Monday, June 25, 2018

Recollection Deficiency

Are out memories really that bad?

In a Politico article entitled "Has the Left Lost Its Cool," Marc Caputo and Daniel Lippman begin

Two senior Trump administration officials were heckled at restaurants. A third was denied service. Florida GOP Attorney General Pam Bondi required a police escort away from a movie about Mister Rogers after activists yelled at her in Tampa — where two other Republican lawmakers say they were also politically harassed last week, one of them with her kids in tow.

The Sarah Huckabee Sanders incident at Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia on Friday night has received the most attention. However, also on Friday night, Florida attorney general Pam Bondi was approached at a movie theater and

According to Bondi, she and a friend were confronted at least four times — while buying tickets, entering the theater, standing in line at the concession stand and then on their way out — and that activists were aggressive in each instance, with one yelling so loudly at her that he spit in her hair, either intentionally or because he meant to expectorate on her. She said they also taunted her friend as “blue eyes” and asked him in a threatening manner if he was going to protect her as if they wanted to fight.

The activists tell a different story.

“Pam Bondi’s version of events is inaccurate and don’t reflect what happened,” said Tim Heberlein, Tampa Bay’s regional director for the progressive group Organize Florida. He said he and a handful of fellow activists coincidentally ran into Bondi at the movie.

Heberlein said the videos the group released don’t comport with Bondi’s version of events. Bondi says the reason for that is that the activists only released the videos that showed what happened as they were leaving the movie, when Tampa Police were there and everyone was on their best behavior.

Maybe there is something in the water or air in Pennsylvania, which voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and where former Representative Paul Kanjorski- a Democrat- told the Politico authors

the increasingly confrontational politics is counterproductive. In 2010, before he lost his seat to Republican Lou Barletta, Kanjorski cut back on holding town halls, which he used to enjoy, because it just became “cannon fodder” for opponents.

Nowadays, he said, he worries about the signal sent when the president’s spokeswoman is denied service at a restaurant or when the Florida attorney general is chased away from a movie.

“I don’t know why they picked on the attorney general from Florida. I don’t like her or her political positions but she has a right to travel and be around without being harassed,” he said. “We’re limiting real conversation and discussion in this country and it’s a problem.”

"I don't know why they picked on the attorney general from Florida," he says. You might- unlike either Kanjorski or Caputo/Lippman- recall from Trump's "look how corrupt I am, everybody" files:

 * Late August 2013: Bondi reached out to Trump, seeking financial support for her 2014 re-election campaign in Florida.

* Sept. 13, 2013: Bondi’s AG office acknowledged that it was investigating fraud allegations against “Trump University.”

* Sept. 17, 2013: Trump’s charitable foundation, which is legally prohibited from donating to political campaigns, cut a $25,000 check for a group supporting Bondi’s campaign. (The foundation later paid a fine to the IRS for the illegal donation.)

* Oct. 15, 2013: Bondi’s office reversed course and said it wasn’t pursuing allegations made against “Trump University.”

* March 2014: Trump offered Bondi’s re-election campaign a generous deal while renting out his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

 Now the president has extended a new benefit to Bondi: a role on a high-profile federal commission, which happens to be nearly finished with its work.

Were the shoe on the other foot, Donald Trump would remark "some have called that pay-for-play," and it's a reasonable explanation for picking Bondi out of the lineup of Trump co-conspirators. 

Maxine Waters probably did more for the Trumpists than the Resistance when she recommended "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..." 

Still, the call from the right (if not from the mainstream media) is a little rich, not only because it elected a President who has chosen incivility and hatred as standard operating procedure but also because the preponderance of his Party has fallen in right behind him.  We may not remember Pam Bondi being bought off by Donald Trump. But it was only last week- albeit prior to the Bondi and Sanders events- that an evangelical preacher, former GOP presidential aspirant, and father of Mrs. Sanders brought to the public his increasingly popular interpretation of Christian values:

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