Government shutdowns are for wimps: Larry Klayman thinks the country needs a revolution. I don't mean revolution as a metaphor. I mean a full-fledged mobs 'n' pitchforks revolt.
Klayman, who used to hang his hat at Judicial Watch and now has a group called Freedom Watch, is a lawyer with a long history of filing suits to make the government open its records; he attracted a lot of attention during the Clinton scandals, and he has continued to take the authorities to court under Bush and Obama. Sometimes these suits have exposed genuinely significant information, and sometimes they have led Klayman into, ah, weirder territories. He's in one of those weird zones now: He appears to have gone full birther, writing not just that "Obama is not a natural born citizen eligible to be president of the United States" but that the president is "a Muslim bent on furthering an Islamic caliphate who seeks to destroy our spirituality and the body politic of our Judeo-Christian roots." To prevent this calamity, Klayman is calling for an uprising:
Having done little to nothing about the growing list of "phony" Obama scandals, ranging from Benghazi-gate, to IRS-gate, to Navy SEAL Team VI-gate, to Fast and Furious-gate, to NSA-gate, to name just a few, it is clear that our elected representatives do not have the will or courage to remove the mullah-in-chief from office….
[D]o not hold your breath that the higher courts will have the courage to do what needs to be done. That is the reason for Freedom Watch's citizens' grand juries, which are indicting and trying political felons like Obama as we speak. In this regard, a conviction is near in the case of the Obama for eligibility fraud.
Once convicted, We the People will have the right to enforce this conviction and demand that Obama surrender himself to the people's system of justice for incarceration. Will he do so voluntarily? Obviously not! His arrogance and disrespect for American law—just look at how his attorney general has flouted it—and his apparent allegiance to Shariah law make this more than unlikely, to put it mildly.
I therefore call upon all American patriots, once we obtain this conviction, which we will shortly, to converge on Washington. Millions should stand in front of the White House and other national treasures and demand that Barack Hussein Obama leave. If the Egyptians can do this with regard to another radical Muslim, former president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, then can't we Americans do it with Obama?
In a follow-up piece, Klayman decries Obama's "Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda."
The liberal site Talking Points Memo has described this as a call for a "coup," but that's misleading: The word coup suggests a violent action by small group within the elite, but Klayman is clearly imagining a popular surge from below, one where "Tea partiers, bikers, construction workers, police officers, school teachers, farmers, truckers, clergy, housewives, husbands, students, doctors, lawyers and all elements of our society who see our nation slipping away into the abyss" decide to "stand tall and descend on the capital." Nor is he calling for an armed action: He invokes Gandhi, writes "I do not advocate violence," and believes his forces will win "without firing one proverbial shot." The protests against Morsi did pave the way for a coup, of course—and for quite a few shots, both proverbial and real—but Klayman doesn't seem to see the events in Egypt that way. More to the point, he doesn't seem to see the scenario he's suggesting for America that way. He's imagining a burst of birther People Power.
And that's what's interesting about this: not that a conservative gadfly has embraced a revolutionary fantasy, but that he's describing that fantasy in these terms. There's not much in Klayman's bill of particulars that's apt to appeal to anyone on the left—at its core this is a plea aimed at Americans angry about the phantom threat of Shariah law, not drone strikes or NSA surveillance. But he calls his revolution Occupy Washington, an obvious echo of Occupy Wall Street. Similarly, Klayman's issues with Muslims don't prevent him from invoking the protests in Egypt as a model. If the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, and the indignados are all elements of a common historical moment, then this strange mutation of the Occupy idea is a part of the moment too: as pure an example as you'll find of ideas leaking out of their original context and being redeployed for new ends. (See also: Alex Jones' Occupy Bilderberg.)
Klayman has scheduled his revolution for November 19. Not to go out on a limb or anything, but I expect it'll fizzle out harmlessly when those hordes of protesters don't show up.