Via the Free Beacon, what is this network going to be like a year from now, in the thick of the general election campaign, if they’re already at this level of hysteria? In the past five days we’ve had Joe and Mika defend Joaquin Castro’s doxx list of Trump donors in San Antonio, Nicolle Wallace assert (and then apologizing for asserting) that Trump wants to exterminate Latinos, former FBI honcho Frank Figliuzzi claim that Trump ordering flags to be raised from half-mast on August 8 will egg on white nationalists, and now Rick Stengel tossing an apartheid analogy onto the table.
I call upon Bob Mueller to reopen the Russia investigation so that these people have something to preoccupy their febrile minds.
Where we’re headed, I think, is the left trying to replicate the SoulCycle saga of the past few days by encouraging widespread boycotts of businesses owned by major — and maybe not so major? — Trump donors. As of 11 a.m. ET, it looks like SoulCycle chairman Stephen Ross is going ahead with the fundraiser for Trump that he scheduled for today. But he was wavering, Axios reports, and the White House had to intervene to steel his spine:
Billionaire New York real estate developer Stephen Ross privately expressed qualms about going ahead with his Hamptons fundraiser for President Trump today.
The state of play: Liberal customers had threatened to boycott Equinox and SoulCycle, the high-end fitness brands owned by a parent company that Ross chairs. Ross, who also owns the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, “freaked out” at the backlash, a source said, adding that Trump associates persuaded him to go ahead with the event at his Southampton mansion.
“Stay strong, it’s not going to be that bad. Not that many people are going to boycott the gym,” was another source’s paraphrasing of what Trump’s associates conveyed to Ross.
That’s true, but Ross was sufficiently spooked by the media’s attention to the fundraiser and pieces like this about SoulCycle customers weighing whether to boycott that he issued this statement yesterday:
“While some prefer to sit outside of the process and criticize, I prefer to engage directly and support the things I deeply care about,” the statement read. “I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions. I started my business with nothing and a reason for my engagement with our leaders is my deep concern for creating jobs and growing our country’s economy. I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges.”
I suspect this is the last fundraiser he’ll hold for Trump, especially if boycott fever on the left proves durable over the next few months. Some of the people on Castro’s list are already seeing their own business boycotted, although thankfully that’s the worst they appear to have suffered so far:
“I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, we were going to use you for business, but we found out you’re a racist,’” Mr. Herricks, the owner of Precision Pipe Rentals, an oil and gas services company in San Antonio, said in an interview. “‘We hope that you burn in hell and your business will go with you.’”…
“The more they do this stuff, the more it’s going to backfire,” said Bill White, a former president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. “More people are putting out their chests, standing up straight, saying: ‘I’m in. To hell with you publicizing my name.’”…
Fielding calls on Thursday, Mr. Herricks, the San Antonio-based donor, said that he would “absolutely” give to the president again. He also said he had squeezed in a workout that morning at Equinox.
Right, that’s the other question — not just “How extensive will the boycotting be?” but “How much will it backfire, not only by deepening the siege mentality on the right but by alienating centrists who may find all the boycott calls too draconian?” Stay tuned.