Over the past few days, the Washingtonian political class and the pundits who dote upon their every move have been consumed by a frivolous and ultimately absurd debate around “civility” in the wake of a recent spate of incidents where prominent members of the Trump administration have been publicly harassed, heckled, or – in the case of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – been refused service in a restaurant.
Democratic Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) issued a call – the correct call – on Saturday for activists to harry and harass the enablers of fascism and suffering in the United States, which prompted a whole new round of hand-wringing and pearl-clutching from a political establishment which under no circumstances would like to be held accountable for their heinous actions.
The Trump administration, Republicans, pundits, and even the perpetually disappointing Democratic leadership have all been issuing bad faith calls for “civility” and politeness in a political atmosphere characterized by hatred and contempt, the vast majority of it oozing from the Oval Office and its increasingly tyrannical occupant.
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The minor inconveniences and slight discomfort that protestors have inflicted upon three members of the Trump administration has been inspired by the direct role that those three members – White House racism advisor Stephen Miller, Department of Homeland Security Chief Kirstjen Nielsen, and Huckabee Sanders – have played in the deployment of a deliberately cruel campaign of persecution against undocumented migrants, who have had their children torn away from them by the thousands only for them to be spirited away across the country with no plan for reunification.
One-time Trump fan and Republican turned independent Trump critic “Morning” Joe Scarborough used a portion of his show this morning to rake the President over the coals of hypocrisy for his significant role in creating an uncivil atmosphere, putting together a montage of all the times he’s called for violence against protestors, insulted people, or otherwise been the boorish carnival barker he’s always been.
“Yesterday we saw supporters of the White House and others, supporters of Donald Trump, melt like precious snowflakes in the Arizona sun because Maxine Waters said some things that were very regrettable,” he said.
“Of course, you can say ‘Well wait, is she really inciting violence?’ because that’s what a lot of people on Twitter were saying she was doing. You can look at those words and try to figure out if she was. Of course the president’s response — ‘Be careful what you ask for’ — actually was an incitement to violence.”
Scarborough is wrong, of course, about Waters’ remarks being “regrettable.” Scarborough himself would probably like to never have to own up to his own role in propping up and supporting Trump during the 2016 election. But he is absolutely right that Trump’s complaints about the incivility of Maxine Waters – who he then insulted as “low IQ” – are a hypocrisy of the highest order and must be called out.
Watch it here:
Morning Joe put together video of President Civility calling for protesters to be physically assaulted as his rallies, promising to pay legal bills for anybody who beats them up, and threatening Hillary Clinton pic.twitter.com/NmCiEH5iTn
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 26, 2018