A diminutive anti-tea-party rally at the Capitol, featuring about two dozen Organizing For America activists protesting the government shutdown and Republican intransigence, was interrupted by unusual party-crashers. The 26 participants (by my count) started on the steps of the Capitol Building but quickly migrated to the West Lawn, when a man with a sign joking about cannibalism joined their ranks.
Here’s the protest, including one participant with a lovely term for tea partiers:
After this man (who told reporters that his name is Brett Shelley, that his sign is a joke, and that that he’s a lead engineer with a Veterans Affairs health project) appeared, the OFA protesters left the steps and headed to the lawn.
“I don’t know what happened, man,” Shelley told reporters with a laugh after the OFA rally abandoned him on the Capitol steps. “Why they running away from me?”
Per Politico, the rally was billed as a “Budget shutdown Day of Action event.” Jon Carson, OFA’s executive director, tweeted that participants would “say #EnoughAlready to the #TeaPartyShutdown.” Participants instead said “enough already” to a furloughed federal worker who held a sign that called for default and joked that he’d be fine since he had a gun and a meat grinder.
A few minutes after the protesters left for the lawn, a man visiting from California took their place on the steps, dropped trou, and sang a song about ostriches, accompanying himself on guitar. (He received permission from Capitol Police before his pantsless performance.)
The skivvy-sporting guitarist, who identified himself as Spanky Baldwin, says he’s on a nationwide tour and that a friend drove him to D.C. from Charlottesville so he could perform pantsless at the Capitol.
A few lyrics from his song:
I wish I was an ostrich and I had no cares,
I’d just sit around in my underwear
With my head in a hole, no troubles anywhere
I think this is the life for me.
OFA protesters watched the underwear guitar player from behind a flower bed and, shortly after, disbanded.