I believe part of the duty of people who make a point of paying attention is to challenge little curiosities before they become big problems. Nobody will miss political brawls in the street, so if pundits and readers aren’t commenting on less, then what’s the point?
In that spirit, take a look at the sentence I’ve italicized in the following, from Ian Donnis’s TGIF column on RIPR last week:
Writing in The New Republic, Graham Vyse says Democrats are getting motivated by a populist backlash against Trump. Here’s a noteworthy excerpt featuring Providence native Tad Devine: “ ‘I think the calculus is changing almost by the minute,’ said Devine, a Democratic consultant who was Bernie Sanders’s senior strategist during last year’s campaign. ‘The public reaction to Trump’s presidency is boiling over.’ Devine predicted opposition to Trump will become a political movement unlike any in the U.S. since the Vietnam War. ‘I think we’re going to see a genuine insurgency in this country,’ “
Is it me, or is this strikingly casual reportage of a Democrat operative’s promise of “genuine insurgency”? Add to it this:
The blasé manner in which the media describes opposition to Trump from within the bureaucracy is stunning. “Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump,” read one Politico headline. “An anti-Trump resistance movement is growing within the U.S. government,” says Vanity Fair. “Federal workers are in regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees about what they can do to push back against the new president’s initiatives,” reports the Washington Post. No one who professes support for democracy and the rule of law can read these words without feeling alarmed. The civil service exists to support the chief executive—not the other way around. And yet, when White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that career officials who disagree with White House policy are free to resign, the collective response in Washington was outrage—at Spicer!
And put this in the mix:
In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda.
He’s doing it through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action. Normally you’d expect an organization set up to support a politician and his agenda to close up shop after that candidate leaves office, but not Obama’s OFA. Rather, it’s gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country.
I know Ian Donnis probably about as well as I know most people in Rhode Island media, and I like him more than most (not the least because he humors me more!). But the way things are developing, I worry about a future in which conflicts escalate, and I honestly question how much people in the news media will stand up for the likes of me while the Left defines fascism down as an excuse for violence and then, especially, their insurrection puts them back in power.
Oh, at some point, the more moderate folks in the media and other institutions of social power will realize that things have gone too far. My fear is that by the time they begin acting as their sincere principles should dictate, it will be too late, and even then they’ll temper their support so as not to have the leftist mob turn on them.