But what about the aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanger? George Stephanopoulos seemed mighty interested in holding Reince Priebus and Donald Trump responsible for the protests erupting across the country after the election, despite the fact that it’s Trump’s opponents clogging the streets and vandalizing buildings. Priebus responds a couple of times by suggesting that everyone take a deep breath, and start enjoying the weekend a bit early:
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus today said he understands that many people are upset over Donald Trump’s election victory, but advised protesters to “take a deep breath.”
“It’s the other side now that doesn’t want to accept the fact that they lost the election,” Priebus said on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.” “So look, I think everyone needs to just take a deep breath, take the weekend — today’s Veterans Day — count our blessings and let’s come back on Monday.”
Stephanopoulos never asked about the role that Hillary Clinton’s campaign might have played in generating such panic and rage. That’s a curious choice, considering that it’s not Trump voters out in the streets, but the people who got fed a steady stream of apocalyptic arguments about what a Trump presidency would bring. Instead, Stephanopoulos asks Priebus to explain Trump’s Twitter comment that “professional” protesters were stirring up the rage. Priebus responded by reminding Stephanopoulos of the revealed operations of Team Hillary and the DNC:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re absolutely right about the speech he gave on Wednesday morning and the tweet he just sent out moments ago, but he also sent out that other tweet overnight talking about “professional protesters” incited by the media. You say you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes either. Do you believe these are professionals incited by the media?
PRIEBUS: I don’t know, George. What we do know, though, and I think what President-Elect Trump knows, is that it is very clear that, at least in the e-mails were released, that we had the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign or someone in between going to Donald Trump rallies and inciting violence. So that happened, and so there are such things as professional protesters.
Also curiously, the ABC News report on this interview completely skips that part of Priebus’ response. Go figure. Subtlety has not returned to media bias yet.
Priebus’ prescription is spot-on, regardless. Peaceful, legitimate protest is one of the great aspects of American freedom, even when it’s silly or misguided, but what exactly is being protested at the moment? Trump hasn’t had time to do anything that the election didn’t litigate. What we’re seeing right now is a tantrum from people offended over the rejection of their choice by voters. The sheer meaninglessness of these protests reveal exactly who these people are — frustrated authoritarians who don’t want tolerance at all, but submission. The dire warnings about fascism turned out to be true, but thankfully we narrowly avoided it.