In reading The American Spectator, the top-shelf, right-wing magazine, you might have spotted the byline of assistant editor Patrick Howley. Yesterday Intrepid Patrick joined up with anti-war protesters at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum not only to write about the goings-on but also—and this is the best part—"to mock and undermine" the protesters, as he admitted in his eventual report.
You won't find Howley's admission in his write-up now, because it's disappeared. But the Washington Post saw it, as did Think Progress, Firedoglake, and others. Firedoglake has posted dramatic-seeming pictures of a Maybe-Howley at the scene of a confrontation in the museum lobby, and Think Progress has posted the now-missing excerpt from his piece:
[A]s far as anyone knew I was part of this cause—a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator —and I wasn't giving up before I had my story. Under a cloud of pepper spray I forced myself into the doors and sprinted blindly across the floor of the Air and Space Museum…
He didn't like the pepper spray very much. Nor did he approve of the methods employed by the demonstrators—who chose the Museum, of all places to protest, because there's some kind of Shrine to the Unmanned Drone on display there right now. In addition to being disorganized, they're also fair-weather activists (many leave a meeting when the promised pizza never comes) and, unlike Howley, are powerless, incompetent wimps:
It was a miracle that they even managed to get to the museum. At the Freedom Plaza planning assembly Friday night, facilitators from October2011.com struggled to keep order with a system they had invented — one in which new ideas are called "process points" and "twinkles" (i.e. twinkling your fingers) stand for "yay."
But just as the lefties couldn't figure out how to run their assembly meeting (many process points, I'm afraid to report, were left un-twinkled), so too do they lack the nerve to confront authority.
In the absence of ideological uniformity, these protesters have no political power. Their only chance, as I saw it, was to push the envelope and go bold. But, if today's demonstration was any indicator, they don't have what it takes to even do that.
He's wrong about the process points and twinkle fingers being "new"—protesters have been using both for years. Nevertheless, Patrick Howley either definitely or probably has "what it takes" to lead a protest and a movement. The demonstrators should elect him as their leader. All his mocking and undermining can keep them real, so they don't lose perspective and get lost in all the procedural bullshit. Just a suggestion.
Some video of yesterday's protesters getting maced in the face. Nobody would get pepper-sprayed on Howley's watch: