Okay…here I go…
I approach this topic with trepidation. I’m going to try very hard not to address the very liberal Rob Reiner as “Meathead.”
On June 10th’s Tony Awards, Robert De Niro stunned the 7 people watching from home with a vulgar and contemptible derision of the President of the United States. For those of you who missed it, one particular repeated phrase rhymed with “Duck Trump.”
The in-house crowd went wild.
On The Hill’s Rising program posted three days later, hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton welcomed director Rob Reiner to give his thoughts on De Niro’s incredible display of disrespect for our country’s presidency.
Buck asked a question of civility:
“On the ‘what’s acceptable discourse’ from folks out there with pretty big platforms, what do you think of, most recently — we could also talk about Samantha Bee with Ivanka Trump — but with the comments by Robert De Niro at the Tony Awards, it seems to me just unhelpful, at a minimum.”
Reiner gave a surprisingly thoughtful answer:
“No, no, at a maximum. At a maximum. It’s not – here’s the thing: he’s allowed to have whatever opinion. He doesn’t like Trump, you can do whatever you want. But if you have any interest in trying to preserve the democracy, and put it in the hands of somebody who understands government, who isn’t self-dealing, who cares about this country and the people in this country, then you don’t — then you’re helping Trump. You’re helping Trump by saying, you know, ‘F Trump.'”
Reiner went on to explain a principle which surely helped Trump win the election: when you act like a(n) ______ (insert your favorite negative word to describe someone), it galvanizes the other side.
“[Trump] can say, ‘Look at these people, these elitists…”
“Yeah. It’s a pretty compelling statement from the President in response to that, if he were to make it.”
Back to Reiner:
“That’s what I’m saying. So that doesn’t help. If your goal is to — now, in every election, you want to energize the base, and you do certain things to energize the base. But you — there’s a very fine line between energizing the base and energizing the other side. Right now, if you’re a Democrat, and you want to hold this president accountable, you have to have some ability, some subpoena power, to have hearings and actually expose certain things. You’re not – right now, you’ve got an enthusiasm gap. You know, Democrats are excited, they want — you know, they talk about the ‘blue wave.’ But if you do things like that, that enthusiasm gap narrows, because you make the other side more enthusiastic.”
Reiner was right on point — no meat on his head whatsoever. Well, he did end his explanation with one debatable statement:
“And so, it’s not good.”
Agree to disagree.
Thankfully, most of the Left isn’t nearly as aware as is Reiner. Subsequently, you have, for example, thousands of people coming together to protest gun ownership, driving gun sales and NRA membership through the roof.
De Niro surely did the same. For the second time, I might add. The more the other side reveals its extremism and lack of civility, the more people are turned off and pushed away.
Doubtlessly, pre-Trump, many on the Right and in the middle believed Robert De Niro to be a Goodfella. Now, it’s quite possible they’re sick of his Raging Bullsh**.
Check out my full coverage of De Niro’s outburst here.
See my other RedState work here.
If you still enjoy De Niro’s acting (as do I), be sure to watch Taxi Driver, Casino, Awakenings, and Meet the Parents. After — that is — you follow Alex Parker on Twitter.