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Commentary

Video: Things Spin Out of Control When GOP Protesters Show up to Democrat Event

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House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi has been quietly acquiescent as liberal mobs have chased Republican politicians and other prominent conservatives out of restaurants and public places.

On Wednesday, she and Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee were in Florida to campaign for other prominent liberals when they got a taste of their own medicine.

And you know what? No matter how you feel about Pelosi, Lee or the Democrats, they oughtn’t have had to.

According to the Miami Herald’s Jimena Tavel, the whole thing unfolded as the two were in Coral Gables, Florida.

“@NancyPelosi and @RepBarbaraLee were scheduled to campaign for @DonnaShalala and (Debbie Wasserman Schultz) here today,” Tavel tweeted. “About 25 protesters are standing outside, holding signs supporting Republicans and accusing Democrats of being communists.”

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The decision to invite Lee to campaign for Donna Shalala — the former Clinton administration official currently running for a seat in Florida’s 27th Congressional District — was already a matter of some controversy, Fox News reported.

Lee, a longtime House member from California, said upon the death of Fidel Castro that citizens of the world “need to stop and pause and mourn his loss.” According to The San Jose Mercury-News, she’s also visited Cuba more than 20 times. If you have even a desultory grasp of world history, you can probably guess this doesn’t make her a popular person among the Cuban community in the Miami area.

Do you think that incivility against Democrats is uncalled for?

Hence the protests. “Nelson Diaz, the chairman of the Republican Party, said protesters belong to several groups but are all united against Democrats,” Tavel reported.

“There’s nothing worse in this country than (Barbara Lee),” Diaz said. “We’re here to say socialism kills.”

The protesters even included a veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion; “I’m angry,” Frank de Varona said.

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The crowd then began getting restive as the event approached.

Eventually, the event was called off.

Some, of course, will chalk that up as a win. Owning the libs at their own game, the party line will go. Well, that’s all very well, except it’s very much following the advice Eric Holder had for Democrats: “When they go low, we kick ’em.”

Chasing a Democrat from an event because it becomes a safety issue for them isn’t just profoundly uncivil, mind you, although that should be enough to render the tactic rebarbative to conservatives. It’s also profoundly unproductive.

At a micro level, the story about Pelosi’s visit to Florida will end up being that she was chased from a fundraiser. It won’t be the tone-deafness of a Miami-area Democrat candidate inviting one of Fidel Castro’s American BFFs to said fundraiser. It won’t be that the highest-ranking Democrat in the House was willing to follow her down as if there were absolutely nothing wrong with a gesture that tin-eared, or that the former head of the DNC was also present.

The coverage, instead, is going to be conservative “fanatics” chasing all of them from the event, all with nary a mention of Lee or her remarks about Castro. Oh, and this time, you can be absolutely certain the media will call it a mob.

At a macro level, this election is about the difference between conservatism and liberalism in 2018, a difference that exists not just on a policy level but a cultural level, as well. The GOP has made significant headway in the polls of late contrasting the fact that the left seems willing to countenance — even encourage — “incivility” (read: fulminating intimidation) while conservatives have condemned it. What happened in Coral Gables completely undermines that message; it’s like opening up a Starbucks across the street from another one and trying to convince everyone your latte is better.

If you don’t believe me, believe former Miami-Date County Commissioner Katy Sorenson. “It’s unfortunate that a group of peaceful citizens can’t engage with the candidates they support,” Sorenson told Tavel, “while the protesters get to do whatever they want.”

Sorenson is a Democrat and said that without a shred of irony. There was no word on whether she managed to keep a straight face while she did it, but the point is that she did what any good politico would do: She tut-tutted the incivility her own side has stoked, passing it off as a conservative phenomenon.

That’s not even examining what happened Wednesday at a moral level. The American social contract is based on the beau ideal of civil discourse and free exercise of the ballot. We haven’t always lived up to that, but it’s a polestar worth defending.

Tearing it down because the other side is willing to isn’t just mutually assured destruction on a party level. It’s also destroying the rock 1776 was built upon.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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