Scott Lincicome’s term for what political parties do these days is “transactional fan service.” That’s a pretty good term for a ridiculous piece by Ron Johnson in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, with the yay me headline I Won’t Be Silenced by the Left. YOU GO RO JO!
Dana first covered this in her superb Weekend Open Thread, so go there for the background. It’s basically a tired retread of what we hear from the fanatics (or those who service them) on both sides: our protesters are basically peaceful and good, while your protesters are violent and terrible.
I’m amazed but not surprised. Those who seek political advantage by dividing the nation hurl the worst possible accusations to silence anyone who challenges their left-wing agenda.
In a recent radio interview on the Joe Pags Show, I explained why I wasn’t concerned by the Trump supporters who came to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest peacefully. . . .
I told Joe Pags the truth: I honestly never felt threatened on Jan. 6. But, I added, I might have been worried if Donald Trump had won and the violent leftists who burned Kenosha, Wis., and Minneapolis last summer had come to Washington. Here’s exactly what I said: “Now, had the tables been turned—Joe, this could get me in trouble—had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election, and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.”
. . . .
There’s a reason why the boarded-up windows in the downtowns of major cities came down soon after Joe Biden won the election: Nobody was worried what Trump supporters would do if their guy lost; they were worried about what Biden supporters would do if their guy didn’t win.
Obviously those defending the Capitol were not concerned enough about what Trump supporters might do if their guy didn’t win. What amazes me is that even a brush with death is not enough to cause people to stop being deliverers of vapid fan service. Maybe you think Ron Johnson wasn’t in any real danger because he’s a kiss-ass for Trump, but I’m not sure an unreasoning mob makes fine distinctions like that. Recall that one of the yokels pawing through Ted Cruz’s desk had to be reminded that Cruz was on the side of the lawless mobsters — and Cruz was one of their most prominent allies, whereas I’d put money on the proposition that fewer than 5% of the people in that mob had any idea who Ron Johnson was.
Even if Johnson wasn’t in actual danger, my point about brushes with death being insufficient to change one’s character still stands. Steve Scalise was shot in the hip by a crazed partisan, was in critical condition, underwent several surgeries . . . and then voted to overturn election results and won’t say Biden won fair and square.
Many people who protested at the Capitol, and many who protested the killing of George Floyd, did so peacefully. Many at the Capitol, and a significant number of those who protested the killing of George Floyd, were violent — including attacking police officers and beating them. If anything, my impression is that a far higher percentage of the Capitol protesters were violent than the percentage of George Floyd protesters who were. If anyone cares to challenge me with facts, links, and hard numbers, I’ll listen. But by any measure: number of protesters divided by number of deaths; number of protesters divided by number of police injured; pick your own metric — I think you’d have a hell of a hard time making the case that the Capitol protesters were less violent and more respectful to cops.
Unless, like Ron Johnson, you’re doing stupid transactional fan service and preaching to a choir who will never question a thing you say.