Liberal hostility toward Trump aides could galvanize the GOP base

Liberal hostility toward Trump aides could galvanize the GOP base, by James Hohmann.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a Republican who is close with President Trump, was accosted by liberal activists on Friday night as she watched a documentary called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Ironically the film highlights Fred Rogers’s teachings of love and kindness, but Bondi had to be escorted from the theater in Tampa by police as partisans screamed at her.

“I’m not Mister Rogers,” one of the activists told the Tampa Bay Times afterward. “I don’t have the poise or temperament of Mister Rogers.”

“We’re coming to where you’re watching a movie or eating dinner,” added another. “Sorry, not sorry.”

It’s a far cry from Michelle Obama’s 2016 mantra: “When they go low, we go high.”

It’s also increasingly common. On same night Bondi got heckled in Florida, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia, and protesters rallied outside the home of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. That came at the end of a week in which Nielsen and White House domestic policy adviser Stephen Miller were heckled at separate Mexican eateries in D.C. One website even posted Miller’s personal cellphone number. …

WaPo hints to its leftist audience that this might be a losing strategy:

It supercharges the president’s sense of grievance and gives fodder for the argument, made in his stump speech, that he and his followers are disrespected. In a backlash to the backlash, there’s evidence in the polls of Republicans rallying around the flag.

The nastiness could also alienate and depress middle-of-the-road independents who prize pluralism.

The political rules have changed, harking back to an earlier less civilized era. Danger ahead.