I have no truck with this! (Dayna Smith for the Washington Post)

Hey, where’s my promised gridlock?

I did not think I would be saying this either, but that was before the Trucker Protest reared its head in the news cycle.

For a while, it seemed as though the Most Exciting Possible News Story was coming on Friday, when, according to disgruntled trucker Earl Conlon, thousands of similarly disgruntled truckers were going to descend on Washington and halt traffic on the Inner Loop of the Beltway, possibly with an eye to making a citizens’ arrest of Congress. They had had enough, and they were not going to take it anymore. They were going to turn the highway into a parking lot if their demands were not met.

Since then, Conlon, an author and father of three has pulled back from his statements. Thousands of truckers might still come to DC to circle the Beltway in an ominous and disapproving manner. But Conlon might not be among them. And, although he maintains that a citizens’ arrest is still constitutional, it is not exactly in the cards for the weekend’s festivities.

I can’t speak to the actual constitutionality of this, or to what extent it may be ripped from the pages of “And The Trucks Quit Running,” but the fact remains that this is not how you get through to Congress. Gridlock is their bread and butter. “More gridlock?” they are probably saying. “Truckers are actually trying to come to DC to create additional gridlock? Finally, someone who gets us!” It is like trying to punish a badly house-trained puppy by urinating all over your home. It is like trying to discipline a small child by jumping up and down and throwing his toys around. “You’re going to make noise and a big mess? How would you like it if I made noise and a big mess?” Except that the kid might actually be unnerved by this and start to cry. Let’s stick with the puppy, who would look on your altered behavior as a seal of approval and sign that you had finally come around.

The truckers seem to have mastered the playbook of America’s elected officials — announcing that Congress is broken, that they are going to Washington to fix it and get us back to first principles, and then revealing that their actual strategy consists of creating a lot of gridlock as a publicity stunt.

Don’t they see that this is already happening? Ted Cruz has been doing this for years. It’s been working well so far.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.
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