The Providence Journal opinion editors were disturbed by the flash mob incensed at a letter to the editor in a local Barrington paper about yoga pants:
… marching by the hundreds on the writer’s house — in a residential neighborhood, in possible violation of town ordinances — smacks of something more chilling and threatening: an attempt to demonstrate that such speech will not be tolerated. The underlying message was that those who speak out as the letter writer did will be hounded by organized protesters and find the sanctity of their neighborhood invaded.
Elsewhere, the paper reports on the letter writer’s travails, providing the image of him “scrub[bing] the street of scrawls left behind by the protesters” and saying that the experience isn’t “over for me.”
Since we seem to have some agreement that terrorizing private citizens when they presume to participate in public discourse is wrong, let’s turn our attention to Bill Lynch and the Rhode Island Democrat Party. Late yesterday, several local journalists promoted a press release from the party in which “Senior Advisor” Lynch claimed to reveal how much money the conservative Gaspee Project and Roosevelt Society have spent “in an attempt to influence this election.”
The press release then prints (twice) this disgusting paragraph:
For the Gaspee Project, one of the donors, Warren Galkin, is a Wall Street executive who has donated over a quarter million over the years and who was involved in a life insurance annuity pool that defrauded insurance companies by using the identities of terminally ill patients.
Note that this exact line of attack is so out of bounds that even the far-left group Think Progress has called it “nasty.” As Think Progress explains, Galkin wasn’t “involved in” illegal activities; he was one of multiple investors, from a local police chief to the Democrat governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, in a process they’d been led to believe was aboveboard. According to the Washington Post there was “no indication that McAuliffe (D) or other investors were aware that Caramadre was stealing identities.”
Think about what Lynch and the Rhode Island Democrats are doing, here. They’re digging through campaign reports looking for any individual they can slime as a villain in order to protect their near-total domination of Rhode Island government, even as the state falls apart. Given the number Lynch’s fellow partisans who’ve had run-ins with the law in recent years, perhaps this thuggishness isn’t surprising.
The behavior is also not surprising in light of the post in this space yesterday describing how progressives work to intimidate people who don’t agree with them and silence everybody else. Between mob-like marches on letter-writers’ houses and the state Democrat Party’s targeting not even of candidates or activists, but of those who support them, the message is unmistakable: Participate in Rhode Island society or the political process, and people with no sense of boundaries or of common decency may make you pay a high cost.