WASHINGTON – The scale of protests one week into a presidential administration is unlike anything in American history, but the rabid demonstrations also often appear unprecedented in their anger.
And in their disconnect from reality.
For instance, through his spokesman, former President Obama claimed his 2011 executive order was different than President Trump’s recent immigration order because “the president (Obama) fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
However, the text of Trump’s executive order calling for a temporary ban on immigration from seven countries does not include the word “religion.”
Or “faith.” Or “Muslim.” Or “Islam.”
In fact, the list of seven countries named in Trump’s order came from a bipartisan bill Obama himself signed into law, restricting visa waivers for people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.
Obama’s criticism of Trump’s order simply is not accurate because he is objecting to something that demonstrably did not happen: categorizing immigrants by religion or faith.
And yet that claim is the basis for virtually all the leftist protests against the order.
In parallel with the left’s disconnect from the facts, its protests have become increasingly surreal. In some cases, menacing and threatening.
A stunning case in point was the rant delivered by a Black Lives Matter speaker at an anti-Trump rally in Seattle over the weekend.
(Caution: Strong Language – this video contains repeated obscenities)
A woman who described herself as a preschool teacher declared, “We need to start killing people.”
“First off, we need to start killing the White House,” she added. “The White House must die. The White House, your f—ing White House, your f—ing presidents, they must go! F— the White House.”
And, “F— white supremacy, f— the U.S. empire, f— your imperialist ass lives. That s— gotta go.”
While that may be an extreme example, anti-Trump protests often have become bitter, hostile and, in some cases, delusional.
Writing in Townhall, former clinical psychologist turned conservative writer Timothy Daughtry called it the “Left’s War on Reality.”
He says the tactic is “to push a false view of reality and to convince mainstream Americans that their common-sense views are somehow extreme.”
An example would be how “The belief that refugees should be carefully vetted in order to keep more terrorists from exploiting our generosity is attacked as ‘xenophobic.'”
“Donald Trump is trying to deal seriously with U.S. national security which was repeatedly attacked by Shariah motivated Islamic terrorists. That is reality.”
Another distinction she noted was how Trump doesn’t praise terrorists; he announces he will defeat them, yet, “Obama, by contrast, granted waivers for entry to the U.S. to senior members of the Muslim brotherhood, a terror organization. After the election it’s a new day, and President Obama fails to realize we’re just ‘not that into him.'”
Summing up what Democrats are calling The Resistance, columnist Byron York wrote in the Washington Examiner, “Democrats aren’t just venting. Their actions, taken together, have a number of strategic intentions.”
“The first is to distract, and do whatever damage it can, to the Trump administration as it tries to get on its feet. Second is to constrain the White House and create a sense among voters and potential Trump supporters that enacting the president’s agenda will come at an enormous cost in peace and public safety.”
Recent anti-Trump protests around the country have run the range from threatening to hypocritical, to misinformed, to unintentionally comical, with more than a few appearing to veer far from reality.
- Following the Seattle protest over the weekend that featured a call to kill people, teachers in the nearby suburb of Bellvue announced they would come to class Tuesday wearing T-shirts to support the movement, and that they will hold a “day of action” every Monday for the rest of the school year.
- Like the preschool teacher in Seattle, pop singer Madonna also fantasized about violence against the president, musing aloud to the Women’s March crowd two weekends ago, “I’m angry. Yes, I’m outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”
- Classics scholar and National Review columnist Victor Davis Hanson described actress Ashley Judd’s speech at the same event as “an incoherent rant,” in which she read ” a bizarre poem,” and, “variously compared Trump to Hitler, alleged that he had incestuous desires for his own daughter, and then indulged in rank vulgarity.”
- Former vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., endorsed the protesters taking the fight against the Trump agenda to the streets, telling MSNBC on Tuesday, “What we’ve got to do is fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box.”
- Obama echoed that, saying through his spokesman, “President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.” He added, “Citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”
- Apparently oblivious to the fact that Trump had used Obama’s list in selecting the countries in the immigration ban, Barbara Streisand tweeted: “I absolutely oppose this Muslim ban. But why does it effect only countries with no Trump properties? Follow the $.”
- Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., actually broke down in tears at a news conference on Sunday while criticizing Trump’s executive order on immigration, calling it “mean-spirited and un-American.” President Trump casually responded, “I’m going to ask him who is his acting coach.”
- Schumer’s emotional reaction was a complete about-face from his position in 2015, when he tweeted, “We must tighten loopholes in the Visa Waiver prgm, ensure passports can’t be faked & stop terrorists who want to exploit the system.” Schumer had even said it may be necessary to pause or halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States, exactly what he is now calling mean-spirited and un-American, when done by Trump.
- Hundreds protested the Trump immigration order at airports across the country, despite the fact it resulted in the detention of a mere 109 out of 325,000 foreign travelers. However, there were no major protests when President Obama discontinued the policy of providing sanctuary for Cuban refugees, on Jan. 12. The media research center reported the mainstream media gave Trump’s order 57 times more coverage than Obama’s Cuban refugee ban.
- Screaming into a megaphone in a terminal at Boston’s Logan airport on Sunday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., amplified Obama’s inaccurate claim that the ban was faith-based, and vowed, “An attack on anyone for their religious beliefs is an attack on the very foundation of democracy.” She added, “We will not turn away anyone because of their religion.”
- The next day, Warren tried to do the same thing on the steps of the Supreme Court, along with other Democratic Party leaders including Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. However, when their megaphone and microphones didn’t work, they were eventually drowned out by chants from the crowd. A reporter who did manage to hear Schumer said he claimed Trump’s order “will make us unsafe because the nations of the world will no longer look up to us.” and, “We will not let this evil order make us less American.” Warren added what has become the Democrats’ new rallying cry, “We are here tonight because it is a constitutional crisis.”
- On Sunday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced he planned to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide to protest Trump’s ban and to act as ” the conscience of our country.” The next day, customers began organizing a Starbucks boycott on social media.
- Big business reacted to the immigration crackdown by grabbing its wallet. Toyota Motor Corporation asked its 1,500 dealers U.S. dealers to call Congress to protest a possible 20 percent tax on imports.
- On Monday, 2,000 Google employees and their boss staged anti-Trump protests. But even as CEO Eric Schmidt reportedly told employees behind closed doors that the administration is “going to do these evil things as they’ve done in the immigration area and perhaps some others,” Business Insider reported his company was “ramping up lobbying efforts in Washington and looking for ways to get closer to Donald Trump’s administration.”
- Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice bashed Trump for appointing senior adviser Stephen Bannon to the National Security Council, tweeting: “And where is CIA?? Cut out of everything? Chair of Joint Chiefs & DNI are after thoughts in Cabinet level principals mtgs. And CIA?? Cut out of everything?” Rice, who lied repeatedly on national television about a video causing the terrorist attack in Benghazi, seemed bizarrely unaware it was President Obama who cut the CIA out of her own National Security Council meetings. And it was Trump who brought them back in.
- Even Patriots quarterback Tom Brady came under fire for his friendship with the president, in a scathing editorial by a sports writer, of all people. USA Today sports columnist Nancy Armour wrote, “Tom Brady no longer gets a pass on his friendship with Donald Trump,” not after, “the country boiled over in rage and indignation at Trump’s decision to turn America’s back on refugees.”
- Armour informed sports fans that “Trump’s campaign was steeped in racism, bigotry and misogyny, and he has doubled down on his hatred in his first week as president.” Perhaps giving new meaning to “color commentary,” she also declared, “[I]n refusing to publicly disavow Trump’s actions, Brady is giving tacit endorsement to both Trump and the chaos he has created.” The future Hall-of-Famer did not respond, apparently preferring instead to focus on preparations for the Super Bowl.