two. But then it seemed like the movement would be truly validated with a meeting between the truckers and two of the country's best-known politicians.
Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz are among lawmakers who plan to meet with #T2SDA trucker organizers today.— Nick Iannelli (@NickWTOP) October 11, 2013
Of course now it seems like that might not happen, possible due to—wait for it—road delays. As in traffic.
Tea Party source in touch w/ truckers says they are abandoning their attempt to visit WWII memorial due to delays.— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) October 11, 2013
In fact, the whole thing may already be over:
Trucker protest #T2SDA on Beltway has really broken up. Scattered all around and not really impeding traffic anymore.— Nick Iannelli (@NickWTOP) October 11, 2013
If it is fizzling out, at least they tried, right? As recently as Tuesday it didn't seem like this was going to happen. After spiked media interest, the group's logistics coordinator Earl Conlon said it was all a hoax. "Nothing gets the attention of the mainstream media like some sort of disastrous threat," he told The Washington Post after his U.S. News interview. "I knew it was going to ruffle some feathers." Actually, nothing ruffles the feathers of the media like conspiracy theorists who want Obama to resign, but, you know.
But then, almost immediately after Conlon said it's a hoax, former country singer and fellow organizer Zeeda Andrews said he's wrong. "Earl has never been authorized as a spokesperson. As a matter of fact, he's not riding in the convoy," Andrews told WAFB9. (Since Conlon didn't believe there would be a convoy, it makes sense that he wouldn't be in it.) In that interview, Andrews also lists the shutdown as a reason for the protest, though A) the shutdown happened after the group started organizing its ride and B) they also want to shut down America. They were originally called "Truckers to Shut Down America," which sort of implies a shutdown.
So far, they've just caused some traffic. According to The Washington Post, officials say there were no major delays this morning — and only 30 of the 3,000 rumored truckers showed up. But John Domen at WNEM says they're causing enough headache to warrant using the express lanes:
Use express lanes on the interloop. Blocking all four lanes at 10 mph. pic.twitter.com/nsOm3n53yS— John Domen (@JDonWNEW) October 11, 2013
Due to the traffic on the Beltway, the truckers were forced to pull over and regroup at a rest stop, according to the Washington Examiner. Unfortunately that meant missing a meeting with Rep. Gohmert, who told the Examiner he was ready to meet with the Truckers, but had to leave. Most of the crowd dispersed around 12:30 pm.
We'll update throughout the day as the protest continues.
(Photos via Truckers Ride for the Constitution Facebook.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.