The ‘Patriots’ Have a Plan

Harry Riley, the organizer of Operation American Spring, went on Alan Colmes’ radio show and told him that his little band of wingnuts have a plan to shut down Washington, DC and the entire surrounding area for weeks after their May 16 rally in order to force Obama from office.

Riley: We are intending to field about 10-20 million people in Washington, D.C. and we’re going to close it down. We are going to circulate, clear out into Maryland and Virginia.

Colmes: You are predicting 10 million people will be doing this?

Riley: Absolutely.

Riley: We will have a gigantic, massive rally on May 16. Then some of those people will have to go home, they have to work. We will come up with a plan where we keep a large body of patriots there over a long period of time. We’ve come up with a plan whereby there will be a flow-in weekly.

Colmes: Keep them where? Where will they be exactly?

Riley: They will be all over DC. Wherever they can find a spot to stand, that’s where they’ll be. Around the White House, around the Capitol, on the Mall, all over.

Colmes: They are just going to be standing and doing what?

Riley: They are going to be there and we will be presenting grievances and our demands. We will wait, we will be there, we will interrupt the traffic, we will interrupt the commerce.

Colmes: You’re going to stop the traffic flow, you’re going to stop commerce.

Riley: Mhmm.

Colmes: You’re going to get in the way of the ingress and egress of people going about their daily business and really get in the way of citizens who through no fault of their own are just happen to be going about their daily lives, right?

Riley: That’s the way it is when we’re pursuing freedom and liberty for all.

Colmes: So you are actually threatening obstruction?

Riley: What I’m saying is, we’re going to shut the city down. You can call it what you want but we’re going to do it in a peaceful, non-violent, unarmed manner of citizens expressing our disgust with the deceit, the betrayal and the lies the government has been feeding us the last five years.

Colmes: What’s your plan to stop traffic? How are you going to do that?

Riley: We’re going to have to be in the streets, that’s how we stop it.

Colmes: You’re going to be standing in the streets stopping traffic?

Riley: Absolutely.

Their predictions are decreasing. Two weeks ago Jim Garrow said they were expecting 30 million people, now it’s 10-20 million. I still say it will be a few thousand.

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  • Alverant

    How soon does this cross the line and become sedition or treason? Also would they approve of the same tactics if they were done against Bush or Reagan?

  • AndrewD

    Really, doesn’t Harry Riley and his colleagues realise that getting all his supporters to Washington will just make it easy for Mr. Obama and his UN allies to round them up and ship them to the FEMA camps?

  • lordshipmayhem

    Maybe even hitting 100. Or were you counting in the press, the cops and park squirrels in that “thousands” number?

  • AndrewD

    There should be a Snark tag to my comment!

  • karmacat

    Isn’t the GOP in congress already trying “to shut down” the usual business of government in DC?

  • http://onth3outsidecorner.wordpress.com/ otocump

    Few Thousand? I’ll be shocked if it breaks 1000 total. 800+ would be a mild surprise.

  • busterggi

    I look forward to the arrests of the few dozen who show up and are charged with disturbing the peace and the the other misdemeanors he’s announced they’re planning to commit.

  • jnorris

    I believe I read on this blog that another rally holder had not rented any port-a-potties for the tens of thousand protesters he expected. Thus, not a serious rally.

    Can anyone in DC check on Mr Riley’s port-a-potty rentals and if he has contracted for a First Aid tent?

  • raven

    We will come up with a plan where we keep a large body of patriots there over a long period of time.

    I doubt this.

    Huge crowds of people require huge amounts of maintenance. Which requires huge amounts of money.

    They need food, shelter, a place to sleep out of the rain, water, and bathroom facilities. Plus a medical center for emergencies.

    This is what anyone does for a three day rock festival or anything similar.

    This guy is just a little kid playing “make believe”.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kalli.procopio Kalli Procopio

    20 million people will be there!

    Umm, would you believe 1 million?

    how about the entire population of a small mid-west town?

    a large cub scout troop armed with sling shots?

    two old ladies with very heavy hand bags?

  • jnorris

    I take it back. Operation American Spring has to be for real. It has a Facebook page with a picture of a bunch of long hair white homos wearing capes and knickerbockers.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Operation-American-Spring/590327191020730

  • kevinalexander

    When it’s over he can Photoshop a real demonstration inserting banners of his own and use that for fundraising.

    Or maybe twenty million Patriot Ghosts will fly out his butt but I don’t know if that can stop traffic. Maybe get the drivers to smoke what he’s smoking.

  • Dave Maier

    1. I had heard that Colmes was pretty much a waste of space (don’t watch his show) but here he asks just about what I would: really, you’re just going to stand there in the street? Really? Huh.

    2. Alverant, that question (when does it become sedition) is often a good one to ask, but here I’m not seeing anything that rises to that label. They have a right to come to DC and stand around if they want; and even the misdemeanor of disturbing the peace isn’t sedition.

    3. I’m not the first to notice this, but here again it’s hilarious to see these guys complain on the one hand that Obummer, as they so wittily call him, is despoiling the sacred Constitution; but then rather than using the lawful method of removing bad presidents that that Constitution sets up, instead resort to the “stand in traffic until the guy steps down” method, the standard procedure in places they’ve never heard of.

  • Michael Heath

    My memory of Alan Colmes on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show is equivalent to what he’s doing here, asking questions in a manner that allow the interview subject to dig his own hole. That approach is effective when the audience is smart, well-informed, and rational. Of course Fox News’ audience fails on at least the informed and rational factors; so from my perspective Mr. Colmes harmed the national interest being on Mr. Hannity’s show.

    I presume this style works well on his radio show since the audience is there for him rather than being the sheeple that gravitate to Fox News for reasons having nothing to do with Alan Colmes.

  • syskill

    “A few thousand” sounds way too high to me. I’d bet on 150 at most.

  • Jordan Genso

    Ed is completely right that it will be thousands. Since all they’ll be doing is standing/walking around the national mall, there will be no way to distinguish them from the tourists who are there for other reasons.

    Brilliant plan.

  • brucegee1962

    Before we pile onto these guys too much, I feel obliged to defend them a bit. While their expectations may seem wildly inflated, I don’t think there’s anything particularly bad about their actual tactics. They’re the same tactics that essentially worked in Egypt and elsewhere around the world, for that matter.

    If we can imagine a future America in crisis, where a president was getting ready to do some actual dictatorial things (onlike the imaginary dictatorial things they imagine Obama to be doing), like suspending the constitution, instigating martial law, arresting political opponents, or running for a third term, wouldn’t we be calling loudly for the use of this exact same tactics? Which other method would work better?

  • Don Quijote

    10-20 million people in the USA unarmed. That I don’t believe.

  • Chiroptera

    The ‘Patriots’ Have a Plan

    And a cunning plan, at that!

  • rabbitscribe

    “Which other method would work better?

    Impeachment, conviction, and removal from office.

  • davem

    It has a Facebook page with a picture of a bunch of long hair white homos wearing capes and knickerbockers.

    The Facebook page has an event scheduled, to which ’72 people are going’. sounds about right. Nice and cheap – only 1 porta-potty required.

  • raven

    Which other method would work better?

    Voting.

    That democracy thing.

    Obama was elected with 9 million more votes than McCain/Palin the first time and 5 million more than Romney the second time.

    It’s quite clear he was more popular than his christofascist opponents.

  • bbgunn

    @18

    10-20 million people in the USA unarmed. That I don’t believe.

    Nobody expects the Patriot Imposition!

  • raven

    Obama was elected to fix the Bush Catastrophe and Great Recession. Which he has.

    Ironically things are going much better and on an upswing. Unemployment is down from 9-10% to 7%, housing is back from the dead, the economy is growing albeit slowly, the war in Iraq is over with, our health care system has a new minor patch on it and so on. Even the annual deficit is half what it was and going down.

    Sure, their are still problems. There has never been a time when we didn’t have problems. You do what you can with what you have.

    Even more ironic, the GOP/Tea Party, which caused the disaster, have done nothing but try to sabotage the recovery. They are simply America haters who do not have the best interests of the USA in mind.

  • Wylann

    Can we start a pool?

    I’m going with 666 attendees as my guess. Closest to the actual value selects a non-profit to donate the proceeds?

  • Michael Heath

    raven writes:

    Obama was elected to fix the Bush Catastrophe and Great Recession. Which he has.

    That’s not even remotely close. What follows in your post are results one would expect in the upside of the business cycle. The remnants of the Bush catastrophe remain significant and continue, namely:

    1) We are not effectively mitigating the threat of climate change, the catastrophe of that increases as time goes on and we do almost nothing.

    2) The Iraq War fiasco has had a devastating impact on our past, current, and future economic growth rates along with our ability to compete in a global economy.

    3) The Democrats have wrongly conceded that the federal debt is a greater concern than our low economic growth rates, therefore they also predominately promote spending cuts.

    4) There’s been no effective changes to increasing income inequality except Obamacare; that’s one major reason our growth rates have stagnated even on the upside of the business cycle.

    5) Every downturn over the past several decades have resulted in a far worse labor market even after the recovery. President Obama has done nothing to fundamentally revert our course.

    Certainly the Republican party earns the vast majority of the blame for the items above and Obama’s problem is mostly not getting cooperation from the GOP to work on solving these issues. But no, President Obama hasn’t fixed the Bush years, not even close. I’m sure he would if the Republicans acted in the nation’s interests, but they don’t and Obama nor anyone has figured out how to act accordingly.

    As I noted when Mr. Obama first assumed office, he’d have to achieve a level of leadership few do to be successful. One prime example was Ronald Reagan. And that aspect of needed leadership was getting your political opponents to work with you for the greater good, which Reagan was able to do with both the Soviets and the Democrats.

    Now it’s not fair to compare the Tip O’Neill Democrats to today’s Republicans for two major reasons:

    a) the Democrats back then worked in the national interest, current Republicans are opponents of the nation’s interests.

    b) the Democrats were willing to work with their opponents rather than only obstruct them.

    So Mr. Obama’s political challenge is far more difficult than Mr. Reagan’s and most likely, would have been impossible for any human to overcome. But the fact is, the Bush catastrophe will most likely negatively impact all of humanity for centuries, where Obama’s tenure did not stop this harm.

  • Nick Gotts

    As I noted when Mr. Obama first assumed office, he’d have to achieve a level of leadership few do to be successful. One prime example was Ronald Reagan. – Michael Heath@26

    Reagan did more than any other individual to put in place the corporate oligarchy that is responsible for both the rise in inequality, and the failure to do anything about climate change. He also nearly got us all killed with his fatuous “evil empire” rhetoric and arms build-up.

  • Michael Heath

    Nick Gotts writes:

    Reagan did more than any other individual to put in place the corporate oligarchy that is responsible for both the rise in inequality, and the failure to do anything about climate change. He also nearly got us all killed with his fatuous “evil empire” rhetoric and arms build-up.

    As always you act just like the Obama-haters when Mr. Reagan’s name is raised. That’s an inability to ever acknowledge an opponent did anything positive where you then dishonestly change the subject as if that’s a rebuttal of what I wrote. (Hint, your “rebuttal” isn’t even relevant to what I wrote).

    As for what you assert here, thanks for once again reminding me that conservatives aren’t the only group living in an alternative false reality. Fortunately for the planet most liberals don’t do the same.

  • Ichthyic

    Colmes: You’re going to be standing in the streets stopping traffic?

    Riley: Absolutely.

    have fun storming the castle!

    I have a Darwin Award waiting for you.

  • Ichthyic

    As always you act just like the Obama-haters when Mr. Reagan’s name is raised.

    and you act just like a global warming denier when you try to defend Reagan.

    face it, you were on the wrong side of history there.

  • Ichthyic
  • Ichthyic
  • Ichthyic
  • Ichthyic

    ah, laprogressive links changed.

    there are many MANY links there to choose from though…

    http://www.laprogressive.com/reagan-centennial-celebrating-reaganomics/

  • Ichthyic

    …and let us not forget Ronnie’s complicity with the McCarthyites when he was President of the Screen Actor’s Guild.

    “Tear down that wall!”

    …in your head.

  • Ichthyic

    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/19/ronald_reagan_informant/

    how is it you always seem to forget all this is out there, right on the interweb, obtainable at a moment’s notice, Heath?

  • Ichthyic

    One prime example was Ronald Reagan. And that aspect of needed leadership was getting your political opponents to work with you for the greater good

    The Greater Good….

  • Ichthyic

    How Reagan promoted genocide for the greater good…

    http://consortiumnews.com/2013/02/21/how-reagan-promoted-genocide/

  • freehand

    Don Quijote: 10-20 million people in the USA unarmed. That I don’t believe.

    Well, if they were all liberals…

    I want to see 200 people, mostly white country folks not from around there, standing in the streets with no porta-potty close by, no Wiggly-Piggly, and no shade. I give it three hours.

    Alas, the cops will probably round them up and write tickets first.

    raven: Even more ironic, the GOP/Tea Party, which caused the disaster, have done nothing but try to sabotage the recovery. They are simply America haters who do not have the best interests of the USA in mind.

    More interestingly, the American people seem to understand this.

    Michael, just because Reagan was not as evil as can be imagined does not mean that he was on the whole a force for good. I remember his funding an unworkable missile defense R&D industry. He tripled our national debt. I remember him betraying the airport controller’s union, and helping to strengthen and enable the current business hostility to the working class, including the skilled workers and technicians. He supported terrorism in South and Central America. He reversed the early start that Carter had made for true energy independence. He was hostile to environmental concerns – which you rightly recognize as the most important issue of our time – and made it worth while for the religious right to become a political movement. He was not nearly as nice as his avuncular public face would indicate.

    Heck, the worst of our politicians (of a certain age) were from his inner circle. True, he looks good compared to Dubya.

  • Michael Heath

    freehand writes:

    Michael, just because Reagan was not as evil as can be imagined does not mean that he was on the whole a force for good.

    I’ve never argued that, so you’ve misrepresented not just this argument I present here, but all the arguments I’ve ever made about Reagan in this venue.

    Nick Gott and Ichthyic argue exactly like conservative reality deniers, they can’t face the facts of his tenure nor put his record to the same consistently applied test we do with liberal presidents.

    Besides putting President Reagan’s successes out there, as Ed frequently does as well, I’ve put a voluminous record of posts in Ed’s blog that are critical of President Reagan. But on the matter of a leader of one party getting shit done by working with and compromising with the opposing party, at a time when the country faced enormous and complex challenges, Mr. Reagan and the Congresses of that time distinguished themselves by working together for the greater good.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Michael Heath:

    We’ve had three Democratic presidents since 1968, none of them were liberals by my lights. Then again, with the exception of Ford, none of the Republicans were conservatives, they were all reactionaries.

  • colnago80

    Re democommie @ #40

    By today’s standards, Nixon was a RINO. I well recognize that he was a crooked scumbag but his policies in today’s climate look at least centrist. As a for instance, the EPA was started up in his administration, albeit the major credit should go to the much maligned John Erlichman who was something of an environmentalist. He also proposed a national health plan that was considerably to the left of Obamacare. Had it not been for Watergate, he might have gone down as a progressive president. He was certainly less damaging to the country then Ronnie the rat.

  • Michael Heath

    democommie writes:

    We’ve had three Democratic presidents since 1968, none of them were liberals by my lights. Then again, with the exception of Ford, none of the Republicans were conservatives, they were all reactionaries.

    I agree with you that Carter, Clinton, and Obama are not liberals. The latter two are clearly center-right. However Obama and Carter certainly fit the psychological profile of a liberal (as do I in spite of considering myself a moderate).

    Gerald Ford, at least as Speaker of the House, made it clear that he was not a conservative. I didn’t see him governing as a conservative either. However he did frequently align himself with conservatives in his party for partisan objectives, just like progressives FDR and Woodrow Wilson did with conservative Democrats.

    I would argue that Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and W. Bush were obvious conservatives, primarily because both their personality fit the type and they predominately promoted policies rooted in conservatism.

    I think H.W. Bush was a conservative in many ways as well though his personality didn’t fit the profile. He was a throwback to Burke which no longer fit the profile of conservatism in his time, it had mutated to what Pat Robertson advocated.

    I don’t buy the, “no true Scotsman” assertion when it comes to the insane antics of some conservatives, like W. and Palin. No, their psychological profiles fit exactly what one would predict given the fact that conservatism is evolving into something very different than the conservatism promoted by Keynes and Burke.

  • Michael Heath

    Here’s the essential problem with the two commenters here who can’t help but trash Reagan simply because his name was raised in a positive light. That insist that Reagan was all bad just like the racists do with President Obama.

    If somebody pointed out that FDR interned Japanese in camps during WWII, or Woodrow Wilson’s segregationist policies reverted racial progress at the time to instead regress, no one in this venue’s going to think those criticisms infer that both presidents were overall failures. We consider these defects in light of their entire performance in office giving weight to their effects relative to other positive and negative impacts they had. [I happen to think both of these presidents are the #1 and #2 presidents respectively rather than Lincoln and Washington; in spite of their less than stellar record on race.]

    However when President Reagan’s name is raised, some liberals can’t help but attempt to squash any acknowledgement he did some good as well. They’re compelled even when the topic isn’t raised. They insist on a false narrative that Reagan was all bad, always – just like conservatives have done and will do with Obama.

    Please note how my originally raising Reagan in this thread didn’t even have me claiming any sort of overall legacy for him, I simply stated a well-known (amongst historians) fact. And that fact is that Reagan compromised with Congressional Democrats, contra what his fellow conservatives wanted, and we ended up with some successes as a result. This is an example of leadership at a level high enough to get your opponents to work with you, which Reagan did with both Democrats and the Soviets. Obama hasn’t achieved this level yet domestically, where I don’t blame him, I think that task is impossible given the state of the GOP.

  • Ichthyic

    Nick Gott and Ichthyic argue exactly like conservative reality deniers

    project much?

    I constantly bring direct references to the table.

    you got nuthin but your mouth, Heath.

  • colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #43

    However when President Reagan’s name is raised, some liberals can’t help but attempt to squash any acknowledgement he did some good as well.

    Gee, I seem to recall a feller over in Europe somewhere in the 1930s who built the Autobahn, set up the Volkswagen company, and reduced unemployment a lot more then Roosevelt did. It seems to me that most folks hereabouts attempt to squash any acknowledgement that he did some good as well.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Michael Heath:

    I think that you and I will prolly always have a quibble over the term, “conservative”. In my mind the definition of a conservative is someone who wants to maintain the status quo and go slowly with any change. What was done by all of the GOP’s PotUS–except Ford–since 1968 was an attempt to turn back the clock on advancement in race relations, labor and business relations, social safety nets and, particularly, in the area of foreign policy where they made stupid/cynical policy that will be biting us all in the ass for a long, long time.

  • dingojack

    Dear Operation American Spring –

    Please hold your rally of ’10-20 million people’ designed to ‘shutdown the Capital’ in late September or early October, at least that way it might just do some good.

    Thanking you in advance,

    Dingo

  • Nick Gotts

    As always you act just like the Obama-haters when Mr. Reagan’s name is raised. That’s an inability to ever acknowledge an opponent did anything positive where you then dishonestly change the subject as if that’s a rebuttal of what I wrote. – blockquote

    My comment was not intended as a rebuttal of yours regarding Reagan’s willingness to compromise with political opponents, which was why I did not quote that part of your comment. It was a response to your claim thart he achieved “a level of leadership few do to be successful” (whiuch was why it was that part ofd your comment I quoted), particularly in the light of your (correct) comments about what Obama has not done: that at least two of the key problems you raise were Reagan legacies. That you accuse me of dishonesty in noting this is itself dishonest as well as ridiculous. But as ever, your understandable defensiveness about having supported such a vile scumbag as Reagan leads you into your favourite “tribalism” trope in an effort to restore your sense of your own superiority.

    If I had wanted to coment on your claims about Reagan’s willingness to compromise with his opponents, I would have noted that he was exceptionally lucky in those opponents. You allude to the contrast with Obama yourself with regard to congressional opponents, but it was even more marked in realtion to Gorbachev, and as I’ve pointed out before, Reagan was far slower than Margaret Thatcher to recognise that he was fundamentally different from earlier Soviet leaders.

    Incidentally, you might at least make the effort to get my name right. It’s there above every comment I make. And I’m not a liberal.

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    Colmes: What’s your plan to stop traffic? How are you going to do that?

    Riley: We’re going to have to be in the streets, that’s how we stop it.

    Colmes: You’re going to be standing in the streets stopping traffic?

    Riley: Absolutely.

    In Washington DC … they call that “suicidal impulses”.

  • shay

    I still say it will be a few thousand.

    I say you are an optimist. I think the comment about two old ladies with heavy handbags is more accurate.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    The fb page for “Operation Spring”* currently has 3,305 likes – unlikely to get even that many to the rally I reckon.

    #21 davem says 72 are actually saying they’ll go. Hmm …

    They may have a “cunning plan” but I think that their plan’s execution is going to be “sadly” lacking!

    Don’t think it’ll amount to anything somehow. Except more embarrassment for themselves.

    * Thanks #11.jnorris for the link there – no thanks for the homophobic slur in your comment though. Should be better than that here.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    My guess ..more like a 100 people will attend if even that. Quite possibly they’ll see sense and call the whole thing off for lack of popular support – if they’re halfway smart.

  • dingojack

    Stevo – “… if they’re halfway smart.”

    Ah but you’re forgetting the ‘patriot’ mantra: ‘ideology trumps reality’!

    Dingo

  • corwyn

    Here is a really important question or three:

    How many acres do 20 million people occupy just milling around?

    How many acres do 20 million people occupy in tents or other temporary structures? (Assume 1st world tent cities)

    How many acres in Washington DC?

    .

    .

    .

    I get 5,000; 50,000; and 39,296 respectively.