Larry Klayman is firming up his plans for what he calls a peaceful, non-violent second American revolution. The event will take place in Lafayette Park across from the White House on November 19, 2013. He says he expects millions of people to be there, creating a show of force so overwhelming that President Obama will conclude that he has no choice but to resign from office. (I'm not making this up. This is actually his plan.) He had previously written that the protesters "must have the means to literally camp in Washington D.C. and not leave until [they] get results." However, his latest screed says his permit from the National Park Service covers only 10 am to 6:30 pm. This restriction will surely compromise his otherwise flawless plan.
The newly formed Reclaim America Now Coalition is a motley crew of people and organizations that support this event. Most of them exist in a sliver of the American political spectrum on the far right fringe. Ideologically, there is not much light between them and overtly racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan. But there is a big difference between the far right teabaggers and Klan members in how they see themselves. Klan members are bold and proud racists. They know they are extremists. In contrast, the far right teabaggers don't see themselves as extremists or racists. They believe that they represent mainstream America. They cook up conspiracy theories to explain why statistics and reality don't support that conclusion.
Here's a sampling of some of the coalition members. They are united by their anti-Muslim bigotry, affinity for right-wing conspiracy theories, and extremist politics.
Freedom Watch - This is Klayman's organization. Its main function appears to be filing lawsuits, although it has apparently added toppling the US government to its list of things to do. It does not appear to have any officers besides Klayman, and Klayman himself is listed as the attorney for all the federal court cases under Freedom Watch's name. Freedom Watch is incorporated in Washington, DC, but it's just Larry Klayman under another name. According to its website, its national headquarters is a mailbox in a UPS store in Ocala, Florida. Its Washington, DC headquarters is also a mailbox in a UPS store, but in a high-rent district down the street from the White House. The website refers to the mailbox number as a suite number, a pathetic attempt by a chronically dishonest person to mislead people into thinking Freedom Watch actually has an office at that location.
Special Operations Speaks - This is a PAC dedicated to pushing Benghazi conspiracy theories. This group is responsible for the hatefest at last month's demonstration over the temporary closing of Washington, DC's war memorials. This event included flying the confederate flag outside the White House and Klayman asking President Obama to put down the Koran and leave town. Charming bunch. The protest was compelling evidence of how extreme these right-wing movements have become. I think it probably influenced sane Republicans in Congress to finally stop humoring the wingnuts, end the government shutdown, and raise the debt ceiling. If I'm correct about this then it was ultimately a worthwhile--though deeply offensive--event.
2 Million Bikers to DC - This is the group that failed to achieve its completely unachievable goal of sending 2 million motorcyclists to Washington, DC on September 11, 2013 to counter the misnamed Million Muslim March, which was actually a gathering of a couple dozen 9/11 Truthers. On the day of the event, organizer Belinda Bee posted on Facebook that police estimated there were one million bikers on the streets of Washington, DC. When Ms. Bee cooked up that ridiculous statement, I guess she didn't know that the District of Columbia Metro Police has a policy against estimating crowd sizes, enacted after the uproar over estimates of the number of attendees at the original Million Man March in 1995. Based on my own observations during the event and on media reports, I think there were several thousand bikers and their effect on traffic in the District was localized, small, and short-lived.
Atlas Shrugs - Atlas Shrugs blogger Pam Geller was relegated to the rejects' panel at CPAC this year. She's an anti-Muslim bigot who is too nuts for CPAC. Let that sink in for a moment. Moving on...
Americans Against Hate - The tagline on this organization's website is, "Free Speech is only good, if we're alive to use it!" I'm guessing this organization is made up of people from the "education is for snobs" crowd. The website is mostly anti-Muslim rants. Its name notwithstanding, it looks to me like this organization is not against hate so much as it promotes hate against certain people and groups, which is obviously not the same as being against hate.
Gun Owners of America - This is the pro-gun organization that gun fetishists turn to when they grow tired of the liberal gun grabbers who run the NRA. Yes, Gun Owners of America is that extreme. Media Matters for America notes that GOA's Executive Director Larry Pratt is among the "prominent gun activists [who] have teamed up with fringe conspiracy theorists to oppose gun legislation and spin fantastical theories about the government disarming (or going to war with) American citizens." In an interview with NewsMax's Steve Malzberg last week (via Right Wing Watch), Pratt suggested that Trayvon Martin's mother was incorrect that 'stand your ground' laws were responsible for her son's death. He said “probably what killed her son was the broken family that he was forced to deal with. That’s often an indicator that a young man is going to have trouble, of either race, of any race.” Gun nuts keeping it classy, as always.
Ride for the Constitution - This is the organization behind last month's failed trucker protest in Washington, DC. Their plan was to have thousands of truckers riding around the beltway in tandem, snarling traffic and making a loud-and-clear statement about...well...saying...hmm, I'm not entirely sure what the statement was, but I'm sure it was something bad about President Obama. But only a few dozen truckers showed up. The organization's leader--a woman named Zeeda Andrews--is a consummate hater and conspiracy theorist. In a truly disgraceful interview with Greta Van Susteren (via Media Matters for America), she said that she believes President Obama "is a threat to our national security. He is a threat to our way of life." In the wake of the event's failure, Andrews got into a tiff with the other event organizers, blaming each other for the poor turnout. This is very common in fringe movements. They rot and crumble from within rather than from external forces.
Gear Up Foundation - This organization is ostensibly dedicated to remembering and promoting the well-being of "all those who served at Ground Zero." But controversy has swirled around its founder Vincent Forras. According to a 2011 Village Voice article, he claims to have been a volunteer firefighter who worked on the pile at Ground Zero for several weeks. However, fellow first responders are skeptical about parts of his story and question whether he is properly managing the foundation's donations. In 2010, when Mr. Forras decided to sue the people behind the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" because
Muslims make him feel icky having more Muslims in that neighborhood would be a public nuisance and cause him distress, he naturally enlisted Larry Klayman to help with his jihad. The complaint Klayman filed on Forras' behalf is an astounding testament to both men's deep-seated bigotry and disdain for fundamental American values like freedom of religion and freedom of association. The case was dismissed in 2012. (All case documents are available on the web site of the Supreme Court of New York County.) Klayman and Forras are also pursuing a defamation lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC against one of the New York defendants and his lawyer over public statements they allegedly made during the course of the New York litigation.
You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International/Sons of Liberty - These are a ministry and radio show run by a whiny homophobe named Bradlee Dean. Like most fringe Dominionists, Dean spends a lot of time promoting intolerance and bigotry, but snivels about the 'homosexual agenda' and 'Alinksy tactics' when people call him a hate-mongering extremist. Dean is probably best known for his defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow. Thanks in part to bungling by his lawyer--none other than Larry Klayman himself--Dean was ordered to pay Maddow's attorneys $24.6K. That order is currently on appeal.
Pat Boone - Yeah. The guy from those bathtub commercials, who also happens to be a birther.
The Michael Strange Foundation - Michael Strange is a decorated American serviceman killed along with 29 other Americans--most of whom were from the Navy's famous Seal Team VI--in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011 when Afghan insurgents shot down their helicopter. His family formed the Michael Strange Foundation to honor Michael and help other military families cope with losing loved ones to war. Unfortunately, they have also chosen to team up with Larry Klayman to promote an anti-Obama conspiracy theory about Michael's death. In a lawsuit filed in Federal Court in Washington, DC in June, they assert that Vice President Biden "outed" Seal Team VI as the military unit that killed Osama bin Laden as an act of political grandstanding and that this security breach led to the August 6th attack. The lawsuit also alleges that the attack was a direct result of the Obama Administration "providing support to these terrorist organizations" through its "Muslim outreach and undeniable support for all Muslims." The whole conspiracy is as disgusting as anything I've read in a while. The case is on the verge of dismissal because Klayman has not yet provided the court with proof that he served the lawsuit on the defendants, despite having over four months to do so.
This list covers about half the organizations Klayman claims are in his Reclaim America Now coalition. Does anyone believe these buffoons will ever accomplish anything more than obstruction? Anything at all constructive? I sure don't. I don't think Klayman does either.