Is this an “oops,” actually? I’m sure Castro would say that Trump donors have the taint of evil upon them, therefore he no longer wishes to receive their Reichsmarks. He probably would have published the list even knowing that it would cost him money.
If I were him I wouldn’t worry about losing donors, I’d worry about handing the GOP a case study in how Democrats are just as cutthroat towards their opponents as Trump is. Trump himself is often criticized for rushing headlong into political fights when it doesn’t benefit him to do so, ironically. Remember last month when Democrats were having a big barroom brawl over the Squad and AOC’s mouthy chief of staff? POTUS dived in, dropped the “go back where you came from” tweet, and suddenly Dems were unified again. Now here’s Castro, in a week when Trump is on defense over gun control and the white-nationalist niche in his fan base, diving into the fray with a hit list of San Antonians who committed the crime of maxing out to the president’s campaign. The next time POTUS crosses some line of political decency towards Democrats and they complain, they’ll have this episode thrown in their faces.
Castro deserves every bit of bad press he gets. Here’s some more for him, via Fox:
“I was also on a list of people that gave to Castro and if he dislikes me enough that he wants to put my name out there against Trump, I’m not going to give money to him,” [Wayne] Harwell told Fox News. “Obviously Castro feels pretty strongly against me.”…
“I think some of the Democratic rhetoric is more hateful than some of Trump’s rhetoric,” he said. “I think the San Antonio community needs to take a real deep look at what Castro is doing. Why is he doing this?”…
“Probably a good 50 to 70 percent of my employment is Mexican people,” [Trump donor Justin] Herricks [who was also on Castro’s list] said. “You can’t have that argument.”
He added: “Everyone on that list, I would be safe to say, has done way more for Hispanic people than Castro ever has thought of doing. I don’t know the guy, but how many employees does he have compared to all of the people on the list?”
Herricks referenced Bill Miller Bar-B-Q—a local restaurant that Castro featured in his tweet. “Bill Millers—it has a huge Mexican heritage,” Herricks said. “If you go to any Bill Millers in San Antonio—Hispanics are his staff. How can you say that when he employs so many of them?”
And here’s a little more, from a man who knows personally what it’s like to be targeted by a lunatic from the other side:
If the events of this past weekend taught us anything, it’s that we need to stop seeing our neighbors as political enemies. This kind of dangerous targeting isn’t how we heal our nation.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) August 6, 2019
The irony of some anti-Trumpers going all-in to defend Castro’s methods here is that they’re one news story away from having to backpedal. All it’ll take is for one of the people on the list he published to report that they’re getting death threats, which is inevitable, and he’ll take the list down purely for the sake of avoiding further terrible publicity. He should have done that last night, in fact, and said something contrite about it: “Of course it’s not my intention to see people harassed, so in the interest of lowering the political temperature, I’m deleting it.” Etc.
As it is, there’s no good outcome for him and his apologists, who continue to resort to the fact that the donors’ names and employers are Public Information! in FEC reports. Erick Erickson’s right that doxxing usually involves some element of public information: Once someone is identified, it’s short work to find out their address, phone, and so on from people-finder search engines. What makes Castro’s ploy similar to doxxing is the intent behind it. In both cases, true doxxing and amplifying information that’s buried in a public report, the intent is to intimidate the target by bringing them to the attention of the great mass of hyper-political lunatics in one’s audience. That’s the salient point, not how Castro came by the info.
Exit question via lefty Paul Waldman: Did Castro do Mitch McConnell a favor here by gift-wrapping an argument that the names of political donors should be concealed from the public by law? I’m fine with letting voters know which mega-donors are contributing to which outfits, as a matter of basic accountability and on the theory that the very rich can protect themselves from the loonies. People deserve to know who’s buying and selling their politicians. But someone who donates a few thousand to a campaign isn’t buying or selling anyone, and they don’t have a security detail to handle threats. Conceal the names of ordinary joes, publish the donations from the movers and shakers.