On Tuesday night at Turning Point USA’s “Liberty Gala,” Charlie Kirk had an impish glimmer in his eye as he intimated to the black-tie crowd of major donors and teenage conference attendees that they would march on Capitol Hill the next morning.
“Tomorrow is going to be a very interesting day in Washington DC,” he said. “All I can say is this: If you’re attending the [Teen Student Action Summit] conference tomorrow, wear your walking shoes.”
The excited gasps and murmurs that bounced through the crowd energized Kirk even further. As applause began to break out, he dropped the coy act and went full-on military general rallying his troops.
“This president has been through hell for two years with this Mueller lying, and [Mueller] is going to go on Capitol Hill tomorrow,” he said. “I think it would be nice, for once, to have decent conservatives go to Capitol Hill. We’re not going to do the stuff that they [liberals] do where they’re disrespectful and start screaming. But what they did to the great Justice Kavanaugh must never be forgotten. If they’re going to attack our President tomorrow, we’re gonna be there. So I think we’re gonna have a little fun tomorrow.”
Everyone leaped to their feet, and chants of “USA” boomed through the ballroom.
The next morning, conference attendees who had previously donned heels and suits were outfitted in their New Balances and athletic gear, anxiously awaiting their chance to take part in an event of national importance. Nobody knew when the march was happening, precisely, but it was definitely going to happen, right?
Turns out: No. In his excitement to bring his army of conservative teens to take on Bob Mueller, Kirk forgot that, though peaceful protest is protected under the First Amendment, it often requires a permit. And a permit for a thousand teenagers to go to the Capitol wasn’t going to be procured overnight.
A TPUSA spokesperson intimated, though, that the situation could have been different were there a different political landscape. “If it was a Republican run house it might have been a thing, but since it’s run by Nancy it’s probably a no-go,” he told me Wednesday morning.
But even if a permit had been procured, it didn’t seem like there were any logistics in place to safely corral a thousand teens the mile and a half from the Marriott Marquis hotel to the Hill. Though there were chaperones in place for all the minors attending, they seemed to be having a hard enough time ensuring they didn’t lose track of any of their wards in the hotel. Unleashing them on the streets of downtown DC would have been a logistical nightmare.