Last Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was attempting to mind her own business and have dinner in a small restaurant in Lexington, VA. Some of the waitstaff recognized her. They called the manager asking “what they should do?” The obvious answer–“serve them their meal”–was not on the menu. There was a vote of the politburo and the manager asked Sanders and her party to leave.
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
Since then there has been a lot of abject stupidity on the subject. Like the profoundly unintelligent Ana Navarro:
Some who defend baker’s right to refuse service to gay couples, whine re ppl refusing service to a person who’s the face of a deceitful Administration. What’s good for the goose, is good for the Red Hen. Difference is, being gay is not a choice. Being an accomplice to Trump, is.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) June 24, 2018
And there were a lot of folks on the left upset that Sanders mentioned the incident because it is off-limits for people in the Trump administration to complain or something.
The story of Sanders being asked to leave the restaurant was in the public domain prior to her tweet.
The idea that the press secretary for the president is abusing governmental authority by confirming a news story she's involved in (again, *press secretary*) is…bizarre. https://t.co/Sis4SF7xyn
— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) June 25, 2018
And President Trump had to get involved:
The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
(FACT CHECK: it seems to be true)
But there was a twist to the story that Sarah Sanders didn’t talk about but that her father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, let slip out today on Laura Ingraham’s radio show.
.@GovMikeHuckabee just said on @IngrahamAngle's Radio Show that the owner of the Red Hen followed Sarah Sanders in-laws across the street to a different restaurant and organized a protest while they were dining (Sarah and her husband were not present during the protest)
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) June 25, 2018
Yes, if Huckabee isn’t just making this up, then the restaurant owner didn’t stop at just not serving Sanders. She followed the party to their next dining location and organized a protest outside the restaurant.
If you recall, back in the early months of the Trump administration there were quite a few people, some here at this site, cheering the “punch a Nazi” nonsense that was circulating after Richard Spencer was sucker-punched at an impromptu rally on Trump’s inauguration day. In March, Michael Savage was sucker-punched while leaving a restaurant in California. At that time I wrote:
A lot of folks were yukking it up when alt-right intellectual spirit chieftain Richard Spencer got sucker punched while speaking to the media the day of Trump’s inauguration. At some point, it seems, it became okay to physically assault people simply because you don’t like what they are saying. I didn’t get the memo so I wasn’t one of them. (As an aside, what Spencer was yakking about was nothing more exceptional than you’d find at any Nation of Islam gathering but no one is going to punch that guy selling Brother Howard’s Bean Pies from the median strip because he, unlike Spencer, is probably going to kick your ass.) Cheering this kind of behavior, no matter how good it might make you feel, is dangerous because in the mind of the guy (and people like him) who punched Spencer there is absolutely no difference between Richard Spencer and Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz and you and me. You don’t have to defend what Spencer is saying but commonsense and enlightened self -interest demands that you oppose what happened.
And this is exactly where we are going. It doesn’t make any difference to these people who you are. Right now supporting immigration laws as passed by Congress is enough to get you mobbed.
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) June 25, 2018
Already we’ve seen Steve Scalise seriously wounded by a Bernie Sanders supporter reacting to standard Democrat propaganda. It was only through luck and the courage of a couple of Capitol Police officers that more weren’t killed or injured. It is just a matter of time until some functionary of the administration or of the GOP caucus in Congress is the victim of mob violence. This has stopped being something done by hipster douchebags wearing ski masks and is now so normalized that it is something that perimenopausal restaurant owners think it proper. Thus far, they have only targeted women for harassment, probably out of a misogynistic calculation that women are less likely to retaliate. But, as the Twitter cheers get louder, it is just a matter of time before they miscalculate, either singly or as a group, and they discover that there are people out there who will fight back.