Mad as a wet (red) hen

If you read last week’s feel-good, rah-rah Washington column, this won’t be anything like that.

This week, I want to talk about some of the ongoing, extremely bad behavior exhibited by American citizens in our nation’s capital.

While I understand we are politically divided as a nation that certainly does not give people a free pass to treat people of other political beliefs with disrespect, rage and harassment—or does it?

Several high-level White House officials and members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet have been publicly harassed lately. I’m not talking about civil protests here. I’m talking about constant screaming in the middle of a fancy restaurant, not allowing someone to give a restaurant their business, screaming expletives, etc.

The tip of the iceberg was last month when Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was dining at a Mexican restaurant in Washington when protesters suddenly stormed the place screaming “Shame!” and “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace,” referring to the family situation at the United States-Mexico border.

Just a couple days later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family were refused service at the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, because she works for President Trump. She politely left. In turn, protestors staked out in front of the restaurant holding signs comparing the incident to the 1960 anti-segregation lunch counter protest. The restaurant stayed closed for two weeks.

Then, California Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters held a public rally where she encouraged people to find Trump officials and create a scene.

“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters shouted.

She received less than a slap on the wrist, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted that Trump has “provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable,” without mentioning Waters by name.

Most recently, White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller was followed outside after picking up take out in Washington. A bartender yelled expletives at him and raised both middle fingers. He then threw away his order because of fears of tampering with his food.

There is one incident that makes me chuckle, because of the response. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway was in a grocery store when a man jeered, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Go look in the mirror!”

Conway replied, “Mirrors are in Aisle 9. I’ll go get one now.”

Could you imagine if the shoe were on the other foot? What if conservatives were doing this to liberals in these capacities? The left-wing news media would have a field day. However, extreme liberal antics get a pass in the news cycle. These incidences were barely a blip.

Sadly, I don’t know when or what it will take to mend our nation, but it will likely get worse before it gets better.

Editor’s note: Seymour Klierly writes Washington Whispers for the Journal from inside the Beltway.