The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Ramona's picture

    Trouble at the Red Hen

    I've been thinking a lot about the Red Hen controversy--about whether Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the restaurant, should have told Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her establishment. No guesswork for me.  I'm on the side of Stephanie Wilkinson. 

    I've heard the back-and-forths, the calls for civility, the need to allow everyone the ability to at least eat a meal in peace. I get it. I'm not completely on the same page as those people who ran both Kirstjen Nielsen and Stephen Miller out of  Mexican Restaurants last week. I understand their rage but I can't get behind them. Could be an age thing. Could be that I'm more inclined to hit them where they work and not where they eat. (Though eating at a Mexican restaurant right after lying about being mean to Central American refugee kids takes some whatever-the-Spanish-word-is-for-chutzpah.)

    But when I read Stephanie Wilkinson's explanation, I found it both honest and poignant. 

    “I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson said. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

    Her main concern was for the feelings of her employees, and she spent many crucial minutes asking them what they wanted her to do before she finally asked Sarah Sanders to step outside. She did it privately, not wanting to create a scene, and she didn't insult, lecture, or demand. She simply asked Sanders to leave, explaining to her that she felt her restaurant had certain standards to uphold and Sanders didn't fit them.

    I love that she gave her employees that much respect, no doubt knowing the impact this might have. She didn't broadcast it, an employee did, but there was no guarantee Sarah Sanders wouldn't have done it herself. Wilkinson had to know this would be big, but she did it, anyway.

    I'm not a big fan of attempts at public humiliation. I think too often the reasons for doing it, as admirable as they may seem, get lost in the ensuing and often phony uproar over civility and manners. But we're at a point where civility and manners are only expected from one side--our side--while their side sees any attempt at decorum as an exploitable sign of weakness. 

    For the past two years we've been battered by nastiness and outright hatred. We're still being told to turn the other cheek, as if that's what it'll take to make us smile again. It isn't. Turning the other cheek doesn't feel good. This feels good.

    Asking Sarah Sanders to leave a restaurant won't hurt her feelings. It won't affect her psyche.  But our rage over lost children and terrorized parents has to have an outlet. Cheering the ousting of a hated member of a hated president's cabinet is a moment we might need. It doesn't make us "just like them". It makes us human.

    (Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices and Crooks & Liars)



    Walter Shaub, the federal government's former top ethics watchdog, said Ms Sanders's response was a clear violation of federal law...... “Sarah, I know you don’t care even a tiny little bit about the ethics rules, but using your official account for this is a clear violation of 5 CFR 2635.702(a),” Mr Shaub tweeted. ....... He said: “Sanders used her official govt account to condemn a private business for personal reasons. Seeks to coerce business by using her office to get public to pressure it. Violates endorsements ban too, which has an obvious corollary for discouraging patronage. Misuse reg covers both.....

    Did not see this reported in US media. link UK Independent

    Excellent analysis Ramona.

    Sanders does not represent a legitimate administration Sanders has no problem harassing reporters from her podium. I have no sympathy. 

    Thanks. I hope Walter Shaub is onto something. Rules and laws mean nothing to the Trump bunch, but at some point they're going to trip up and someone honest who has the authority is going to challenge them. I hope it happens soon. I don't know how much more of this we can take.

    Just a small note - it was in the Post's Daily 202 this morning.

    On the other hand, there's feeding the troll exactly the kind of stuff he likes to eat in order to distract the news cycle. Just sayin'. We will now commence with serious discussion by all the top talking heads about whether it's the correct thing to do for a president to review a restaurant, whether it's owned by a friend or an enemy. And top reporters will take time to tweet on it so they get more followers, so just in case they lose their job they can put that huge number on their C.V.  The discussion will go on for a week. Rinse and repeat.

    Trump is the President who will go down in history as the one who put babies in prison. If he complains about staff members shamed at restaurants, the response will be that the shaming was in response to putting babies in cages. The Democratic base is angry and wants Republicans out of office. Trump fuels that fire.

    So let's not make waves for fear of waking the monster, causing him to spout nasty words early in the morning? Kidnapping children from already distressed refugees is just the latest tipping point, but it looks like the days of howling and wringing our hands are over. I hope so.

    When people are this enraged they carry their rage 24 hours a day. Lashing out is going to take many forms; some effective, some not. We've seen a lot of it already and there's more to come. This restaurant owner did it her way. I think she did it just right. Maxine Waters wants to see the Trumpsters shamed every time they stick their noses out of their doors. I tend to wince at that sort of thing, but okay, let's make noise. Let's see what  happens.

    Shaming and shunning is one way. Boycotting is another. Then there's calling your congressperson. Then there's signing petitions. Then there's taking to Facebook and Twitter. Then there's...whatever.





    SUING!!! For libelous defamation of a business he'd never even seen. And since it's not in any way related to his public position, he can't plead out as too busy or handling too important a task. Court time!

    I wish they would. Michael Avenatti should take this on. The PINO is trying to ruin an American business because they asked one of his employees to leave. What country does he think he lives in? Not the one he's wishing for. That'll never happen.

    FWIW, I noticed Avenatti the other day tweet this one step at a time advice on family separation, to please stop making it a bigger immigration issue, to win one step at a time:

    I don't claim to know how he would apply that to tactics about something like this.

    But if you go to the whole thread at his twitter feed, you will see with the immigration thing he is basically saying: let's go with what a majority agrees on now, not to separate families, because that's where you can win, that's where there's majority support.

    It's really funny to me that Avenatti seems to see himself as some sort of leader to the left.  He's a skeezy trial lawyer taking on a case that may or may not be useful to our cause.  His client, by the way, is a freaking Republican.

    I don't think that's his fault, necessarily. I saw a smart pitbull lawyer and thought if he can drive Trump nuts over a porn star think what he could do for the rest of the country. The refugee situation came at the right time and as far as I'm concerned, until someone better comes along, he's the right person for the job. I personally think he scares the shit out of Trump. That's a good thing.

    Avenatti knows how to do P.R. and kabuki with Trump, but actually there's a huge (yuge?) army of lawyer volunteers working on this, I think they are a lot of the same ones that came to the fore with the "Muslim ban". From their op-ed today in the NYTimes, "The Law Did  Not Create This Crisis, but Lawyers Will Help End It", authors at the bottom of my excerpt. I want to give them a shout out because we are all in the habit of bashing these kinda high-paid guys but when it comes to pro-bono against Trump on civil rights, a lot of them have been doing a lot of good, just goes to show you not everybody is evil 100% of the time:

    [....] We speak for a group of lawyers who lead 34 major American law firms. As a group, we cannot stand by as our government, under the pretext of enforcing the law, violates it and traumatizes children and their parents in the process. We are professionally obligated to safeguard the rule of law and to protect the poor and the vulnerable against targeted governmental abuses. We call upon the administration to develop an immediate plan for reunifying children with their families, to release families who pose no threat to our country and to terminate the policy of criminally prosecuting asylum seekers.

    While it is the government’s responsibility, ultimately, to solve problems of its own making, we have coalesced our resources and joined forces with the legal services community to protect the rule of law. Our firms, which collectively employ about 30,000 lawyers in nearly every state, have pledged to help reunify families and ensure representation for legitimate asylum seekers. This outpouring of volunteerism depends on strong partnerships with the legal services entities on the front lines. The firm Paul, Weiss, working with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, has sent a team of lawyers to represent parents detained near the border in Texas. The Lowenstein Sandler firm has been working alongside the Vera Institute of Justice and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights to secure access to counsel for the young, separated children held in New York State and to advise lawyers of their ethical obligations when they undertake such representation.

    This crisis requires an army of lawyers to untangle because the immigration courts are flooded and detention centers across the country are bursting. The world is watching, and the private bar is mobilizing to serve the thousands who have been imperiled by the Trump administration — and to ensure that the rule of law is protected as well.

    Brad S. Karp is chairman of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Gary M. Wingens is chairman and managing partner of Lowenstein Sandler.


    P.S. The lack of judges really is the problem and the Trump admin and Sessions are stonewalling on that and Congress is arguing mightily about what to do. One can find more coverage of that whole thing @ The Hill and/or Politico, one doesn't have to have subscriptions to the big newspapers. I've had no trouble finding it in the last few days. No one forces any one to pay attention to culture wars stories that attract the most clicks and the news TV ratings, I think the truth is there's plenty of news coverage going on at the same time. It's just that Trump understands pop culture, watches a few minutes of the hot news in the morning and uses it,  he's playing us all. Even some of his more serious staff begs White House reporters to stop paying attention to his tweets because, I presume, they have some serious conservative goals they want to get on with. But his culture wars stuff, it's click bait and blogger bait and pundit bait because he knows what will rile so well.

    Unlike Peracles, I don't blame the journalists only, I blame all of us for feeding a troll. Not saying that I know what to do about it. About the only thing I am sure of so far is that standard old fashioned liberal protest is NOT going to work, Trump is a very skilled troll and he knows how to use that kind of thing to his benefit. It's got to be smarter stuff, more like ActUp and the Parkland kids. Not the same old same old. And legal yes, legal frustrates the hell out of him. (Ridicule works on all trolls but with him it's tricky to do because his fan base likes him precisely for some of things political correct elites make fun of him for, he's got to be made to look powerless, that's what works with him.)

    Ah, but I don't only blame the media, and with Twitter, *we* are also the media. Curious timing, but it was just last night I was tweeting something I was "sure of" and outraged about, and found myself thinking "how do I know I'm not being played? How am I so certain of this info, or how to respond?" So yeah, we're in sync again. And for all we think we're starting to win, a) the public is *not* united over the most contentious issues, and b) if they hack the elections in November as seems likely we could be really really screwed.

    About the only thing I am sure of so far is that standard old fashioned liberal protest is NOT going to work

    In your view, what is "standard old fashioned liberal protest"?


    This is being discussed, but is most certainly not suit-worthy. 

    Jeffrey J. Pyle of Prince Lobel Tye LLP, who has defended clients in defamation cases, tells the Erik Wemple Blog, “The tweet is pretty clear that the implication of uncleanliness inside is pure speculation on his part, and it therefore doesn’t convey a statement of fact. And whether the awnings are dirty or not may also be deemed a question of opinion.” And Clay Calvert, a University of Florida professor steeped in libel law, notes, “If he had said there were rats in the kitchen or that the restaurant used spoiled food, that would be a very different — and likely actionable — matter.”


    Sure, but there are federal statutes for govrernment officials to consider as well, along with different kinds of patterns of abuse he's laying out. And if a judge allows a suit to go forward even if unlikely to win, could be some good David v. Goliath PR whatever the outcome. He's been playing this game a long time, but the turf and the resolve of his opponents and targets are shifting - much of his badgering was done with heavy financial resources on his side. But if the other side's well-financed?

    Appeasement is not an option.

    My post disappeared 

    Basically I said that Lexington is. It far from me and I plan to go to this nice restaurant once the kerfuffle cools off. I will come me back & let you know how it went. The menu looks great.   Also, for what it’s worth, Josh had a good editors blog up that makes sense to me:

    Most of the civility talk isn’t about any real red line, any boundary that is critical to the kind of free society we want to preserve and build. It’s more a wet blanket meant to tsk tsk legitimate protest and legitimate resistance to corrupt government, misrule and injustice.


    Sounds like a lot of people are on the same page. Same page, different methods. Action is the key. Mistakes will be made but the message is: no more.

    The civility talk is just a distraction from our child-prisons and the theft of children. 

    Wolf Blitzer got Senator Mealy-Mouth / er...Udahl to make certain that Maxine Waters’ diatribe (which I thought was over the top) was on a par with all the venom trump AND his horrid bunch spout on any given day. 

    Even got him to say BOTH SIDES DO IT!!

    so frustrating. 

    I thought Maxine Waters was a bit over the top, too, but I can understand the frustration that brings people to such rantings. We're frantic to get those children back together with their families and the news coming out every day says it could take a long time, if ever.  It should take hours, not days, weeks, or months. A whole lot of people  should  be in jail. Trump's people know we're reaching the brink so we're in for more deflection. The idea that we need to be civil comes from them, laughable as that is, but it comes out of fear. They don't see it as reciprocal. WE need to stop,  THEY don't.

    I'm all for going back to the story about the children but I wanted to defend this poor owner who made a moral  judgment and is paying for it now. Some might think her decision was foolish and counterproductive; I see it as noble and brave.

    Doublethink, Trump style:

    Obvious question: if the restaurant is as terrible as the Orange One tweets, what was Huckabee-Sanders doing there in the first place? And why was she so upset about being asked to leave?

    It's as if Trump thinks no one has ever seen that restaurant, so he can make up stuff about the outside. It looks pretty good to me.

    I don't know what it has to do with anything and I wasn't there to say what happened or not.
    But one thing that struck me about at least one account is that Sanders was asked to leave privately. That is different from having someone go up to the table and demand that they all leave.
    If somebody asked me to leave a place as a matter of courtesy, none of you would know about it.

    Trump supporters are THAT stupid. And ignorant, frenzied mad malevolent idiots.

    They are targeting Ye Olde Red Hen restaurant in Ontario, Canada. They either can't read a webpage, or don't know jack on geography, or both. Some of the posts:

    “Hope you go out of business you liberal trash. Clean up this dump,” commented Thomas Collins, whose Facebook profile indicates that he lives in Maryland, on Sunday.

    “I wonder how long before the Red Hen slop house folds and goes bankrupt?,” wrote Albert Holland.

    “Shame on you,” wrote Connie Szczepanik. “Bigots and hypocrites!”

    I don't give a damn where Sarah Sanders eats dinner, but championing the ejection of Trump's powerless press secretary from some restaurant in Virginia isn't effective Resistance.

    Powerless? a Huckabee in the White House?

    Maxine Waters speaks to an important part of the base. Some Democrats do want to see this type of resistance.

    When you're faced with evil, you make a decision based on everything you hold holy. Sarah Sanders is not powerless. She holds sway over the  entire White House press corps, lying often and repeatedly, spreading propaganda at a podium provided by the government.

    This restaurant owner did what she felt she had to do, and she did it quietly. She didn't make the fuss, someone else did. But now that's it out there, it's right up there as a form of resistance.

    Resistance takes all forms and this is just one of them.  Maxine Waters sees it differently.David Axelrod sees it differently. Michael Avenatti sees it differently. Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, George Will, and Bill Kristol see it differently. Malcolm Nance, Sarah Kendzior, Joyce Vance, and Jill Wine-Banks see it differently. Adam Schiff, Bill Nelson, Eric Swallwell, and Ted Lieu see it differently.

    Resistance isn't a one-trick pony, it's a movement that grows and spreads and takes off in a hundred different directions, but the goal is the same. Stop this evil in its tracks. How they do it may be open to discussion but the fact that they're doing it gives me hope we might actually get through this.

    Sway? Sanders holds no sway over the press corps. They don't believe a word she says. I suppose she might have some sway over Trump supporters, but I doubt that many of them watch her. Sean Hannity has sway over such people. Sanders, not so much. That's not to say that she's innocent. She's a lying sycophant. But she doesn't make a difference. If she were to quit tomorrow, the administration would go on as before. And kicking her out of a restaurant certainly doesn't achieve anything.

    Sure, resistance takes many forms, but all not all forms are equal. Shouting at a guy wearing a MAGA hat is a form of resistance, but what does it accomplish? I don't begrudge people who choose to respond this way, but I don't celebrate them either. I celebrate those who make a difference. 

    It is too early to tell if shaming of Trump and his inner circle is effective. The iconic sit in at Woolworth’s began in February. Counter wasn’t desegregated until July


    Michael, Trump is the admnistration. Anyone else can (and has) left, and "the administration will go on as before."

    The restaurant owner set an example, that in her opinion, this administration has gone beyond nasty politics to immorality. 

    That message was not to the Trump base. It was to everybody else uncomfortable with this President and his lying toadies. Who are wreaking havoc on truth and our values. If she can take risks, letting them know how she feels, we can too, if only by voting in November. 

    No, there are a number of folks in the Trump administration doing serious damage--Pence, Pruitt, Sessions, Zinke, Ross, and Bolton, to name a few. Without people like these to implement his agenda, Trump is just Tweeter-in-Chief. Sanders does communication, not implementation, and the absurdity is that she doesn't actually communicate anything. If the press briefings ceased tomorrow, the press corps would be no less informed than they are today. She's just a paper press secretary, miming the behavior of her predecessors but serving no actual purpose.

    And sorry, I don't see the restaurant owner as some inspiring hero. Pointless symbolism won't turn the tide in November. As I said previously, we need people who make a difference.

    It's getting a little late for a purity test on who will make a difference. I say bring em on, each as their conscience guides them.

    You seem to think every cause, every effort at resistance, has to be both noble and brave in order to be effective.. Sometimes it's just a moment where exhaustion sets in, where someone has had enough. We're still talking about the Red Hen and most progressives are energized by this particular kerfuffle.

    What makes her actions heroic to me isn't so much that she asked SS to leave, but that she stewed over it, asked her staff to help her decide, and did it in such a way that SS didn't  need to be embarrassed or insulted.  You may not agree that she had a right to put her own feelings first when dealing with a customer who hadn't caused a problem, but I see it as sort of the last straw.

    The news of the past week brought many of us to the point of breaking. Trump's actions were so outrageous, so un-American, so cruel, it's hard not to reckon it with Sarah Sanders' dismissive, insulting reaction whenever a member of the press asked her about  it.

    She's a vile human being and this restaurant owner couldn't stand the thought of having to serve someone like her. She pulled her aside and asked her to leave. I'm going to celebrate someone like that every chance I get. I lived through last week, too, agonizing over how little effect I  could  have, no matter how loud I shouted, no matter how much I cried.  I needed to be able to cheer any little bit of resistance. I'll probably be doing it again. In fact, I'm pretty sure I will.

    Much has changed when Max Boot, a perhaps at least temporarily chastened, anti-Trump, neoconservative (former neoconservative?), early Iraq war cheerleader and consistent enthusiast for the frequent use of US military power, is quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.  From his WaPo opinion piece yesterday:


    These public rebukes have predictably allowed Trump’s defenders to play the victim, as they love to do. “Her actions say far more about her than about me,” Sanders tweeted indignantly about Wilkinson. “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.” Her father, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, weighed in with his own tweet: “Bigotry. On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington VA. Or you can ask for the ‘Hate Plate.’ And appetizers are ‘small plates for small minds.’” Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich decried “the increasing personal nastiness toward people who work for President Trump,” which he claimed “reflects the left’s understanding that they are losing.” (Trump, for his part, accused the Red Hen of having “filthy canopies, doors and windows . . .  . I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!”)

    The hypocrisy is galling. The administration thinks that a Colorado baker should not be forced to serve a gay couple because their wedding offends his religious beliefs, but it insists that restaurateurs should be forced to serve Trump aides whose conduct, rather than their characteristics, offend their most deeply held beliefs.

    Trump defenders are in no position to decry “personal nastiness” and “bigotry” when they defend a nasty, bigoted president. Huckabee wins the hypocrisy gold medal for attacking the Red Hen just hours after posting a picture of tattooed MS-13 gang members under the nasty, bigoted headline: “Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House.”


    I can understand why such acts elicit a strong reaction when administration officials venture out in public. But that doesn’t mean restaurateurs should refuse to serve patrons whose political views they find repugnant. In Washington, especially, this could easily get out of hand: “Sorry, senator, no eggs for you this morning – not after your vote on S.R. 2148!” Even less does it mean that flash mobs should harass Cabinet members in public, as demanded by Rep. Maxine Walters (D- Calif.). Some who serve in the administration – such as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein – should be applauded for trying to save the country from the president.

    While I sympathize with the impulse behind what an Internet wag has dubbed the “no justice, no peas” doctrine, in the end I think it is counterproductive and reduces Trump’s critics to his low level. To save our country, we need to practice heroic self-restraint and courageous civility in the face of grievous provocation. Remember what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”

    "Those who oppose Trump shouldn't sink to his level", Max Boot, Washington Post, yesterday afternoon.

    Much has not changed. Quoting King by war profiteering right wingers is a perverse charade to shield themselves and their fellow accomplices from accountability for Republican crimes.

    Where was Boot when anti-war protestors were called Saddam terrorist enabling traitiors, or when Obama was called the ringleader of a Muslim terrorist cell? Where was Boot when Huckabee said Pelosi's campaign staff was MS 13 gang bangers when he posted their photo 2 days ago?

    Boot's objective is saving the Republican Party from irate Americans, who would drown it in a bathtub, which it suely deserves.

    Martin Luther King Jr

    On White Moderates and Progressives 

    “I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate.

    I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

    “Letter from a Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963

    "....I cannot agree with your methods of direct action...."

    Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.

                                                         Rosa Luxemburg

    Schumer's "What Maxine says to do is not American" made me nauseous.  Dems need another fighter like Reid. Schumer is a milquetoast.

    Democrats are cowards and they are stupid. Last week Jason Johnson made the charge that blacks could not count on Democrats to take on white supremacy. You remind people that blacks are the only option to combat Trump and the GOP. Trump supports a white supremacist running for the Senate in Virginia. He then orders the kidnapping of immigrant babies. Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the kidnappings are Biblically sanctioned. Sanders is asked to leave a restaurant because the owner finds kidnapping objectionable. Maxine Waters tells people that shaming members of Trump inner circle is an honorable thing to do. Waters gets criticized.

    I am accused of trying to lecture to whites on issues of race. All I do is try to reflect what is coming from black media sources. Black media openly criticizes Trump and his supporters. Black media also wonders when there will be strong pushback from Democrats and white media. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a proven liar. Waters called for peaceful protests of Trump and his inner circle. Waters receives criticism for fellow Democrats. In response, articles appear noting that Nancy Pelosi, and white media figures are supporting Sanders over Waters.

    The response to Waters lends credence to the charge by Jason Johnson that Democrats are not reliable allies. The Supreme Court upheld the gerrymandering in Texas. We see repeated instances of whites calling police on blacks just because black people exist. These are not good times.

    Maxine calls for peaceful protests. Trump has approved of violence. Sanders supports Trump.

    Let us again note what Jason Johnson actually said in the article you link.

    Democrats don’t hate Trump as much as they love white supremacy. Of course I don’t mean that all Democrats are white supremacists, but I do mean most,

    If even a minority of black people believe this than black people will lose and democrats will lose. You're working hard to not only turn away possible republican allies that dislike Trump you're doing your best to turn away allies in the democratic party.

    Jason Johnson wrote the words. I post the link. I am attacked. Johnson speaks for a subset of black voters. He does not see Democrats having a backbone. Now we have Democrats choosing a white woman who lies repeatedly over a black woman who is calling out evil. The response to Johnson and Waters is for Democrats to grow a spine.

    You posted the link twice and from your posts I think you agree with it. The question is whether you represent a fringe view in the black community or a view commonly held. Considering how you have alienated almost every person here on this liberal site if there are more like you alienating democratic allies in other communities it does not bode well for a democratic resurgence.

    The question about Waters isn't a choice between a white women who lies over a black women calling out evil. It's a debate over embracing incivility as a resistance tactic. As the caretaker of a ghost town tourist site in Arizona there's a part of me that would like to refuse access to anyone  with a MAGA hat or a Trump sticker on their car. I have decided not to do that.

    I repeatedly said that I disagreed with Johnson. 

    Regarding alienation, if my words alone get you to not vote for a Democrat, what does that imply?

    I repeatedly said that I disagreed with Johnson.

    Yes, yet you also wrote:

    Democrats are cowards and they are stupid.

    Can you square the circle, rm?

    eta, though I'm sick of it: why this: Republicans were late to the protest. Pressure from Democrats forced their hand.


    I think Cemocrats lack backbone. I don’t think they are white supremacists.

    Edit to add:

    So isn’t the poem simply fill in the blanks?

    Your edit is almost poetic in its own right - it causes the reader to think about the meaning, and try to understand in their own unique way.  Indeed, there are many blanks between people who lack backbone and white supremacists; the trick isn't to fill in the blank, it's to point out what's needed to fill the void.

    eta - I know you're tempted, rm, but please don't throw links at me.  I'm really not in the mood.  What I'd appreciate is a thought or ten from you expressing what you feel - not what you've read.  Otherwise, I'll pass.

    I thought this site was about link to articles

    You know better than that. 

     I think the articles I present reflect a different perspective. I don’t think they are outliers. As an example, most articles do not make calls for civility. 

    (Lord, this man)  Talk to us if you want to, rm; we just might understand if you give us a sliver of a chance, but bombarding us with links doesn't do it.  Just say what you* think, follow with supporting links if it's necessary.

    *I've said this to you before.

    I sense a double standard. One poster repeatedly points out that I’m not like the good blacks she knows and receives no comment. I’ll stick to posting articles.

    oh puhleez! your anonymous name on the internet is rmrd0000, we don't know for sure if you are black, white, green or a Russian bot. All we have to judge is what you write, and what you write is what any of us have criticized.

    You sense of victimization is over top, when your real problem is the sloppiness of your thinking and communication with no real obvious desire to improve it, even though many people here try to be open and help.All you really seem to want to do with your writing is express anger. Which is fine for those who like baying at the moon together.

    Goodbye, good luck. I can easily visit The Root myself, which I usually do once a week to see wassup there.  Done with ya.

    Very mature. I took your repeated comparing me to other blacks as offensive. I did not respond with a personal attack but a discussion. I provided links to support my argument. You counter with opinion. You then say that I am attempting to speak for all blacks. Not offensive,just inaccurate.

    Your choice.  But in too many ways, rm, too bad.

    See below.

    What I find ironic is that in the last few days I've been seeing more thoughts and ideas along the lines of purity policing from some of the same people that I used to see rag on Hal C. for doing the same. Suddenly big tent support the Dem party through thick and thin, unity rah rah, is the only way to win, is out of style here on dag. Wha' happened?

    I think rmrd is an outlier not only here but in the black community. People like William Barber would not be so successful in building a movement if he believed what rmrd does.

    Reverend William Barber

    "If you're supporting the policies of a racist xenophobe, what does that make you

    Barber, who you have indicated you admire greatly, embraces a broad coalition of people around a broad, multi-pronged progressive agenda.  If he spent his time constantly and indiscriminately denigrating white people for not being anti-racist enough, he'd have gotten nowhere.  The agenda his coalition pursues prominently and forcefully addresses issues impacting black people.  It also addresses issues which do not solely impact black people and other people of color.  And because of the latter, he leads a coalition that is multi-racial, and diverse in other ways as well.    

    I think you are highly selective in how you interpret Barber's philosophy.  Reading your comments here it strikes me, over and over again, that your approach is diametrically opposed to numerous statements throughout Barber's book The Third Reconstruction, which I read recently.  As I was reading it, I frequently came upon statements that left me scratching my head and wondering how you, in particular, would square what you do here with how Barber, in his own words, describes his philosophy and approach.  Your approach seems almost directly intended to shrink the tent as small as possible.  

    You pass along statements from parts of the black press with the disclaimer that, hey, you're just the messenger.  Here's a thought: if you are aware of ample evidence refuting some of the claims, have you considered communicating to these elements of the black press your disagreement, and reasons, including evidence, why?  How can letting repeated badly wrong, and divisive by the way, statements coming from parts of the black press stand unchallenged do anything but further foment racial mistrust and division, of exactly the sort Trump excels at pedaling, thrives on, and absolutely requires to wreak the havoc he is wreaking?    

    The view that none except black people are pushing back, hard, against Trump is absurd, in my view.  The opinion that people here at dagblog feel as though these are "normal times" is likewise absurd, in my opinion.  I guess others here may need to start writing in ALL CAPS or including long strings of exclamation remarks to meet your outrage quotient?    

    I think you make many good points at dag, including many that very well might not be made by others here.  You post many terrific links.  It bothers me to see some reactions of fellow denizens which leave me wondering if, as a result of some of your comments, they are actually less sympathetic to the causes you (and I, by the way--as a white person I don't for a moment claim to be subject to risks and dangers you are unjustly subject to, but I have in my life sought to promote racial reconciliation, tolerance, and justice) are rightly distressed about than they were before reading what you had to say.  If so, that seems to me a decent working definition of ineffectiveness.  I don't think that is what you want.         

    The best response to Jason Johnson is to prove him wrong by action. That is why I want Democrats to develop a backbone. Sanders is not Civil. Trump is not civil. Responding with civility encourages more uncivil behavior from Trump. Trump backed down on kidnapping when he was punched in the face figuratively.

    Hiding the fact that websites geared to black millennials are supportive of Waters is not doing favors for anyone.

    I don’t get why Democrats are so cowardly.

    Many of the white Liberals I encounter support Waters’ comments.

    Edit to add:

    William Barber is a loving person, but he does point out evil

    Judicial nominee Thomas Farr is racist

    Attacks racist voter suppression

    Called Franklin Graham a heretic

    ​Barber does not sugarcoat things.

    Edit to add:

    A message in the book was that the election of Obama resulted in what Van Jones called a “whitelash” We experienced similar backlashes in the past. Am I wrong?

    Trump backed down on kidnapping when he was punched in the face figuratively.

    The truth: He backed down when he turned on the TV and saw Republicans on the news screaming bloody murder that this country should not be separating children and parents. Many of whom were doing so because they knew that with every picture and report of that happening they were losing white suburban female votes. White surburban votes that you'd like to see called racist because they often vote Republican.

    Not only does Trump not care that the riled up Democratic base hates him, he invites that. Because his fan base despises the political correctness of liberals.

    Why can't you see that the parent-child relationship is something some social conservatives care a lot about too? That therein was the "punch". Had nothing to do with liberals or Dems! He is now happily blaming Dems and liberalsfor it. On Fox they are happily showing how Obama kept families together but put them in detention awaiting the courts to "prove it"

    Anyone who thinks the "Democratic base" being outraged had anything to do with Trump backing down, you're just plain nuts. Every day since he backed down he said over and over that the Dems want open borders and to let everyone in, he's not backing down on that.

    Once you can manage to get your head around that, if you can, then, ponder this: the entire Dem base is not exactly 100% pro-immigrant either. That's why there's that huge backload of cases before Trump "zero tolerance" started piling on top of it.

    No resistance by liberals is going to make Trump back down from things! He loves that, he sells it for "ratings" from his rally audiences.. Rather, "resistance" would be about affecting elections to counter his influence, not about affecting what he does until then. Hopefully, it will affect the ability to impeach hiim.

    Republicans were late to the protest. Pressure from Democrats forced their hand.

    Trump tried to blame the policy on Democrats.

    Edit to add:

    other articles noting Republicans were slow in responding to kidnapping

    I repeat: he wouldn't have changed it if it were just Dems upset about it.

    Stop being delusional. Even protest in general is unlikely to make him back down from things.He had a hard time deciding to back down with this and it only was because too many GOP were upset.

    You have to think: the goal is a Dem Congress. That is what any protest or resistance would be for. To GOTV and to move swing districts to blue.

    He doesn't back down for protest from the left, RATHER he invites it, he thinks it helps him, will even make it up if it isn't there!

    Take NH for example, Democrats are energized. Republicans are split

    Michelle Goldberg of NYT gets it right​

    We have an authoritarian government. We have no responsibility to worry about what some theoretical Trump supporter will do if we are not “civil”. This is exactly the point Martin Luther King Jr. made.

    Theda Scopkol describes newly energized suburban women who are horrified by the authoritarian government.​

    Demoratic leaning voters are energized.

    PSA (I’m disagreeing with your position, not preaching)

    no you're not disagreeing, you are finally admitting that in the elections you have to go for "Democratic leaning" people who are now fed up with Trump.

    Now let's add this: NH voters, especially swing ones, may not react well to being called racists or being lectured about white privilege. They might not like political correctness, either. Many may not like cop bashing. Etc. These things will probably not be in the platform of a winning Dem candidate.

    One thing I am sure of about NH: they don't like tax and spend liberals and big gummint, because they don't like paying taxes. They'd rather go without sidewalks and social workers;  if you want those, pay for them yourself.  And they certainly don't want to be paying for people in other states to have them. I doubt talk of racial preferences would be that popular there. On the other hand, a libertarian ethos is popular, the state motto, on top of the license plate:

    You've got to win state by state. Many states like this are fed up with Trump, don't like him if they ever did. BUT DEMS SHOULDN'T PUSH THAT TOO FAR in an opposite direction or they will lose. Especially if it's not Trump that's running, which right now it's not.



    Whatever. I that gets you through the night.  Energized Democrats already pulled off an upset victory in a special election in 2017.

    I am disagreeing with your position.

    I didn't mean just him (though as I have said before, from my personal experience with family, close friends, and lots of colleagues both black and mixed race, I often don't at all agree with many of the pictures he's trying to draw.)

    Rather, I'm seeing ye olde angry split between liberal activists and big tent centrists rear up, it's almost like Bush era dejas vus allover again. We've seen the Maxime Waters vs. Chuck Schumer thing many many times before, just with different people. It's like the Red Hen/civility thing dragged up the ghost of Ralph Nader....or even Gene McCarthy vs. Hubert Humphrey. Can't keep those who want revolution in the streets down, fuck the silent majority, mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, so let's all divide into mini-tribes yellin' at each other and lose an election....

    P.S. Wikipeda: Divide and rule, it's a classic imperial manuever, I think everyone should think about it. wink

    So Democrats need to do outreach to explain their ideas?

    To people who voted for Obama and then switched to Trump: yes, probably some "outreach" would help there.

    But I've seen you say more than once that Dems shouldn't reach out to them, because, you have said, all those people are all racists and that Dems don't need them.

    Well, they are mostly how Trump won as I see it, so it's still beyond me how you square that. And he hasn't lost a lot of them because the economy is doing okay so far, unemployment is down. Current president always gets the blame or credit there, at keeping it the same or better than his predecessor.

    For the mid-terms, it's not a national question AT ALL. Trump as president has already assured GOTV of the anti-Trump vote. It's how well the candidate reflects the district the needs, wants, desires, slants of the district he or she is running in. That the Dem base is riled up in California, Chicago and New York isn't gonna help Senator Manchin win in West Virginia one iota. It may even hurt him if it's fired up in the wrong way.

    So race based outreach? That sounds like a winner. You’re not a Democratic Party member so you have nothing to lose. You’re above it all. Democrats know they need the black vote and need to do outreach to everybody.

    Edit to add:

    Your argument falls apart because white voters were getting outreach by the Democratic Party, while black voters were not. We need a level playing field. That can only be done by doing outreach to every ethnic group.

    It's been a'rearin for awhile now ... though I recall you saying you missed most of the Dem primary fight.  ;-)

    Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.

    ~Margaret Mead

    I can't breathe.

    ~Eric Garner

    These two quotes are listed on my profile page ... one is widely known, the other is likely not remembered by many.  While they both play a part in my thinking about this it's the latter that I truly cannot shake, and it's the one that drives me to the realization that the first will never remain true if we don't embrace a much broader sense of breathing than Eric Garner ever could.

    OK, I'm gonna edit this with links to two old posts of mine (they're the same original posts but with different comments because I was stupid and ended up with one in "Reader" and one in "Creative").  I wrote it in September of 2015 before he was elected, and it's really not much.  But the comments are worth everything if you want to go back to a more innocent age and perhaps reflect on how we might need to grow the hell up.



    Response to barefooted above

    There is no reason to believe that Democrats have the backbone to protect us. Maxine Waters being criticized by fellow Democrats on the shaming issue is outrageous. Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant. During sit ins, Black were beaten.

    ​As I post this a do-nothing long term Democratic legislator was kicked out on his behind in a NY Primary. The incumbent took the voters for granted. When Democrats tell enraged voters to be civil in the face of authoritarianism, they can expect pushback. Nothing is gained from being polite.


    Edit to add:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won by running on immigration.

    Bottom Line Daggers:

    This is a turnout election.

    Nobody is switching sides between now and November.

    The Republican Party is fine with corruption, lies, racist politics, voter suppression, Russian disinformation, Russian money and even tyranny if it keeps them in power.

    At this point, nobody is changing their minds about Trump or the GOP. It doesn't matter if we're civil or uncivil, it won't change a single vote, all that matters is registering to vote, and voting Democrat by mail ballot or in person on November 6!

    It took less than 17 months for an autocrat to seize power. As Sotomayor noted, 5 members of the court ignored Trump’s words and allowed a religiously biased ban. The stolen Court seat is part of a Republican coup. We need outreach to get out the vote.

    So you're saying that whether the opposition is (perceived as) civil or uncivil will not affect turnout (beyond the--obviously-- completely absurd possibility that it could affect voting choices in some instances)?  Don't you think GOP efforts to get anti-Trump activists to take the bait and do things which elicit negative public reactions are the mirror image of what the civil rights activists did on up through the mid 1960s or so, with considerable success in cases such as Bull Connor where the bad guys lost their cool and lashed out mindlessly, cruelly, and shortsightedly? 

    Bait the opposition to do ill-advised things (public service announcement in effort to preempt the straw man reply: not doing ill-advised things is not the same is doing no things) and lose just enough votes to lose competitive, winnable elections.   



    If what you say is true, isn’t the country gone already?

    I don't understand how you get that from what I wrote.

    We have had peaceful protests outside of Trump members homes and protests at restaurants. If that is enough to get people to vote for authoritarians, the country is already lost.

    I'm not suggesting that what has taken place so far is "enough to get people to vote for authoritarians".  I don't see how anyone could know any of that. 

    I'm suggesting that the idea that "civility" is BS and we don't need to be concerned about that, and should not be concerned about that, because the other side regularly flouts it and because what's been done so far by way of resistance and pushback hasn't worked to stop the madness, does not make sense to me.  We have some indications that a strong result in November is attainable if the focus is kept where it needs to be.  


    "At this point, nobody is changing their minds about Trump or the GOP."

    Thank you for your profound and nuanced electoral data analysis, Dr. NCD, but do you mean to suggest that the 10 to 20 percent of undecided voters in various Senate races are imaginary? I guess it would be more convenient that way. Then we can dispense with the cumbersome task of political persuasion.

    It may be they have decided but won't admit it, or don't care enough to vote. 

    Regardless, good luck with persuading fence sitters at this late stage, honestly..!

    If the country's destiny depends on garnering the attention of folks still undecided, on the fence, at this point,   our system (of what is now total minority power- made possible and set up in the 18th century to protect the power of slave owners in slave states)  may be terminally ill (I hope not!) .

    I would hope there are enough already determined and committed to vote Democrat to make a difference. We need to get those folks to the polls as happened in Alabama.

    Kennedy is retiring from SCOTUS

    His swing days may have been over anyway. Progressives can forget the SCOTUS for the future of most living voters. Money, corporations and oligarchs will win.

    With Trump's full character and policies evident, I thought, what is Hillary hating Watree saying these days?..... Last 2 posts checked today, virulently anti-Democratic Party, calls Hillary as much a bigot as Trump, who he calls 'the frying pan'.


    Neither Killer Mike or Cornel West are apologetic either

    Edit to add:

    Kennedy’s verbal gymnastics on the Muslim ban was really disappointing 

    I hope you're not trying to sell your services as a political consultant. If candidates relied only on "determined and committed" voters, they'd lose. No close election is ever won by committed voters alone. There are always independents, swing voters, and fence sitters--even in this polarized era. In fact, independents are on an upswing.

    That said, the relative importance loyalists vs swing voters does vary in different races. Karl Rove, for example, defied conventional wisdom by running a base strategy in the 2004 presidential election. But even when you emphasize GOTV, you can't simply ignore the swing voters. It's a question of finding the right balance.

    It is in the matter of the undetermined vote that raising the specter of Jason Johnson creates an asymmetrical comparison.
    The idea that blacks will become more racist if the Democratic party fails to represent them is paired with the notion that nothing the party does will influence the number of white racists.

    Call it The Moat Conundrum....? 

    Jennifer Rubin's final for now take on Red Hen, posted yesterday, is at

    ​It offers a nuanced view.  It is not that lengthy and it's only recently occurred to me--please pardon, I'm a little slow sometimes--that some might not be able to access Washington Post articles if they are behind a firewall.  We subscribe.  I do not know their current policy on online access for non-subscribers.  So I am posting in full here:  

    When I voiced — and still voice — support for quiet and not-so-quiet acts of social snubbing and shaming, I surely wasn’t calling for mobs to descend on anyone. Waters didn’t help her side by suggesting as much. No one should be urging conduct that can devolve into violence. No one should stalk anyone or break any other law.

    On the other side, objecting that personal confrontation is no substitute for political action and for voting misses the point; no one serious argues that denying Sanders a quiet dinner is going to end the scourge of Trump. Here, we are talking about individual actions of conscience that put the president’s aides and former aides on notice that they have betrayed the public’s trust and offended their fellow Americans’ sense of decency.

    We, after all, do have a long and honorable tradition of public demonstration and rebuke. Protests outside abortion clinics, for example, intend to make people feel uncomfortable. Civil rights protesters did the same during the 1960s and beyond. They, too, were accused of being disruptive and impolite. Sometimes, however, a little discomfort serves some social purpose. One is not entitled to live a life without fuss or muss after engaging in destructive, racists and antidemocratic conduct in office or public life. (If David Duke had walked into the Red Hen, I’d be in favor of calling him out and asking him to leave. )

    But let’s take a step back here. Ordinary Americans have a right, maybe even an obligation, not to reward conduct that has promoted dishonesty, racism and authoritarianism. I would applaud employers who would shun former Trump aides and refuse to hire them, citing their lying in public office and their participation in an administration increasingly reliant on a white-grievance message. Likewise, no one should feel compelled to invite former Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon over for brunch, or throw a birthday party for Sanders or invite her to the neighborhood block party. Certainly, excluding public figures from social occasions and niceties is a valid expression of disdain from Americans who’ve paid their salaries. We are talking about small, but pointed demonstrations, expressions of our rights of free speech and association.

    Let’s then agree that there is a vast gray area between chasing Trump aides down the street with pitchforks and pretending as though nothing they have done in public life warrants scorn. In the case of the Red Hen, the owner took Sanders outside and quietly asked her to leave, saying her party could stay. Sanders left and the owner comped the drinks and snacks they’d already consumed. This personal act of protest was not, in my mind, barbarous conduct beyond the pale. There should be room for people to object, to exercise their free-speech rights, and to let Trump aides know they are personally responsible in the eyes of their fellow citizens for enabling an administration that has operated outside the bounds of constitutional government and democratic norms.

    Finally, Trump’s use of his position to slam a business — like his threats to use the U.S. Postal Service against (whose founder and chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, also owns The Post),  to tax Harley-Davidson, to harass individual employers that do not pay deference, or worst of all, to “pull the license” of a news organization — is a misuse and abuse of his office. He does not have the right to say whatever he wants like an ordinary citizen; he’s taken an oath, and part of that oath is to fairly and equally execute the laws. Using the power of the president to run some business owner out of town is the stuff of tin-pot dictators.

    In sum, the choice is not between, on one hand, pretending this is a normal administration whose political appointees get treated like everyone else and, on the other, resorting to behavior that instills fear, risks violence or breaks the law. Moreover, I never favor any sort of display or outburst when someone is with their child. (Remember, the country is in an uproar because collectively we treat all children with care.) However, I’d like to think the members of this administration would become social pariahs of sorts; they are not entitled to go through life insult-free and embarrassment-free after their egregious conduct in public life. Now lets get back to the victims of Trump’s inhumane policies.

    Lost in some of the back-and-forth on this thread is the deliberation involved in decisions about where, when and how to launch campaigns that have produced against all odds tangible results.  Concerning the 1950's and 1960's civil rights actions, there was absolutely nothing passive or mealy-mouthed about those efforts.  They involved solidarity, high risk, great courage, self-discipline, restraint, a refusal to respond rashly in the face of gross abuse and injustice, clarity around objectives and theory of action, and sacrifice. 

    The spirit and the practice animating those efforts was infused with a rhetoric of love, compassion, and a desire for inclusive national community.  

    In the air today I see very little of that (Barber, oddly, being an exception).  Rather, I see much anger and mutual recriminations.  It's as though as a society we largely skipped the love, compassion and disciplined, considered, carefully organized actions phase and fast-forwarded to the late 1960's breakdown and backlash phase.  From which in many ways we have not really recovered.     

    Any group of angry individuals can get in the face of people they mean to confront.  The line between approaches that communicate a positive message and/or provoke a rash response from the opposition which can be used to gain public relations advantage can be thin.  It's clear every effort is being made by Trump to portray Maxine Waters as advocating public harassment and stalking of political opponents.  If she truly does not want that, and is concerned that actions of individuals emboldened by her rhetoric could prove damaging to her concerns, it might behoove her to clarify what she is and is not advocating. 

    King's MO recognized that civil rights agitators were under a microscope, that any ways their actions could be construed as irresponsible or menacing were going to be pursued. and that, therefore, they needed to dress and conduct themselves like Boy and Girl Scouts and be highly disciplined and restrained in their considered agitation.

    Applauding the Red Hen incident because it feels good is unthoughtful.  If what feels good is to be our guide, how is that distinct from mob behavior?  Where anyone who disagrees with a particular, more militant action proposal is shouted down as, therefore, a soft, spineless appeaser?  The moral high ground is easily forfeited, including in cases where it might, with more considered, disciplined action otherwise have been won.  Public opinion matters enormously.    

    Well, yes. These are not normal times. The "moral high ground" is no longer in question when you're dealing with vile creatures blatantly working to run the country into the ground. Yes, it felt good to read about Sarah Sanders being  asked to leave a restaurant where the owner and staff couldn't stand the thought of serving her. I don't see it as unthoughtful, I see it as an energizer. No harm done, but message sent: You can't promote evil in this country and get away with it.

    In sum, the choice is not between, on one hand, pretending this is a normal administration whose political appointees get treated like everyone else and, on the other, resorting to behavior that instills fear, risks violence or breaks the law. Moreover, I never favor any sort of display or outburst when someone is with their child. (Remember, the country is in an uproar because collectively we treat all children with care.) However, I’d like to think the members of this administration would become social pariahs of sorts; they are not entitled to go through life insult-free and embarrassment-free after their egregious conduct in public life. Now lets get back to the victims of Trump’s inhumane policies.

    I would doubt that the owner of the Red Hen, in making her decision, was taking into consideration any impact her actions might have on national news cycles and political dynamics in the country.  It would seem to be unlikely for a person in her situation to really have any ability, or inclination for that matter, to try to project or predict how her actions might become a national news story.  Any suggestion that she was somehow obliged to do so seems unreasonable to me.  

    What Sanders did, in response, was unethical and possibly illegal.  I've seen a little written on that.  Not much.  It is not shocking, although it is appalling, to some of us that some Trump supporters have proceeded to harm other Red Hen restaurants, some not even in this country.  I've seen a little written on that.  Not much.  Trump-Waters, on the other hand, is front and center.  Predictably, to politically aware citizens.  


    It felt good to read about it, yes.  But one of the things that irks me is that so many people are completely missing the "higher ground" part of the story - and that's the factual part of how it all went down.  As you have pointed out (more than once, as others have), the owner did not make a scene - she handled it professionally from start to finish and Sanders, to her credit, initially did the same.  It was her tweet and the employee's tweet that blew it up.  Had they both remained silent and let it be what it was - an owner privately asking a patron to leave, with an explanation, while offering the rest of the party the opportunity to stay and comping what they'd already been served - we wouldn't be in the midst of this silliness.  That really does happen in restaurants and other privately owned businesses around the country every day.

    The fallout has been absurd and the restaurant, owner and employees (not to mention the townfolk, many of whom are displaying their lesser sides) are suffering for it - is that civil?


    Yes, it didn't have to get to this point, and the notoriety certainly wasn't something the owner wanted, but now that it's out there, making her the target because of "incivility", or putting her in the ranks of in-your-face protesters is crazy.

    She's resigned from a city (let's remember that it's a place with about 7,000 residents) committee on which she served.  The restaurant likely won't open again 'til after the fourth of next month.  Crazy people are swarming her place and media is everywhere.  She didn't ask for any of it - all she wanted to do was respect her employees and take a stand - but here she is.  Who among us who have spent so much time talking about what she did and whether or not "it was civil" have her type of guts?  In her place, my fellow Daggers, what would you have done?

    Is there a Go Fund Me page?

    They don't make those for reputations.  They're priceless.

    I think it's a commentary on just how tripwire the national psyche is at this time, and what an extreme, beyond the pale group is at the reins, that it has turned into what it has turned into.  

    Again, Sanders acted unethically and possibly illegally.  

    It's insane that a restaurant owner could get blindsided, and severely damaged in this way, because Sanders did what she did.  If you are a restaurant owner and a prominent Trump administration official walks in, do you need to either a) as a matter now of simple self-preservation, be an amateur political analyst if you are considering taking an action like the Red Hen owner did or b) decide you are not going to turn any prominent Trump administration official away based on administration actions, no matter what they do and no matter how offensive to your employees and your own sense of decency? 

    Is that where we are now?  Yes, it appears. 

    Blaming this on Sanders' tweet, or even the (perhaps even more inflammatory) employee tweet isn't the point, Dreamer.  Nor is Trump's use of it, including with his own tweets, to galvanize the base - neither is it the point that the Republicans are raising money off of it.  The Democrats are, too, I'm sure.  The point is far more frightening: dissent is becoming dangerous to everything you hold dear.  That's the point.

    I got it, if no one else does.

    Exactly. Bottom line.

    Just saw that a Trump baboon threw a bucket of shit on her building. That's their idea of "a statement".

    She was civil; they're not. She will pay; they won't.

    I get the sense that people are angry and will get out to vote. The Court is no longer a safety valve, so Congress becomes our only hope.

    I hope you're right. No precedents anymore. I couldn't even begin to predict what will happen.

    These are strange times. Hopefully, we can survive.

    Thanks for the Rubin link. Sadly, Martin Luther King Jr.was very unpopular.

    Being a respectable Negro did not prevent scorn from being heaped on King. Today being a respectable Negro is an insult.

    King--like Barber--was respected and admired by enough of the right people to be effective in facilitating meaningful, disciplined actions.  Which, not so by the way, often worked at the incident and also at the movement goal levels. 

    The people who supported those efforts included white people and other people of color.  He never to my knowledge used broad brush language to impugn all white people, realizing it was foolish and counter-productive to do so.  To the contrary, he was extremely measured, articulate and shrewd in his choices of words.  He viewed others as potential allies to be won over, with appeals to the better angels of their natures even as he was directly, courageously, and nonviolently confronting them.  That is courageous.  That is radical.  That is very hard to do.  Anyone can spew vile invective, fire a gun or set off a bomb.     

    King said white people of good conscience could not vote for Barry Goldwater. King would be criticizing Trump voters and calling on white people of good conscience to oppose Trump.

    Edit to add:

    Note what King said about white moderates in the Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

    When conservative Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater ran for president in 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., expressed his opposition, explaining: “I feel that the prospect of Senator Goldwater being president of the United States so threatens the health, morality, and survival of our nation that I can not in good conscience fail to take a stand against what he represents” (King, 16 July 1964).

    ​And (at:

    ....In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I have no alternative but to urge every Negro and every white person of good will to vote against Mr. Goldwater...

    Just a little different from what you said.

    A good reminder, thanks - here's King's letter.

    Who is impugning "all white people"?

    Do you admit there are millions of white Americans who identify with and vehemently support the racist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-immigrant campaign and policy strategies of the GOP and the Pussy Grabber in Chief...?

    Thx, NCD. 

    Of course there are.  

    What I am reacting to is broadbrush statements coming from our fellow denizen, such as "white Democrats" are xxxxx (spineless so-and-so's, let's say).  Ridiculously overbroad generalizations.  rmdr0000, how would you respond to analogous statements such as "black Democrats are...." or "black Democrats believe that..."?  Wouldn't you feel as though statements such as this obliterate relevant distinctions among this large group of people?    

    Corey Booker distanced himself from Waters

    Booker needs a spinal stem cell infusion as well.

    I'm beginning to hate MLK just cause it seems this side drainball of every fycking political discussion. If Godwin's Law assigns a penalty for mentioning Hitler, maybe there should be a correlary for bringing up our patron saint too quick or unnecessary.

    Now that I've got your attwntion...

    There's a bwog in the ayr.

    The problem is that people want King to be a soft cuddly teddy bear. He wasn’t.

    Mike Godwin suspends his law under appropriate circumstances 

    By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you.


    So hate on people like me who bring him up.  Nothing he can do about it!

    As you recommend: breathe.  You'll get what he means.

    Awesome!  This makes me happy on a dark day, rm.  Thanks for giving him a listen, and then giving it to me.

    Yes, King should have worked harder to make himself more unpopular.  He was such a spineless individual.  If he had opted to screw the respectability stuff and make himself more unpopular instead of sucking up with all that inclusive rhetoric, more good things might have come out of the civil rights movement.

    The point is that protest leaders aren’t popular. See Kaepernick, Colin.

    Kaepernick is not, and was not, a leader.  He's a football player and individual who took a stand once and then ...

    eta: just like the owner of the Red Hen, taking a stand of any sort shouldn't mean that you're expected to lead anything - that's an unfair social burden.

    This link points out the problem

    Trump imprisons babies MSM jumps on the story. The next week, the story is how can Democrats be so rude?

    We have the perfect news media for an authoritarian.

    "Outside the Red Hen, fire and ire on social media come to life", Gregory S. Schneider, WaPo this afternoon:

    This is in the "Virginia politics" section of the paper at present.  Question: is the MSM horrid for a) continuing to cover this story, which only aids Trump?, b) sticking it in the Virginia politics section, which only aids Trump, instead of on the front page, or c) something else (please specify)?

    The restaurant has the right to refuse service.  The public has the right to express their opinion of the restaurant.  Everything is fine.   What this should teach others is that NEVER mix business and politics .  It never ends well for the business when they anger half the population. 

    So the bakery should have done the wedding cake for the Gay couple?

    That depends - Republicans have no problem pissing off liberals and assuming they'll survive on enthusiastic wingnuts alone - that's Fox's business model among many others. You see, the right *ALWAYS* mixes business and politics. So who are you? Miss Manners?

    When I was fired from my job in Cincinnati I sold my second car to a black for  $50.

    Said "Can I buy you a beer?"

    "Sure " .

    Drove over to the highway in Mt Airey (northern suburb) and went in the bar.

    Bunch of guys with glasses.

     Ordered a couple of Hudeys. And waited. And waited.

    Finally the bar tender  handed me two bottles  and asked me to go to the cash register for the



    "We don't serve  ...........s"  he said ( didn' t say Blacks".)  

    "I didn't want to embarrass you. But don't do this  again,"

    I think bakers should bake cakes, bars should pour beers, and  restaurants  should put food on the table .


    What's "a black"?

    Bad typing. Should have read "a black guy".

    oh the humanity! Dershowitz is doing a sorta OhMeToo on this, the elites don't want him anymore:

    Trump defender Alan Dershowitz complains he's been victimized by social profiling: "I have experienced this firsthand on Martha’s Vineyard. Old friends are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life."

    — John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) July 2, 2018

    Just MHO: Not at all helping the victimhood claim, to say the least. Looks like they may well be on the way to destroying all by themselves any temporary minor benefit they might have gained from the Red Hen thing.

    Now that is an interesting turn of phrase: "Old friends are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life."
    When people "try" to ban me from their social life, it usually works on the very first attempt.

    Likewise on this end.wink

    This one story strikes me that this sort of thing involving businesses might just devolve into tit for tat with no real winners:

    Bookstore owner calls police after customer confronted Steve Bannon

    By Morgan Gstaleter @ The - 07/07/18 10:38 PM EDT

    [....] Nick Cooke, owner of Black Swan Books, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that a woman called Bannon a “piece of trash.”

    The woman then left the store after Cooke said he called 911.

    “Steve Bannon was simply standing, looking at books, minding his own business. I asked her to leave, and she wouldn’t. And I said, ‘I’m going to call the police if you don’t,’ and I went to call the police and she left,” Cooke said. “And that’s the end of the story.”

    Bannon grew up in Richmond, the newspaper noted [....]

    I am surprised that there haven’t been confrontations before. There are more to come.

    And now the stuff with McConnell.  Who knows where this spiral goes?  Other, mostly rhetorical questions: We need this why?  To keep our base fired up and motivated to show up?  At this point, with all that's gone down? 

    We can be pretty sure that when others are in power we are going to see some of this type of stuff as well.  I dunno, I guess some are at the point of saying "Screw it, bring it on."  I know--haven't I gotten the memo that the cool people are the courageous anti-snowflakes who will swear loudly in public and cause the treasonous scumbag Senate Majority leader to up his security detail at home?  

    I was at a talk in DC yesterday, on a book about ways black people in circa 1850s Baltimore "performed" acts of citizenship.  The author made a point that part of the political culture there at that time--Baltimore was known as gang city then and was controlled by nativist hoodlums--was gangs gathering on street corners on Election Day to, um, encourage voters to vote in particular ways.  Many courts and other public and private places of business closed on election day, and many residents minimized their time venturing out in public for this reason.  One of the performative acts of citizenship some blacks engaged in was going to court to seek permits to own a gun.  They were sometimes allowed to do so.  Citizenship-like status, or as close as they could get to it, for Baltimore blacks, the book author found, was above all else about attempting to protect oneself from involuntary relocation out of state by Maryland authorities. 

    On hearing the author note the presence of gangs of thugs occupying street corners on election day in 1850's Baltimore to try to intimidate voters, a seasoned white woman in the audience commented, referring to the present day in the U.S., "Yes, well, we're getting there."   Today's thugs, because they are thugs and because they can, support the purchasing of legislators and legislation to prevent others of choice from voting.  No need, yet, for the street-corner thugs. 

    I did election protection work outside a polling place in a black community in southern Virginia on election day 2004.  This was volunteer work involving standing outside polling places in, usually, black areas to establish a presence and be available to try to resolve any issues that might come up with people being turned away from voting.  Also being available to phone in if there was evidence of any sort of funny business going on systematically, when there might be enough time to do something about it before the polls closed.  

    A local white official chatted me up/sized me up for a few minutes before moving on along.  I was unarmed.  And would have been had Virginia been an open carry state.  My only "armor" was the suit and tie I chose to wear, on a warm fall day.  There was no trouble.  It was near closing time at the poll.  I decided to go door to door at a housing project development across the street to encourage those registered to vote while they still could.  Kerry lost Virginia.  My partner, a family friend, and I heard the depressing news that the courageous vet lost to the draft dodger in the national election as well in the car ride on the way back to northern Virginia that night.  

    We are tribal. Democratic leadership seems weak and clueless. Why openly criticize Waters? The NYT has an article about the battle for leadership in both parties. On the Democratic side many are concerned that the leadership is too old and there is no succession plan.

    With no vigorous challenge to Trump from Democratic leadership, individuals are taking things in their own hands. Most of the base doesn’t care if Trump officials can’t have meals in peace or if a  racist like Bannon is confronted in public. Armed people showed up at Obama rallies. We may be seeing a new norm with people at each other’s throats in public.

    BTW, what is the name of the book?

    Edit to add:

    A San Bernardino assistant DA wonders why Maxine Waters hasn’t been shot.

    Birthright Citizens. 

    Since when did Rep. Waters become exempt from quibbling or disagreement with some of her actions?  I don't agree with Pelosi or Schumer on some decisions they make.  You're trying to set up a "you either have Maxine's back or you're for the ________ (fill in the blank) Democratic party congressional leadership" morality play.  But that particular straw man response won't wash.  I appreciate the efforts of Rep. Waters and I appreciate the efforts of Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Schumer.  Even when I disagree with them.

    The hope, with discussions of tribalism, at least the hope I had in raising it, is that there might be interest in understanding it with a view towards, if not transcending, then at least channeling it.  You seem in this comment to be having the opposite reaction.  You seem to be embracing tribal reactions as something that not only often is, but should appropriately be, overriding, without any effort to understand, reason about, and deal with each situation for what it is.

    I think you're playing fast and loose with casual statements re violence.  You don't seem to give a damn if innocent people end up being harmed on account of a deliberate escalation in the toxicity of the current climate that you seem to be advocating.  Are you sure that's where you want to go?  At this point I find it hard to take seriously any notion that you actually want, as you say you do, Democrats to do well in November.  If the attitudes and mindsets you seem to be advocating get traction that will set back that effort.


    Waters advocated civil disobedience, not violence. Trump and the deputy DA in San Bernardino imply they want violence.

    Tribes can be things of beauty. Tribes working together can accomplish great things. The problem with Schumer and Pelosi is that their tribal response was to criticize Waters, immediately upsetting another allied tribe.It was an unforced error. It supports a belief that current Democratic leadership is old and out of touch. They are creating division.

    Thx for supplying the title,

    [Edited later just to fix where italics should go.]

    I looked this up because I wanted to hear it for myself. From the horse's mouth, what she said, everyone can judge for themselves:



    I found it on the conservatively-slanted site, Real Clear Politics, so they obviously feel it is of benefit to their side to post it verbatim. They just put it with the title Maxine Waters Warns Trump Cabinet: "The People Are Going To Turn" On You  and no commentary, just this intro:

    Saturday on MSNBC, Rep. Maxine Waters said she had "no sympathy for the people in this administration" who "know what they are doing is wrong." She suggested citizens should be "screaming in the streets" and should "harass", and protest members of the Trump administration at department stores, restaurants, and gas stations until they quit. 

    They also had this from the MSNBC transcript:

    MAXINE WATERS: I have no sympathy for these people that are in this administration who know it’s wrong for what they’re doing on so many fronts. They tend to not want to confront this president or even leave, but they know what they’re doing is wrong. I want to tell you, these members of his cabinet who remain and try to defend him, they won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store. The people are going to turn on them. 

    They’re going to protest. They’re absolutely going to harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.’ This is wrong. This is unconscionable. We can’t keep doing this to children.

    We’ve got to push back. We’ve got to say no. I, for example, have stepped way out there. I said this man needs to be impeached. I know a lot of people think we’re not ready to say that. Some people have said a long time ago he would become presidential. He will never be presidential. This man does not have any good values. I believe he needs to be impeached. As a matter of fact, a long time before he’s doing what he’s doing now with these children. I think he had done enough to undermine this country and to have us understand we cannot trust him, that we should have come with an impeachment resolution. So, I believe we cannot wait until the next presidential election. We have to resist him. I want to see him impeached.

    San Bernardino DA’s comments had to be altered for public consumption by most publications 


    Michael Selyem, the lead hard-core gang prosecutor in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, is under internal investigation for a series of offensive posts on social media accounts that have now been deleted. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/The Sun/SCNG)

    Among Selyem’s inappropriate online posts was an online argument he had with someone over the police shooting of a civilian. In it, he wrote, “That s—bag got exactly what he deserved. … You reap what you sow. And by the way go fyourself you liberal s—bag.”

    Selyem also targeted outspoken U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, former first lady Michelle Obama, and Mexican immigrants.

    Of Waters, Selyem said: “Being a loud-mouthed (expletive) in the ghetto you would think someone would have shot this bitch by now …” He also posted a doctored picture of Michelle Obama holding a sign saying, “Trump grabbed my penis.”


    Trump quotes suggesting violence


    February 2016, during his campaign for president, Trump told a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, "So I got a little notice. We have wonderful security guys. It said, ‘Mr. Trump, there may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience.’ So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Just knock the hell .... I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise."

    As a review of the video shows, Trump is not smiling or chuckling as if this was intended as a joke.

    Other examples of Trump speaking favorably of violence

    On several other occasions, Trump invoked violence without necessarily inciting it. (Hat tips to the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake and Mashable for collecting a number of these in one place.)

    • August 2015. At a press conference in Michigan, Trump contrasted his interactions with the public with those of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who had recently faced opposition from Black Lives Matter protesters.

    "That will never happen with me," said Trump, according to a dispatch by the Washington Post’s David Weigel. "I don't know if I'll do the fighting myself, or if other people will. It was a disgrace. I felt badly for him, but it showed that he was weak. You know what? He's getting the biggest crowds, and we're getting the biggest crowds. We're the ones getting the crowds. But that's never going to happen to Trump."

    • November 2015. At a rally in Alabama, Trump said about a protester, "Get him the hell out of here, will you, please? Get him out of here. Throw him out!"

    The following day, calling into Fox News, Trump responded to a question about allegations that the protester had been "roughed up." The protester, Trump said, had been "so obnoxious and so loud ... maybe he should have been roughed up. Maybe he should have been roughed up. Because it was totally disgusting what he was doing."

    • February 2016. At a rally in Las Vegas, Trump again responded to a protester:

    "See, he’s smiling. See, he’s having a good time. Oh, I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There's a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches. We're not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days, you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out in a stretcher, folks. Oh, it's true. … The guards are very gentle with him. He’s walking out with big high-fives, smiling, laughing. I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you,"

    • March 2016. At one point at a rally in Michigan, Trump reiterated his pledge to pay legal fees for people who remove protesters. "Get him out," Trump said. "Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court, don't worry about it." (Trump later said he had never made the pledge to pay legal fees.)

    • March 2016. At an event in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump referred to a past incident with protesters. "We have had a couple that were really violent, and the particular one when I said I'd like to bang him, that was a very  —  he was a guy who was swinging, very loud and then started swinging at the audience and the audience swung back, and I thought it was very, very appropriate. He was swinging, he was hitting people, and the audience hit back, and that’s what we need a little bit more of."

    • March 2016. At a rally in North Carolina, Trump said, "In the good old days this doesn't happen because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, they would not do it again so easily. But today they walk in and they put their hand up and they put the wrong finger in the air at everybody. And they get away with murder, because we’ve become weak."

    • March 2016. At a rally in St. Louis, Trump once again addressed protesterswho were being removed from the facility.

    "Part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long (to remove the protesters) is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, right? And they're being politically correct the way they take them out. So it takes a little bit longer. And honestly, protesters they realize it -- they realize there are no consequences to protesting anymore. There used to be consequences. There are none anymore."

    • March 2016. At a rally in Kansas City, talking about someone who had rushed the stage, Trump said, "I don't know if I would have done well, but I would have been out there fighting, folks. I don't know if I'd have done well, but I would've been — boom, boom, boom. I'll beat the crap out of you."



    I see no equivalence between Waters calling for civil disobedience and the above comments

    She's Maxine Waters, for goodness sakes.  Have you ever heard of her?  Ever heard her speak?  If her words were suddenly coming from the mouth of, say, Amy Klobuchar, I might raise an eyebrow.  But from Maxine it's just Tuesday.  And like most every other Tuesday, I like what I hear.  No, I wouldn't say what she says, but my job isn't hers.  I don't have the microphone to use as she does, or, frankly, the background to give me the right that she has to say what she damned well pleases.  So I can disagree, I can complain, I can fight or I can sit back - but I can't be Maxine Waters.  She's got that down. 

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