If you haven’t been paying attention, a group of disgruntled truckers are planning to invade our shuttered capitol on Friday and promise to disrupt all truck-bound transport this coming weekend. They are protesting to demand… something. Well actually, that’s unfair. They’ve laid out what they want and what they’re upset about. Courtesy of their web page, which offers a press release, their primary issues have a lot to do with over-regulation of truck drivers including mandates for increased liability insurance. That part I can understand, but one of their leaders, Zeeda Andrews, is also a birther. The beginning of their press release reads: Long before he was president, Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Obama, was already plotting with others, to overturn the Constitution for the United States. (Barry Soetoro was the name Obama ostensibly used to apply to college, an April Fool’s Day joke that has been taken seriously by many in the Birther movement). Michael JB Schaffner, the co-organizer whose name is on the press release is part of The American Driver, and organized a protest against high fuel prices back in 2008, is a bit harder to pin down in terms of his politics. Again, the first demands listed are about the difficulties faced by independent truckdrivers–skyrocketing insurance liability, changes in regulations regarding time on the road, etc. There is a swipe at global warming (the truckers are global warming deniers and are upset that California and other states are proposing fines for drivers leaving their trucks idling for long periods). Impeaching Obama is NOT on the press release as a demand, but plenty of participants were talking about it (there were also calls to arrest congressmen, which seem to have been squelched by cooler heads).
As for their political agenda–
1) The NDAA’s detention rules are unconstitutional: Actually, that’s being argued by SCOTUS in coming months and I’d be hard-pressed to disagree with that. One for one.
2) ACA is unconstitutional–umm… no. The SCOTUS ruled that most of the law was constitutional. You wanna get behind Medicare For All, call me. But the law has passed constitutional muster.
3) The Department of Homeland Security is unconstitutional and is building a standing army to engage the American People… got evidence you can cite on that latter statement? And by ‘evidence’ I mean something more than an Alex Jones citation.
4) The TSA with its power to search people at airports, is a violation of the Fourth Amendment... There’s that crazy ‘nineteen guys with boxcutters’ meme I’d like to bring up, but whatever we were doing before wasn’t working. I’m not sure what the answer should be on this one, but we need some screening at airports, right? And a tractor-trailer filled with explosives could conceivably drive past the WTC and bring down the new towers again.
5) Current administration is violating the War Powers act. Maybe possibly, It might be time to revise the War Powers act. There’s also an allegation in #5 that US forces in Afghanistan are protecting the heroin trade. And that the Afghan operation is run by the UN (?) and are exposing US troops to mind-altering drugs.
I think the Truckers would find common ground with many of the protesters I know. But I also think that won’t happen–thanks to class and educational differences, the truckdrivers (who seem to be an offshoot of the Tea Party) aren’t going to form alliances with anybody who wants to point out that many of their travails have to do with the fact we live in a Corporatist Empire. And threatening to impeach Obama for this won’t fly–there’s a whole government at the beck and call of the 1%, and while I might agree with some of the charges, the people of this country have looked the other way for the last guy. And again, I’m prejudiced against Birthers making the case for impeachment.
But that’s the way the Empire plays–we’ll probably not join up into the mass movement the 1% fears. The truckers will have their protest and there will be no net change.