Very Serious People are furrowing their brows and offering moral lessons in the wake of Donald Trump being booed at the World Series. The boos and “lock him up” chants were “un-American” and “sickening,” according to the hosts of Morning Joe. Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware showed his seriousness by fretting that “the office of the president deserves respect, even when the actions of our president at times don’t,” because Coons apparently can’t tell the difference between a crowd booing the office of the president and a crowd booing a single individual.
Twitter has had a field day with all this hand-wringing. And while it’s Twitter, these are not small issues we’re talking about—they’re just different issues than the tone police believe them to be. That said, it’s also sometimes a funny field day.
But seriously, though:
I’m of the opinion that masses of people booing the president on one of the stupidly few occasions he’s ever been forced to interact with them is in fact an extremely valuable moment for our global standing & anyone who cares about America’s reputation should thank that crowd.
— Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) October 28, 2019
Michelle Goldberg made a similar point, tweeting “Truly gobsmacked by establishment types handwringing about ordinary citizens expressing their opinion of a fascist criminal president on one of the rare occasions when he faces them.”
I think what the republicans and pearl clutchers are saying is that trump apparently needs a safe space at all times, free of dissent
— molly (@isteintraum) October 28, 2019
They’re also saying he deserves it, which is more troubling. We know he’s weak and insecure and needs constant sucking up. American democracy doesn’t guarantee he get it.
Thing about the boos last night is Trump has created his own Potemkin village where he only sees adulation. He went out into the real world last night and saw that, in fact, he’s loathed. The whole world saw it – and he was probably only one at all surprised
— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) October 28, 2019
Somewhat surprisingly I haven’t yet seen the take that Trump knew exactly what he was doing and wanted the crowd to boo him in order to strengthen his supporters’ love of him, but I’m sure it’s out there so let’s just offer up a resounding NOPE right now. This is a man who will revel in his allies getting booed if he thinks he can use it for political purposes, but he never, ever wants to face a mass of public disapproval himself. His ego cannot take it and we all saw it on his face.
Related to that view of the potential response of Trump voters to Trump being booed, Brian Beutler tweeted that “Most of the handwringing Trump getting booed has no actual roots in principles of decorum, but is as always contrived around an assumption that a certain kind of voter will see the booing and be lost to Trump forever. This is, of course, a completely insane way to do politics.”
3. Trump would in fact be locked up, or at least on his way to trial, if DOJ’s rules didn’t declare him above the law.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) October 28, 2019
Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, explained another distinction in a valuable mini-thread, writing “Those decrying the Nat’s game chant draw yet another false equivalency. POTUS leading the cheer involves a government official, who has in several instances abused his power to target political rivals, seeking public support for further targeting those rivals. In contrast, the Nat’s game chant involves a public that wields no direct governmental power throwing Trump’s words back at him and demanding that our derelict leaders, who jeopardize the republic itself, do their jobs and undertake lawful investigative and oversight activities. Trump’s chant, led for a mob that laughed when a member called for shooting migrant families, is an expression of fascism advocating selective prosecution & deprivation of due process. The Nat’s chant was a rejection of that and consciously ironic plea for restoration of norms.”
In conclusion, Greg Greene, as is so often the case, speaks for me.
Not really here for anyone’s performative cries for ‘civility’ today.
— Greg Greene (@ggreeneva) October 28, 2019