There is a faction of this country that feels unrecognized and strangely, at the same time, they possess empowerment that is not matched by their possessing any legitimate power. I touched on this in a recent piece, where workers at a decidedly woke coffee shop in Philly felt galvanized by the permissiveness and tried forcing more activism on the ownership until the place had to close. Because of similar obliviousness, we are witnessing a growing tide of restaurant rabblerousing.
Faced with a wave of news reports about how horrible it was that the Roe vs. Wade decision was sent back to the states as a federalism issue, scores of people feel helpless and oppressed by this decision which may never actually affect their lives–so they feel a need to lash out. The result: More and more activist-minded sorts are camping out in front of private residences of Supreme Court Justices, and now confronting them while dining out at restaurants.
Justice Kavanaugh, who already had come under threat at his home, was recently at Morton’s restaurant in D.C. when word got out and protestors arrived on site. This move was seemingly organized by the unhinged activist group Shutdown DC. To prolong this effort, the group is offering bounties of a sort, promising payouts to wait staffers who tip them off when targeted figures are seen in public establishments.
As word of this circulated, there has been a notable lack of common sense and calls for decency from those in power. When asked to address this activity at the latest White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre actually lent support to the direct harassment of a SCOTUS Justice like this. Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked directly if this was acceptable behavior, and KJP stipulated the White House finds it acceptable.
People should be able to do that. In a restaurant, if it’s peaceful, for sure. People have the right, this is what a democracy is.
This is markedly not a democratic activity, for starters. It is a personal harassment campaign on behalf of a political position. Put more bluntly, it is retribution. Nothing about protesting at a restaurant as Kavanaugh is dining will accomplish anything political. Because Morton’s restaurant dared to say they preferred that protestors not upset their customers, abortion re-activists took up the cause to punish the restaurant chain nationwide, with fake reservations which would not be filled.
What targeting a restaurant chain in this fashion will ultimately lead to is, of course, never addressed — because it will accomplish not a single thing that enables the political cause. It just feels like they are doing something, therefore they simply do it. Results are less important than the fleeting catharsis felt by the otherwise helpless minds.
Adding to the supportive language of these acts was Chasten Buttigieg, husband to Pete, of the Department of Transportation. He saw the news of Kavanaugh’s steak-side harassment, and he felt it was appropriate to be flippant about the matter.
I guess now, if people who are impacted by high gas prices and/or the supply chain crises catch sight of the pair nibbling on some Wagyu Strip Loin at The Lafayette and decide to start barking in the face of Secretary Pete, Chasten will just sit there and accept the intrusion. Ah well, they are just exercising their First Amendment right after all, right, Chase?
Joining in on celebrating these incivility liberties was, of course, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, because someone aside from herself had their name in the headlines. Alex From The Bronx chimed in with her serving of support, but with it comes an overdose of obliviousness.
The funny thing about this is that AOC has her own little history with this type of intrusion, and she was not nearly as flippant about the encounter. Once, soon after she had come out in opposition to people eating hamburgers, she was spotted in an establishment where her chief of staff was consuming the very reviled foodstuff, and someone snapped a picture of his consumption. She was less than graceful about this exchange.
This underscores the foibles of the current batch of cheerleading we are seeing. Those who see no problem with the current level of confrontation focused on SCOTUS names never conceive this could lead to more activity of the like but emanating from the other side. The current targets are disagreeable, so the anti-social reactions are acceptable.
The other irony is that these are the very voices in government and in the press who bemoan the divisiveness in this country. Interesting that the administration of the man who was predicated on being the Great Uniter is now actively supporting behavior that is the opposite of unifying. And the press who presented Biden with that label today is rather enthusiastic about the behavior on display.