Struggle sessions in the toilet

For a certain kind of person — and this kind of person unhappily is not rare — there is great pleasure in joining a mob of the sort that chased down Senator Sinema. Modern technology makes participating in such a mob easier — as was true even back in the 1990s with Mrs. Goldberg — but what happens on Twitter increasingly happens in real life. We have seen mobs target the homes of New York City financial professionals, elected officials across the country, and media figures such as Tucker Carlson. Kat Timpf, at that time a National Review staffer, was famously chased out of a bar in Brooklyn because she appears on Fox News. The scatological is never far off: Protesters have taken to attacking police with urine-filled balloons and bags of feces…

Chasing Senator Sinema into a toilet or screaming obscenities outside Tucker Carlson’s house is unlikely to accomplish anything of any consequence in practical politics. In fact, it is likely to hurt progressives’ chances of bringing Senator Sinema around to their point of view. But practical politics is beside the point here, just as nobody at Occupy Wall Street really believed that conducting a circus of filth in Lower Manhattan was going to change U.S. economic policy in any meaningful way. (Nobody who wasn’t drooling and in need of medication, anyway.) The purpose of these acts is not to move legislation forward but to publicly demonstrate that there is no space outside of politics, and no space outside of the demands of political activists, no matter how infantile. The more infantile, the better, at least from that point of view.