Targeting Trump aides: The politics of rage is out of control

'MediaBuzz' host Howard Kurtz weighs in on the targeting and harassment of Trump aides simply because they are part of the Trump administration, and why people such as Maxine Waters are pouring fuel on the fire of bad behavior.
Kurtz: Why personal harassment of pols is just plain wrong

We are being buried under a tsunami of toxicity.

Too many people are justifying bad behavior by decrying the actions of the Trump administration—and many of them would cry foul if the folks on their side received the same mistreatment.

As I learned when I slammed a Virginia restaurant’s refusal to serve Sarah Sanders over the weekend, there is an awful lot of anger and even hatred out there, and in an era of social media, it immediately bubbles to the surface. Restraint seems to have melted away since President Trump’s policy of family separations at the border, which he has since reversed, came to dominate the news coverage.

Pouring fuel on the fire is Maxine Waters, the left-wing Democratic congresswoman, who essentially called for liberals to go after Trump Cabinet members as they go about their lives. This strikes me as beyond irresponsible, and she didn’t even use coded language.

“They’re not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they’re not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store,” Waters said. “The people are going to turn on them, they’re going to protest, they’re going to absolutely harass them.”

That’s right—a member of Congress actually called for administration officials to be harassed. It’s not hard to imagine someone getting roughed up, or worse, in the process. How is this not a step toward mob rule?

Yet it’s not hard to imagine Waters and her allies spewing outrage if Eric Holder or Valerie Jarrett or David Axelrod had been refused service or personally harassed by Obama-haters.

When the owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Va. asked Sanders and her friends to leave simply because she works for the White House, CNN contributor Ana Navarro said: “You make choices in life. And there is a cost to being an accomplice to this cruel, deceitful administration.”

And MSNBC contributor and Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote that it is “both natural and appropriate for decent human beings to shame and shun the practitioners” of…

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