In spite of his superior numbers, Maj. Gen. Jubal Early didn’t meet with any more success than Col. Riley.
Don’t take your guns to town son,
Leave your guns at home Bill,
Don’t take your guns to town.
Johnny Cash ‘Don’t Take Your Guns to Town’
Marching on Washington, DC to change the government has not met with success. 150 years ago Maj. Gen. Jubal Early traveled up the Shenandoah Valley in an effort to outflank the Union and attack Washington from the North.
He was making excellent progress until he reached Monocacy, MD. There the campaign began to lose momentum under a blizzard of regulation and EPA requests for environmental impact statements. There was also some concern regarding the potential for Chesapeake Bay pollution due to cavalry manure runoff.
Lacking a parade permit, his 14,000 men were turned away at Fort Stevens just outside the District’s city limit.
Not only did Early fail to set foot in Washington, his march had no effect on the election that November. Abraham Lincoln was returned to office, the war continued and Early — joined by a few other ‘angry white men’ — fled the country when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered the next year at Appomattox.
Now retired Army Col. Harry Riley planned to march on DC last week with a group of what The Washington Times describes as “revolutionary–style patriots.” Riley’s goal, like Jubal Early’s, is to change the government starting with Barack Obama, John Boehner, Eric Holder, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi and ‘Shotgun’ Joe Biden.
“We are calling for [their] removal … as a start toward constitutional restoration,” Riley explained. “They have all abandoned the U.S. Constitution, are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status.”
So far, so good, I’d take a walk, too, if getting rid of even three of the seven named was a possibility. But I’m going to sit this one out. The colonel’s effort is called “Operation American Spring” and Riley describes it as the American answer to the ‘Arab Spring’ in more ways than one.
So far he’s not calling for black flags to be flown, but the colonel does envision somewhere between 10 million and 30 million “mobilized militia members” marching down Pennsylvania Ave over the weekend. Arab Spring marchers were known mostly for their propensity to riot, toss Molotov cocktails and fire the occasional RPG. In addition, under Arab Spring rules government change does not appear to be limited to one per customer. Turnover is more like the management suite at an Obama health exchange.
According the Cheryl Chumley, “Col. Riley said he hopes the event will go forward peaceably, but that so far, peaceful protests haven’t brought citizens much luck. He also said that more than 1 million militia members have already mobilized for the event — and that projections of 10 million to attend aren’t pie in the sky.”
No, I would call that crack in the pipe.
Leaving aside Riley’s wildly delusional crowd estimate, just the mention of the word ‘militia’ is enough to cause Starbucks baristas to start calling in sick. The last thing conservatives need is for even 10 gun–toting militia members to cross the Potomac and enter enemy territory.
One picture of a rifle slung over a ‘militia’ man’s shoulder is all it takes to reinforce every misleading stereotype of 2nd Amendment supporters and conservatives. Even if the group is unarmed, when only a handful joins the colonel in his forlorn hope that too will damage our movement, since lack of numbers is an indication of lack of support.
Riley won’t even be able to claim his hardy band drove the targets out of the capital, since everyone knows the House and Senate leaves on the weekend and Obama plays golf.
It almost makes one wonder if Col. Riley isn’t an agent provocateur planted among conservatives by MSNBC.
The reality of Riley’s Raid was somewhat less impressive. His gathering was described as “tens of people” and fortunately none of them were toting weapons any more dangerous than a lawn chair. And as of the date of publication, the same crowd of pretentious hashtaggers was still in power.
Fortunately, I have a better idea for conservatives interested in changing the government and it doesn’t require extensive hydration or risk arrest. Follow my example and make a contribution to the Dave Brat for Congress campaign.
Brat is challenging Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th district primary. Cantor is a former conservative that went native in record time. As House Majority Leader he’s surrounded by people who actually call him “leader” as they shine his shoes with their tongue, so it’s no wonder the power and position have gone to his head.
He’s managed to make himself disliked by Speaker Boehner and distrusted by conservatives in the House. He’s betrayed conservative principles, backed a budget bill that gutted the sequester and has gone south on amnesty.
The incomparable Ann Coulter has endorsed Brat and the best part is Brat doesn’t have to win — although that would be best — for Cantor and the rest of the leadership squishes to get the message that conservatives are unhappy and ready to take action.
Incumbents are personally offended by primary challenges. Chamber lobbyists tell them what a great job they’re doing and then some yokel announces for his seat. The nerve of some people! So Brat already has Cantor’s attention.
If Brat can get over 40 percent of the vote, then Cantor gets a message even the self–important can’t ignore. Even if Brat doesn’t win, but is still able to raise a significant amount of money, that money talks, or in this case grumbles, and sends another type of message to Cantor.
I felt so good after giving money to Brat that I also donated to Anthony Riedel who is challenging Rob Wittman in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District where I live. After he supported the budget sellout I wasn’t voting for Wittman anyway, so rather than sit the election out, I’ll vote and contribute to Riedel. That sends two messages to Whittman, too.
So here’s my advice: If you want to visit a colonel this weekend, go to KFC. And if you want to change GOP leadership thinking in Washington, contribute to Dave Brat and Anthony Riedel.