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Donald Trump’s Chickens Come Home To Roost

Trump Nixon V

Donald Trump was supposed to have spoken on a college campus in Chicago last night, but the appearance was abruptly canceled after protesters showed up, and now it’s setting off a debate about the extent to which Trump himself is responsible for the increasingly violent and contentious tone his campaign rallies are taking on:

CHICAGO — With thousands of people already packed into stands and music blaring to warm up the crowd, Donald J. Trump’s campaign abruptly canceled his rally here on Friday night over security concerns as protesters clashed with his supporters inside an arena where he was to speak.

Minutes after Mr. Trump was to have taken to a podium on the campus of a large, diverse public university just west of downtown, an announcer suddenly pronounced the event over before it had begun. Hundreds of protesters, who had promised to be a visible presence here and filled several sections of the arena, let out an elated, unstopping cheer. Mr. Trump’s supporters, many of whom had waited hours to see the Republican front-runner, seemed stunned and slowly filed out in anger.

Around the country, protesters have interrupted virtually every Trump rally, but his planned appearance here — in a city run for decades by Democrats and populated by nearly equal thirds of blacks, Latinos and whites — had drawn some particularly incensed responses since it was announced days ago.

The canceled rally came on a day that Mr. Trump sought to move past the primary fight, saying that the party needed to come together behind him.

Elsewhere, Mr. Trump’s security has tried to identify and exclude potential demonstrators before they enter his events, but large groups of protesters had waited in line for seats here, and engaged in tense disputes with Trump supporters even as the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion was still filling up. For more than an hour before the event was to begin, security teams led protesters out, one by one, but many more remained, sparring with Trump supporters.

In a statement, Mr. Trump’s campaign said that he “has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date.”

“Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace,” the statement said.

On MSNBC, Mr. Trump said that after meeting with the law enforcement authorities, “I felt it was just safer. I don’t want to see anybody get hurt.”

Asked about the images of people clashing at the rally, Mr. Trump said, “Honestly, we have a very divided country.”

Mr. Trump’s opponents, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich, condemned the disruptions, but said Mr. Trump was responsible for the tenor of his rallies. Mr. Cruz said Mr. Trump “affirmatively encourages violence.”

For hours, the Chicago police, along with university officers, the federal authorities and others, were out here in force. A Chicago police spokesman said that city law enforcement authorities were not consulted and had no role in canceling the event. The spokesman said there had been five arrests, two by the Chicago police, two by the university’s police and one by the Illinois State Police. The fire department said three people, including a police officer, were injured.

The prospect of a Trump rally here had long been fraught with apprehension. This city has been in turmoil over questions of race and policing for months. The release in November of a video of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, by a white Chicago police officer had set off weeks of protest.

The University of Illinois at Chicago draws a significant share of students from Chicago’s neighborhoods, and has a large number of international students, and planned protests were publicized on social media. Around 10,000 people had signed up on Facebook to take part in one anti-Trump march. Scores of faculty members had pleaded with administrators over allowing the rally in a letter, which read, in part: “We also request that the university publicly distance itself from the event and make a statement that the Trump rally is an anathema to the mission of U.I.C.”

In the hours before the event, inside the 9,500-seat arena, Mr. Trump’s backers were energized. Some dressed in outfits to match his, and chanted “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as they waited.

But the situation grew tense as the size of the protest crowd became clear, and as some yelled anti-Trump slogans and skirmished with the supporters. Three men in T-shirts that read, “Muslims United Against Trump,” departed early on, delighting the pro-Trump crowd.

Outside, a tense standoff mounted as well. A line stretched for blocks while ticketholders — a diverse mix of older whites wearing Trump gear and younger African-American and Muslim students — waited to be allowed inside. Some said they were devoted Trump fans eager to hear him speak in person. “I believe in Trump absolutely,” said Jana Hayek, a Chicagoan and stay-at-home mother, holding the hand of her 12-year-old son, Peter. “I definitely agree with his immigration policy. It’s important to control who comes into this country.”

A large group opposing Mr. Trump merrily taunted the people entering the stadium with shouts of “Donald Trump has got to go” and signs caricaturing Mr. Trump as a fascist with a Hitler mustache. (In one only-in-Chicago insult, a protester carried a sign reading, “Trump puts ketchup on his hot dog.”) And then, suddenly, an announcement declared the event “over” and repeated it several times.

As people streamed out, supporters of Mr. Trump were angry and frustrated. Anthony Pieroni, 19, a student at the university and a Republican, said he was disappointed. “I understand why people didn’t want him to come here,” he said. “People were fighting, ripping up signs, going crazy. It was just a terrible idea.”

But protesters were jubilant, and celebrated along the intersections on the city’s Near West Side. Some protesters shut down lanes of a nearby expressway.

Arguments and small skirmishes broke out along the streets. At one point, the police rushed in, separating people.

Fortunately, last night’s events in Chicago ended only in small skirmishes rather than something more widespread and dangerous, but the seeds for such a confrontation certainly seemed to be there on both sides of the police line. Many of the anti-Trump protesters were clearly there for more than just protesting, although that certainly doesn’t seem to be true of all of them, and many of those inside the hall were no doubt there with the intention of attempting to interrupt Trump’s speech once it had started. It’s not true, though, that Trump was advised by law enforcement to cancel the speech, as the Chicago Police Department has confirmed that it never made any such recommendation to the candidate or the campaign. Given the way things unraveled last night, of course, cancellation was probably a good idea simply because of the safety concerns that were raised when fights broke out between Trump supporters and protesters even before Trump had arrived. While I am never happy about giving in to the “heckler’s veto,” there does come a point where one has to consider the possibility that a situation could spin out of control and it certainly seemed like things were close to that point in Chicago last night.

While there is no condoning the hecklers and those who show up at a Trump rally, or any other political rally, with the intention of disrupting it or provoking violence, it is important to note that none of this is occurring in a vacuum. With limited exceptions, you don’t see these kinds of incidents happening at the rallies conducted by Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, or Hillary Clinton, and you didn’t see them at the rallies for any of the candidates who have dropped out of the race for their party’s Presidential nomination. Only Donald Trump seems to attract this sort of thing, and it’s worth asking why. The answer, I’d suggest, can be found in the rhetoric of the candidate himself and the actions of his own supporters, both of which have created an atmosphere that makes things like what happened in Chicago last night nearly inevitable.

Trump, of course, has denied that he incites or appears to encourage violence, but the evidence to the contrary is quite strong. When asked about violence against protesters at his events, Trump has said ”The audience hit back and that’s what we need a little bit more of.” At a protest in North Carolina where one Trump supporter was arrested for punching a protester in the face, Trump said ”They used to treat them very, very rough, and when they protested once, they would not do it again so easily,” he said, before lamenting “we’ve become weak.”At a rally in Michigan, while a protester was being escorted out, Trump said ”Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court, don’t worry about it.” At a rally in Las Vegas in February, Trump expressed chagrin that ”we’re not allowed to punch back anymore” and talked about the ”old days,” when a protester would “be carried out on a stretcher.” About a protester was removed from a rally in November, Trump said “maybe he should have been roughed up.” It’s also a common feature of Trump rallies for the candidate to use rhetoric against the press that seems designed to get the audience to turn on the press, calling them “scum” and “garbage” while they stand in the back of the room giving him the free media coverage that he craves. And, of course, just this week Trump’s own campaign manager was accused of accosting a reporter. Given all of this, and given his hateful rhetoric directed toward Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, and women, the fact that Donald Trump is the only candidate who seems to be attracting this kind of violence really doesn’t seem all that surprising.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. With limited exceptions, you don’t see these kinds of incidents happening at the rallies conducted by Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, or Hillary Clinton, and you didn’t see them at the rallies for any of the candidates who have dropped out of the race for their party’s Presidential nomination.

    Except we have seem similar protests at both Clinton and Sanders rallies, as well as any number of college speakers who have had talks shut down by various protest groups.

    The violence we’re seeing from Trump supporters is disgusting, but it’s also the predictable consequence of years of turning a blind eye to protestors who feel they’re allowed to forcibly shut down the speech of people they disagree with. When society ignores political violence, eventually other political groups will start resorting to violence as well.

    I happen to agree with BLM’s cause, as I think the criminal justice and law enforcement systems in this country have become unbelievably corrupt, and I even understand how the frustration they must personally feel is driving them to act the way the do, but in terms of achieving their goals they are in some ways their own worst enemy.

    Before today we had also these videos of non-violent protestors getting attacked by Trump supporters that were hurting Trump’s popularity. Now that’s been replaced with videos of anti-Trump supporters brawling with police. That’s just going to convince people not paying attention that Trump is right about the protestors being no good. The Chicago event probably bought Trump another 2% at the polls in Ohio on Tuesday.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 18

  2. M u c n h Box grad says:

    Doug i think you mean the fox was in the hen house. and the chickens naturally went berserk.

    in a city run for decades by Democrats and populated by nearly equal thirds of blacks, Latinos and whites

    … that explains it all…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 34

  3. Jenos Idanian says:

    This was inevitable, especially after Sanders let himself be bullied by the BLM crowd earlier.

    This will not end well. And it’s all too predictable.

    One side figures that if they use force, that’ll show the other side that they mean force, and they’ll back down. They never figure on the other side following President Obama’s advice and “get right in their faces” and “punch back twice as hard” and “if they bring a knife to a fight, we bring a gun.”

    Those who sow the wind never expect to reap the whirlwind.

    It’s also remarkable how little volition leftists have. If conservatives say or do something they don’t like, it’s like they have absolutely no agency or free will; they have to respond, and in a disproportionate manner. And it’s never their fault.

    The logical consequence of this is that Bernie Sanders and BLM events are now fair game for violent disruption, ‘cuz Trump and his supporters aren’t likely to pull a Bernie and just cave.

    And if it keeps on escalating? Going by stereotypes of Trump supporters, Sanders supporters, and BLM supporters, I have a pretty strong hunch about who has more (legally owned) guns, and more training and practice with them.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 54

  4. Slugger says:

    We need an increased commitment to civility. The idea that just a bit of force, a bit of intractable opposition, or a bit of stirring up of our baser passions will result in anything other than a reflexive escalation by the people we disagree with is mankind’s eternal folly. Our leaders need to come to the forefront in calling for tolerance, and we citizen/voters need to be alert and ready to reject all who seek to sharpen the divisions that always exist. A strong rejection of violence is an obvious first step. Let’s try to support leaders that appeal to the better angels of our nature.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    While I agree that nothing Trump could do or say at this point would discourage any of his cult members, I’m not altogether sure the storm trooper tactics are going to go over that well with anyone not already a charter member of the Trump Fan Club. Trump’s unfavorables are still yuuuuge, and his favorables are static.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  6. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Yeah, let’s totally ignore the fact that Trump was trolling the entire time and the dumb protestors took the bait.

    Sometimes I think America is too stupid to survive.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 2

  7. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: They “took the bait?” So, you agree that they have no agency or free will, and had no choice but respond as they did?

    And you don’t see how they were just following Obama’s direction — “punch back twice as hard,” etc. How surprising.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 35

  8. CSK says:

    According to http://www.cininnati.com, Trump has canceled tomorrow’s rally downtown, citing security concerns, and will hold a much smaller “townhall” in West Chester, Ohio.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. wr says:

    Shorter Jenos: “When then uppity black folks get hurt or killed, it’s because they dared to lip off to the white guy. What did they expect?”

    Actually, that’s pretty much the shorter for every message Jenos has ever posted here.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 55 Thumb down 6

  10. @CSK:

    There’s a big group of people who are for Trump because they’re angry white guys and he feeds into their persecution complex. They’re the one who will support Trump regardless of what happens.

    There’s another big group who, to steal a line “don’t care about justice, they just want quiet”. If Trump is seen as the guy stirring up trouble, they’ll be against him. If he’s seen as the guy who is going stop the people stirring up trouble, they’ll be for him.

    That later group is why the Chicago incident concerns me, because it’s giving Trump an opening to shift the previous “Trump supporters attacking minorities” narrative to “Trump targeted by troublemakers” (even if that’s not an accurate reflection of what’s going on).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  11. anjin-san says:

    @wr:

    Well, Jenos it the guy who went on (and on, and on) about the injustice of Obama wiping the floor with Trump at the correspondents dinner after Trump worked long and hard to pick a fight with him.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3

  12. C. Clavin says:

    it’s setting off a debate about the extent to which Trump himself is responsible for the increasingly violent and contentious tone his campaign rallies are taking on

    Um…there is no debate…outside Trump denying any culpability in the face of pretty clear evidence. His lack of accountability only makes him a typical Republican.
    I suspect this entire thing doesn’t end well…someone is going to be killed inside a week. Just watch. Then what is the Republican establishment going to do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  13. Pch101 says:

    The much bigger fowl here is the GOP’s three-decade white martyrdom campaign going where it inevitably had to go.

    This can be traced back to Reagan starting his campaign in Mississippi on the basis of “states rights”. Everyone understood what this meant.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  14. bill says:

    so if a group of loud, obnoxious “anti-liberal” people attend a hillary/bernie rally and are met with retaliation will it be hillary’s/bernie’s fault? logical thinking-“no”.
    yet in the case of tump supporters, the logic fails and everything’s his fault.
    it’s like that thing with the photographer a week or so ago, it was the secret service that manhandles his rude self- yet the headlines screamed “trump” as much as possible.

    here’s a clue, if you try to get in someone’s face-be prepared to have them get in yours.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 29

  15. anjin-san says:

    @bill:

    so if a group of loud, obnoxious “anti-liberal” people attend a hillary/bernie rally and are met with retaliation

    Why don’t you get back to us when this actually happens?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 1

  16. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: What I don’t understand is how you don’t realize that your orange-colored talking yam is stirring up some really bad juju.

    What will Trump say when someone gets killed at one of his rallies? “oh, well, he had it coming to him.”

    Just like the NRA shrugs its shoulders whenever a kid shoots someone else with a gun. Standard Operating Loss.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 3

  17. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. And I bet if you look at The Donald’s locations yesterday, you’ll discover that he was stuck on the ground in NYC long after he should have been in his airplane if he had really planned to attend the Chicago rally and that there would have been no way he could have made it there in time. The “decision” to cancel the rally (if there actually was one) was taken far earlier and was in no ways a last-minute decision.

    So why did they wait until the last minute to announce the cancellation, after everyone had spent so much time getting to the location and the doors were closed?

    In other words, it was a huge scam from the beginning.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

  18. al-Ameda says:

    The only Republican Ticket that makes sense now is Trump-Palin.

    They both have an overarching desire to ‘make America great again’ by completely debasing it and pandering to the lowest common dominator of angry, resentful, and willfully uninformed white people.

    Am I missing something?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3

  19. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I wonder if this is the beginning of a trend. As I noted above, Trump has already canceled his downtown Cincinnati rally.

    He’s already said he doesn’t think there should be any more debates. Now…no more rallies? A reporter from a sympathetic “news outlet” (Breitbart) asked him a legitimate question and got assaulted by, apparently, his campaign manager.

    Is he getting to the point at which he just doesn’t want to be asked any more questions, and be forced to talk about substantive issues? There’s no one left in the field for him to insult.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  20. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I have a pretty strong hunch about who has more (legally owned) guns, and more training and practice with them.

    Two comments:

    1. The quantity of legally owned guns brought to a confrontation is irrelevant–illegally owned guns shoot people just as dead.

    2. I would think, in light of comment one, that the consequences of the “training and practice” issue might be more of a concern to you than it seems to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  21. Tyrell says:

    @Slugger: It is Chicago. It is a political event. Typical.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 19

  22. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Except we have seem similar protests at both Clinton and Sanders rallies

    Except that’s a really bad comparison. An apt comparison would be if a bunch of White Lives Matter folks showed up at a Clinton or Sanders rally, got boisterous, and they were then beaten up. This has not happened.

    as well as any number of college speakers who have had talks shut down by various protest groups

    Again, a very weird comparison. That would be like a Black Lives Matter group successfully shouting down Trump at one of his rallies. This has not happened.

    Uncivilized, loud, and boorish behavior by people protesting a speaker is an entirely different matter than protesters being subject to mob violence.

    @Jenos Idanian:

    This was inevitable, especially after Sanders let himself be bullied by the BLM crowd earlier.

    Apparently, it’s apples-and-oranges day here at OTB.

    …I have a pretty strong hunch about who has more (legally owned) guns, and more training and practice with them.

    You’re a sociopath.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 2

  23. Jenos Idanian says:

    @wr: “When then uppity black folks get hurt or killed, it’s because they dared to lip off to the white guy. What did they expect?”

    The only person I saw who got hurt yesterday was a cop who got nailed with a thrown bottle.

    Guess he had it coming, huh?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 24

  24. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: That would be the time where Obama and his lapdogs in the White House Correspondents Association all collaborated to dump on Trump where he wouldn’t be allowed a chance to respond? That the time you mean?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 36

  25. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: What I don’t understand is how you don’t realize that your orange-colored talking yam is stirring up some really bad juju.

    So, “fighting words,” huh? “Look what you made me do!” — the battle cry of domestic abusers everywhere?

    You’re really making the argument here that leftists simply can’t be trusted to act responsibly and maturely, if you’re saying that they simply can’t help themselves but to resort to violence. No wonder you’re so terrified of right-wingers — you think they have as little self-control as you do.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 27

  26. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    It’s a little sad to watch you take up the cause of a legendary bully like Trump – a man well known for his love of punching down. But then it is very consistent with your behavior over the years.

    Trump started a beef with Obama, and he found out what it’s like to mix it up with the big boys.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 3

  27. M. Bouffant says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Project much?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  28. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    the battle cry of domestic abusers everywhere?

    Well sure. Because political protest in a democracy – especially in the face of superior numbers, a crowed with a well earned reputation for violence and security guards – is exactly like a bully beating a girl.

    Every time I think you could not possibly say anything stupider…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 2

  29. de stijl says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Obama and his lapdogs in the White House Correspondents Association all collaborated to dump on Trump…

    Yeah, Obama just decided out of the blue to hilariously troll Trump that day for no rhyme or reason. What sounds like “mirther?”

    …where he wouldn’t be allowed a chance to respond?

    Trump could have walked out of the event directly into a gaggle or reporters and shown his damned “evidence.” Instead, the Kenyan usurper rhetorically spanked him and he just sat and took it like the yuuuge cry-baby thrice bankrupt loser that he is. He could have responded the second he walked out of the door.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 2

  30. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: no, what I’m saying is that your darling Mr. Trump is getting the White Power and equivalent idiots gingered up to a high level and I doubt that they’re going to go peacefully back into the box when they realize that their dreams of supremacy aren’t going to pan out.

    You really ought to read more history. The people who think they’re in control of revolutions are often unpleasantly surprised.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  31. Paul Hooson says:

    Sadly, his supporters just don’t see him for the thug he is, an arrogant hoodlum mentality man that has done much real estate and property business since the 1980’s with organized crime, and even had a convicted Russian gangster as an economic advisor. His opponents are real gentlemen compared to this encouraging violence against those that disagree with him. This is the worst mob violence mentality nonsense since Lester Maddox encouraged the wooden ax handle assaults of Black citizens.

    I’m really offended that so many voters actually view this as an acceptable mentality for a candidate for president. This is real thug stuff here.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 3

  32. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Obama and his lapdogs in the White House Correspondents Association all collaborated to dump on Trump where he wouldn’t be allowed a chance to respond?

    Guess you forgot about the whole ‘birther’/’long-form’ thing. It was Obama who was responding, and in a much more professional and classy way.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  33. Hal_10000 says:

    It’s quite possible to hold to two ideas at once here:

    1) Disrupting political events and denying someone the chance to speak is boorish behavior (but not unconstitutional). Boasting about it is only worse.
    2) Trump has done a lot to precipitate this sort of reaction.

    Or as Popehat put it last night: I respect Donald Trump’s right to speak without being shouted down by thugs; I wish he felt the same about me.

    Ultimately, I think this plays right into Trump’s hands. A big part of his appeal is pushing back against a self-appointed elite who have decided for themselves what the acceptable bounds of debate are. Regardless of how much or little disruption their was by the protesters, he’s just going to turn around and say these are people trying to silence him. Remember, Nixon LOVED it when people protested against him, LOVED it. He knew he could make himself look like the victim. And he rode it into two electoral wins.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 0

  34. Gustopher says:

    Trump was saying that he would pay the legal fees if anyone beat up a protester.

    Has he followed through with that, or was it just an empty promise?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  35. Franklin says:

    Aww, cute, Jenos is now threatening they’ll win because they have more guns. Back to the pre-civilized world, I guess. It’s not particularly surprising, though, as Trump Republicans are almost the definition of reactionary.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  36. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Now that’s been replaced with videos of anti-Trump supporters brawling with police. That’s just going to convince people not paying attention that Trump is right about the protestors being no good.

    One of the major lessons of German history is that as a lefty you shouldn’t introduce violence into the political discourse. The other side is usually better at it and it drives the middle class towards the strongmen for protection.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  37. Hal_10000 says:

    @Gustopher:

    Has he followed through with that, or was it just an empty promise?

    When has Trump ever done anything for anyone who did anything for him? He uses people and throws them away. Haven’t seen much of Christie lately, have you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  38. MBunge says:

    If we’re going to cast blame around, doesn’t part of it belong with the people branding Trump as a a Hitler/Mussolini-like murderous tyrant in waiting? Are people just supposed to stand by and let someone like that win an election?

    Mike

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 18

  39. Gustopher says:

    Is there any reason the believe that Trump doesn’t want violence? He talks about how in the good old days, protesters would get roughed up so there would be consequences, that this doesn’t happen now because of political correctness,,and that we need to make America great again. He says that he will pay the legal fees of anyone who assaults a protester.

    Chickens coming home to roost doesn’t really cover this. There is no unintended consequence, as that phrase usually implies. This is just inciting violence. When you get drunk, get in your car and drive into a tree, is that chickens coming home to roost? No.

    Shouting down the speaker until you are dragged out of the hall is a standard American protest technique. It’s as American as apple pie. It is part and parcel with free speech. There’s never any doubt that the protester will be escorted out, except for Bernie Sanders, who sometimes lets them take the stage and say their piece.

    And, the protesters on the left have been far less effective at this tactic than the protesters on the right have been — see the Death Panels protesters during the debate on Obamacare. Every representative going back to their district faced crazy people making things up and shouting about death panels and obliterating discourse.

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  40. Tyrell says:

    @Slugger: A while back, I attended a rally of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey: one of the most positive and forward leaders this country has ever had. It was the election of 1968. A high school teacher took a group of us out to see him at a large arena. There was free barbecue and all kinds of free materials. Hubert H. gave a rousing, energetic talk as usual. The place was packed. Our group listened and some cheered. None of them disrupted, booed, or showed any disrespect, even though some were Nixon people. No one in that packed arena booed or disrupted. I do not think that sort of thing was done back then. Everyone got along.Huge throngs of police and security were not needed. Everyone left feeling good, and the barbecue was great. There is a lesson in all that somewhere.
    If Humphrey had one more week, we would have won that election.
    “HHH For the USA !”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  41. MBunge says:

    @Gustopher: Shouting down the speaker until you are dragged out of the hall is a standard American protest technique.

    No, it isn’t. Oh, it’s happened. But standard American protest techniques involve marches, rallies, sit ins, chaining yourself to fences, trees, doors, etc. I don’t believe shouting people down was standard for the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Vietnam movement, the anti-Apartheid movement or most other mass protest movements in modern US history. Even as disruptive as the ACT-UP people could be, their intentions were never really to silence others.

    Trying to shout down people is usually something associated with those in power trying to drown out the protests of the powerless, which is kind of what Trump is talking about…to the extent he means anything.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  42. humanoid.panda says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Regardless of how much or little disruption their was by the protesters, he’s just going to turn around and say these are people trying to silence him. Remember, Nixon LOVED it when people protested against him, LOVED it. He knew he could make himself look like the victim. And he rode it into two electoral wins.

    But here’s the thing: when Nixon ran, the “silent majority” was an actual majority. Nowdays, its a minority- and not a silent one to boot?

    How do we know it?
    1. One Barrack Hussein Obama winning two elections.
    2. After Chicago last night ,all 3 other Republican candidates visibly distanced themselves from Trump- even as Fox News broadcast images of angry black people doing scary stuff.

    To put it bluntly- this is the response of someone who knows that Trumpism is not the ticket for power in America in 2016
    https://twitter.com/hunterschwarz/status/708813220472033281/video/1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  43. Grewgills says:

    @Tyrell:
    Guys like us we had it made,
    Those were the days.

    And you knew who you were then,
    Girls were girls and men were men,
    Mister we could use a man
    Like Herbert Hover again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  44. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Tyrell:

    It was the election of 1968. […] I do not think that sort of thing was done back then. Everyone got along.

    You can see it, but I’m giving you a standing ovation. You don’t often let the facade slip on this character, but when you do its masterful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  45. MBunge says:

    @humanoid.panda: 1. One Barrack Hussein Obama winning two elections.

    No politician in my lifetime gets less credit for his accomplishments than Obama. The assumption that if Obama did it, Hillary or any other Democrat can do it is a shining example of white privilege.

    Mike

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  46. de stijl says:

    @MBunge:

    If we’re going to cast blame around, doesn’t part of it belong with the people branding Trump as a a Hitler/Mussolini-like murderous tyrant in waiting?

    Wow! Yesterday really was apples-and-oranges day here topped off with a shot of false equivalency as a nightcap.

    (Unless, I’m not seeing your intended sarcasm. Then, I apologize.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  47. Steve V says:

    Shorter Jenos: “Liberal words have consequences. Conservative words absolutely do not have consequences.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  48. Pch101 says:

    @Steve V:

    Right-wingers believe strongly in personal responsibility…for other people. For themselves, not so much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  49. Tyrell says:

    @Grewgills: I happened to be switching stations around looking for the NBA game and stopped at a fascinating program about the 1960 election campaign. Kennedy had an uphill battle against Nixon, but Nixon over-campaigned and narrowly lost, with a lot of controversy in Chicago.
    Kennedy, Humphrey, Johnson: giants of American politics in the 20th century. Johnson was one of the most adept politicians in history. He would have won in ’68.

    Happy “change move your clocks forward” day: hope everyone enjoyed their free one hour of time travel, courtesy of the US government and the Philadelphia Experiment Consortium.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. MBunge says:

    @de stijl:

    The Trump as Mussolini thing was all over the place for a week or so. Trump as Hitler has been less common but hysterical warnings about Trump are fairly common in liberal/leftist commentary.

    I was just thinking how this Trump business clarifies a change in American protest culture. One of the main goals used to be to attract sympathy and support by getting the other side to behave badly. Now it often seems the idea is to behave badly until the other side gives in. However, that assumes the other side will back down out of a desire to appear reasonable and responsible. Those are not things of tremendous importance to Trump.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  51. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    That would be the time where Obama and his lapdogs in the White House Correspondents Association all collaborated to dump on Trump where he wouldn’t be allowed a chance to respond?

    This is your GOP frontrunner, folks.

    That White House Correspondent dinner should have buried Trump. Not only was he wrong on the merits (which should count for something, even though it seemingly doesn’t in the “horserace” mode of political commentary) but he was so thoroughly mocked –the kids would say clowned— that it should call into question his fitness for the political realm.

    And yet, here’s Trump, all red-faced and sweaty because he can’t take the heat, asking for a kitchen job.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  52. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    That would be the time where Obama and his lapdogs in the White House Correspondents Association all collaborated to dump on Trump where he wouldn’t be allowed a chance to respond? That the time you mean?

    You’re complaining that the bully got his comeuppance? Fantastic.

    Please explain to me why Trump (or any of his supporters) would be offended by the President’s very mild comments mocking Trump’s Birther fetish:

    Obama: “Now, he can focus on more important matters like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

    Did you notice? No profanity, no reference to bedwetting, no mention of size of ‘manhood’, no mention of Trump’s menstruation cycle. The humor was clean and bereft of the current middle-school oriented Trump style

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  53. Gustopher says:

    @al-Ameda: Obama did mention scary black rapper thugs. Where are Biggie and Tupac? They’re out there somewhere, gunning for Trump. They will pop a cap in his pale white heiney in some drive by shooting.

    That’s why Trump supporters would be offended.

    Also, Obama pointed out that Trump is a blithering idiot, and blithering idiots are offended by things like that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  54. Blue Galangal says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Um…there is no debate…outside Trump denying any culpability in the face of pretty clear evidence. His lack of accountability only makes him a typical Republican.
    I suspect this entire thing doesn’t end well…someone is going to be killed inside a week. Just watch. Then what is the Republican establishment going to do?

    Blame Obama. Duh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0