Truckin’ around the Beltway
Rubber Duck, we got ourselves . . . a mess.

Advertisement for the Truckers for the Constitution Beltway protest


Betsy Woodruff

The document also included a host of specific complaints about federal regulations on the trucking industry, as well as charges that the National Defense Authorization Act lets the military take over all private industry and that the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to go to war against the American People [capitalization sic].

Anyway, after distributing Truckers for the Constitution’s latter-day Declaration of Independence, Andrews announced that the remaining supporters who’d been standing around in the parking lot would now head for the World War II memorial, where they would meet with congressmen and present their “terms,” as she called them.

I hitched a ride with Andrews and Steve Gronka, another event organizer, and we zipped along overcast I-95, hailing members of the Overpass for Obama’s Impeachment movement — “There are some overpassers! Hey!” cried Andrews, waving, as Gronka tooted the horn — and chatting about militias.

“You should always have well-regulated militia,” Andrews said. “I think Ron Paul is in charge of the militia, as far as I know.”

“One of my former business partners is in the Michigan militia and they’re one of the best in the country,” Gronka added. “And he said, ‘Steve, if the government goes south, you come to Michigan.’ I said, ‘What do I bring?’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it, don’t bring anything.’”

“Oh, that’s awesome,” said Andrews.

We get to an appointed rendezvous location (a weigh station on I-95), but hardly anyone is there. So it’s on to the next designated meet-up place, yet another weigh station at Exit 27, and that’s where it starts to actually look like a movement, sort of, as around 45 semis, pick-up trucks, and other vehicles had assembled along the edge of the station, bedecked in American flags, stickers of the event’s official hashtag (#t2sda, standing for Truckers to Shut Down America), and other sundry bits of decor.

The plan was a touch hazy. Maybe the truckers would leave first, maybe just the cars would head to the WWII memorial, maybe they’d wait for an extra 200 trucks from Pennsylvania or Alaska or Lord knows where to arrive, maybe — who knows? At one point, another rain-soaked reporter tailing the convoy wandered up to our car (I was back with Derek by then), motioned for us to roll down the window, squinted a bit, and said, “Do you know how to spell clusterf**k? Does it have a hyphen?”

While trying to figure out the rest of the morning’s agenda, I talked a bit with a trucker named Kim Pridgin. She didn’t know much more than I did, but she was emphatic about one thing. “Be sure to put me down for, I want Obama out now,” she told me. “Not tomorrow, not next week. Arrested for treason. Now.”

Eventually the convoy got back on the move. It was supposed to go in shifts, I think — truckers would go around the Beltway, as you can’t drive a tractor trailer on Capitol Hill, and cars would head for the WWII memorial to deliver the “terms” to Gohmert — but, um, that didn’t happen. The Truckers for the Constitution unstated rule of scheduling — we’ll be there at the appointed time, plus/minus two hours — didn’t seem to work with Hill staffers. The meeting was not to be, at least on Friday.

When the order of ceremonies became totally indiscernible, Derek and I just singled out a pick-up with a flatbed trailer that sported a piece of plywood spray-painted “IMPEACH! #T2SDA” on it, intuiting its driver was part of the Truckers for the Constitution movement, and tailed him like he had a map to El Dorado.

Traffic moved smoothly, given that traffic in D.C. always moves smoothly. We finally ended up in the vicinity of the Tyson’s Corner mall. And there, we met up with Ernest Lee.


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

NRO Polls on LockerDome

Subscribe to National Review