Leftists gleeful after Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant because she works for Trump

June 24, 2018 • 11:45 am

You can sense the palpable glee at HuffPo as they put this story up, as if it was just the perfect thing to do to Trump’s press secretary (click on screenshot):

Here’s the story if you haven’t yet heard it:

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was just sitting down to a farm-to-table meal at The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, Friday evening when, she said, the restaurant’s owner heard she was there ― and asked her to leave.

According to Sanders, who confirmed the story in a tweet after an image from the restaurant began circulating the internet, the restaurant owner objected to her work defending President Donald Trump, who has been under fire for an immigration policy widely decried as unnecessarily cruel.

“I politely left,” the press secretary said on Twitter.

“I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so,” she added.

The restaurant’s website appeared to crash Saturday as the story went viral, and phone calls by HuffPost could not make a connection.

Owner Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post that one of the chefs had called her at home to tell her Sanders was sitting in the tiny restaurant, and that the staff had concerns. Wilkinson then drove over, huddled up with her staff and asked whether they would like Sanders to leave. They said yes.

“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson told the Post. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

She said the town largely opposed Trump and noted that several of her employees are gay. In her official capacity, Sanders has defended a wide array of the president’s controversial comments and actions, including his stance on LGBTQ issues.

Wilkinson felt justified in her action because Sanders is a public official, not a regular customer with whose politics she disagreed.

. . . The owner said she and Sanders stepped outside, where Wilkinson explained that her establishment has “certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion and cooperation.”

I wonder how many customers in conservative Lexington, Virginia have been served at that restaurant who agree with Sanders, but aren’t public officials—or are even bigger bigots. Just because Sanders makes her views public—or rather, constantly defends Trump’s odious views—does she not have the right to have a meal in a restaurant without getting heaved out? How many customers who are dishonest or not compassionate have been served in that restaurant? How many bigots and Republicans have tucked into their fried chicken at The Red Hen? My guess is: a LOT.

Don’t get me wrong: I despise Sanders, whose job I see is to lie to the press and public, and defend an indefensible Presidency. And I wouldn’t invite her to my home. But if she wants a quiet meal in a restaurant without a ridiculous display of virtue signaling by the owners, is she not entitled to it? In fact, by kicking her out, I suspect Wilkinson violated the law. This is not a wedding-cake-baking case where the baker is asked to perform an act that violates his religious beliefs, though we can discuss that, too.

But we are supposed to be better than this. We are supposed to treat our opponents with civility and not humiliate them in public. I’m sorry, but this really is a case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, where people become irrational because our President is irrational.

And here are some of the other gleeful liberals who rejoiced in Sanders’s humiliation in comments at HuffPo:





The comments go on and on, nearly all of them like this. I am ashamed of my political compadres.  Even if you take issue with the government’s defense of the bakers who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding (and I now think that the law should not allow bakers to refuse this kind of service), Sanders had no part in that case. Her sole crime is working for Trump. That’s something that no person with any progressive feelings should do, but we can’t keep demonizing our enemies and rejoicing in their mistreatment. We all know where that will lead in a few years.

Trumpites and left-wing sufferers from TDS have now tried to comment pro and con on the restaurant’s Yelp page to the extent that it’s been put on hold and monitored. This is where we are as a country.

Here’s Marc Radazza’s response to other people’s glee, and I agree with it (he’s a First Amendment attorney who writes at the site Popehat). (h/t: Grania)

Yeah, I don’t want to hear you whining when a right-wing restaurant owner kicks Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders out of their establishment because they favor more liberalized immigration or abortion laws! Can you imagine the furor that the Left would raise when the Right said, “These people deserve it because of their vile and immoral politics”?


236 thoughts on “Leftists gleeful after Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant because she works for Trump

  1. I’m not sure where I land on this. One thing – the restaurant owner was very clear that she would never kick out individuals who are Trump supporters/righties. For her it was that Huckabee is the most public figure in the admin besides Trump himself, and lies almost daily in defense of his policies. This was what put Huckabee over the bar for this owner. I’m not sure I wouldn’t feel the same way in the moment.

    1. As is often the case with such events, the biggest issue is the precedent set: would you be OK with a restaurant forcing a patron to leave because that patron publicly defends immigrants or gay marriage or abortion? What about forcing any of Obama’s Press Secretaries (as every Press Secretary in history has had the job of regularly lying to the media/country, often for terrible policies)?

    2. I too am in two minds about this.

      The only effective reason for me would be, how as an individual could I send a message to Sanders and company about how I feel about what the White House is doing. An irate email or twitter is not going to cut it. This sends a message loud and clear. Is it going to be received; I doubt it?

      As for liberal supporters jumping on the band wagon … that is also noise.

  2. Meantime, there are real issues, and refusing to serve Huckabee Sanders merely feeds the Trump distractathon.

    Symmetry applies; you should be comfortable abut the restaurant not serving Huckabee Sanders if and only if you are equally comfortable about a restaurant that would not serve, say, Bernie Sanders.

    1. I agree. I can understand that it must have been personally satisfying to be able to do something to publicly protest the Trump administration’s policies, especially at the moment. However, this is wrong.

      SHS does not treat people well. Just ask CNN’s Jim Acosta, as well as April ?Ryan about how they are treated in the White House briefing room by her. It’s appalling. Further, she is quite happy to lie to the public on Trump’s behalf. But that is not an excuse to treat her badly.

      All this proves is the far left is no better than the far right when it comes to their desire to force their beliefs on everyone.

      I’m not sure what I would have done. Being someone who expresses myself best in writing, I would probably have written a letter to give her as she left. It would say something about my staff not wanting to have her in the restaurant and why, but that we went ahead and treated her like any other customer as a matter of principle even though she didn’t do the same in her job and she supported someone who didn’t do the same. It would be polite, but I’d write it to try and make her feel shame, if she’s indeed capable of that emotion.

      I would consider releasing the note to the media.

      1. I think that would have been a much better approach.

        My rule of thumb in general would be to intuit what would hurt Donald Trump most from an electoral standpoint and then do that. Some people aren’t able to do that, and like this woman they take stands that they believe are principled but are actually counterproductive.

        But not everyone is a perfectly consistent thinker, and people who follow evolution and science blogs and have the time to write out comments about stories like this are probably more capable of mapping out the best course of action than a busy restaurant owner who’s just been faced with the custom of Sarah Sanders. I don’t think she did anything ‘bad’, it was just inconsistent and politically inexpedient. And of course the American right, whose sole quantum of morality was long extinguished by their support for human Faberge egg Donald Trump, will relentlessly and gleefully ride this solitary, meagre mis-step from now ’til the end of time.

        1. This: “Some people aren’t able to do that, and like this woman they take stands that they believe are principled but are actually counterproductive.”

          It’s usually a good idea to refuse to do business with rampaging evildoers. But not when that’s more likely to evoke sympathy and renewed power for the target. I haven’t taken a survey, but I’m still pretty sure that throwing the bums out of restaurants will make it harder to throw the bums out of office.

  3. Politeness favors only the oppressor. Meanwhile, in other news, right here in Arizona – Peoria, to be specific, a Walgreens pharmacist denied a woman medication prescribed to her by her doctor because she had a baby inside her that stopped developing and had no heartbeat. I boycott Walgreens because politeness only favors the oppressor.

    1. “Politeness favors only the oppressor.”

      I know what you mean. All that politeness from MLK, Gandhi, and Mandela really set their movements back.

      Politeness favors everyone. All this person has done is give further ammunition to Trump supporters, and the continued and ever-increasing virulence and both sides has done nothing but manage to further polarize our nation, rather than bring people together so they can better understand each other and their problems. People are far more likely to understand the problems of others when they aren’t being told that they’re disgusting people for disagreeing. So, if you want to fail in getting your points across and making change happen, being as nasty as possible is the way to go. Or, we could learn from people like MLK, Gandhi, and Mandela, but what did they ever do? I’m sure they would have been even more effective if they constantly denigrated and insulted the people whose minds they wished to change.

      1. Oh, it wasn’t “politeness” that put MLK in Birmingham Jail, or Gandhi in Yervada prison, or Madiba on Robben Island.

        1. And Sheriff Jim Clark didn’t think it was all that polite of Martin to bring those folk across the Edmund Pettus bridge after he’d been told not to on “Bloody Sunday.”

        2. That’s exactly right. It what politeness — or, should I say, respect for humanity and a disposition toward treating all people equally, expressed through their words and deeds — that helped them to overpower the ideology and the people who jailed them.

          1. MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail was a remonstration against the white clergy who had urged him to be more “polite” (who had, in point of fact, urged him not to hold a march after having been denied a permit). Do not confuse nonviolence with mere politeness.

            There were, on the other hand, many members of the White Citizens’ Councils who prided themselves on their fine Southern manners (but who had no qualms over stringing up black folk over perceived breaches of decorum).

            1. I feel like you’re intentionally nitpicking and finding isolated counterexamples here. Can we agree that the overall sense and sentiment of MLK’s movement was of the type I’ve been describing? Because that’s what is germane to my point.

              1. Sure, BJ. But let us not ignore that many right-wing whites have this deluded vision of a denuded, polite MLK — the same rightwingers who remember but one line from just one of his speeches, and who repeat it endlessly, wrenched from its context.

                MLK scared the beejesus outta the rightwingers of his day — and rightly so. Can we agree on that, too?

              2. Of course I agree, but, again, I don’t see how it’s relevant to the point I was making.
                My point is that MLK succeeded because he formulated his movement in a way that made opponents, people on the fence, and people who didn’t really care about much of anything take notice and realize that black people were just like them, and yet were still being treated unequally. He made people empathize and examine the reasons behind inequality. The fact that he wasn’t a super duper nice flower hippie all the time doesn’t change the overall tone he and his movement very intentionally conveyed.

                If Malcolm X had been the nationwide face of the civil rights movement rather than MLK, it’s unlikely success would have been achieved. At the very least, success would have taken a hell of a lot longer.

    2. I’m OK with you boycotting Walgreens. I worked for them as a pharmacist for 16 years but i really don’t have very many nice things to say about them. But in the example you present, I do believe that the pharmacist let his/her personal beliefs get in the way of providing professional care and good customer service. And I also believe that the pharmacist in your example most likely violated a Walgreen’s policy and should have been terminated.

  4. “This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

    Yes, you sure struck a blow for democracy! What a brave person.

  5. Ashamed of your “political compadres”? Au contraire – they seem rather levelheaded and clear on the matter. I don’t know where you get your information, but Huckabee Sanders is hardly respectful of the WH press corp. In fact, she is belligerent, arrogant and a blatant, serial liar. Moreover, a few of the Red Hen’s waitstaff are gay. With the Trump Administration’s bigoted stance on Transgenders in the military and sanctioned homophobia in the marketplace, 86ing SHS was a delightful repast of comeuppance served perfectly cold. The only “Leftist” here with a kneejerk response seems to be the author.

    1. I’m assuming you would say Bill Clinton and Obama’s press secretaries (before Obama did a 180 on gay marriage) should have suffered the same treatement wherever they went, as they were also serial liars (every White House Press Secretary is) who went to restaurants with gay workers while their President refused to support gay marriage.

    2. I don’t know where you get your information, but Huckabee Sanders is hardly respectful of the WH press corp.

      Good, she shouldn’t go out of her way to be respectful of the press, and they shouldn’t go out of their way to be respectful of her. I want an antagonistic relationship between the press and the government, no matter which party is in power.

      1. I can’t quite agree with this. The press shouldn’t be overly friendly with government, but government absolutely should not be waging war against the free press. Both extremes are bad here.

  6. I am more terrified by once again reading about the US predilection of suggesting spitting in the food (or worse). Really!?

  7. I think Sanders herself made the best out of this. Said that it says something about the person who asked her to leave. So it is all her problem not Sanders.

    If you really feel this way as an owner – put a sign up stating who you will serve or who you will not. Otherwise you are just a petty person and kind of a coward. She has to ask her workers and then do whatever they say? So she also has a problem with being the boss as well. It sounds just like Jim Crow to me, I am sure Virginia remembers this.

    1. The sign is an excellent idea. The default expectation is that a business is open to anyone. I support the right of business owners to associate, or not, with whom they will, but it would be nice to see those choices explicitly stated. That gives other potential patrons the option to vote with their wallets, both for and against.

    2. “She has to ask her workers and then do whatever they say? So she also has a problem with being the boss as well.”

      Are you suggesting the boss should be totally arbitrary and never consult her workers? Because that doesn’t sound like a good boss to me, especially not in a labour-intensive absentee-boss situation like this. She relies on her workers to project an image to the public. They’re the ones on the front line.

      I find it commendable that she consulted her workers. She doesn’t have to do what they recommend, of course. But her decision would surely go down better with them if she does consult first.


  8. I confess to mixed feelings on this one.

    On the one hand, I reserve a trace of the reverence of a secular sacrament to going out to eat, and have an inherent antipathy toward anyone being denied service at any establishment of public accommodation for any reason.

    On the other, SHS has expressly endorsed the view that bakers can stick signs in their windows refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings, so tough titty for her.

    1. … so tough titty for her.

      I doubt anyone has much sympathy for her as a person, but one can deplore the effect such an act has on society as a whole.

      1. “one can deplore the effect such an act has on society as a whole.”

        What effect on society as a whole do you foresee?

        1. Even more tribalism, even more division into two sides that won’t even talk to each other (and won’t even serve each other in a restaurant), and Trump winning a second term.

    2. “On the other, SHS has expressly endorsed the view that bakers can stick signs in their windows refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings, so tough titty for her.”

      Perhaps we should be better than her. Although we may get a secret or not so secret joy in her getting a taste of her own medicine, such actions as kicking her out of the restaurant can only further divide the nation. We need to pick carefully our fights against Trump and his minions. This is one battle we should not have started.

    3. I don’t think that flies. Even if she said, I absolutely think putting the sign in the window is what the baker should do, it does not justify some other business refusing service. First of all, Sanders is just lying or making stuff up for her boss. She is not saying I will put the sign in the window.

      If the policy on the cake thing is wrong it is also wrong here. So, with or without religion it is wrong.

  9. A business serving the public should not be discriminating against anyone based on their identity. Ms Sanders has civil rights, no matter how loathesome her boss is.

    If this trend continues, we could have segregated restaurants for Progrssives, Republicans, Libertarians etc.

      1. If that’s the case, whose job is it to decide which evil beliefs and actions justify denial of being served in public restaurants? Should Ms Sanders be denied other opportunities? Does she deserve to vote, serve on a jury, use public transportation, rent an apartment, shop in stores,etc.

        What guidelines should be used to determine who is evil enough to be shunned? From what activities should evil people be prohibited?

        1. In this instance, the restaurant owner decided that she did not want to serve Sanders. Personally, I think you’re in the business of serving people, you have to serve all of them (Unless they aren’t wearing shoes or shirts. You know, standards.)

          But 9 people who serve on the US Supreme Court disagree with me. They said, hey, you don’t want to serve someone because you don’t respect what they think or who they are, that’s fine by us. So now we’re all allowed to be a little less decent to each other. The law says so.

          One of the biggest damn mouthpieces for policy that permits discriminatory behavior is Mike Huckabee, and his criminally god-bothered and stupid daughter, Sarah. This hypocrite is just fine when gays are being denied service–not so all right with it when it’s being applied to her.

          1. I’m not sure that the Supreme Court decision is relevant. It was narrow in scope and is not likely to prevent gay people from eating in restaurants.
            Kicking someone out of a restaurant because you think she’s a bad evil person is not rational. It’s emotional and vengeful. I think the Huckabees are deplorable but if I owned a restaurant, I would direct the staff to serve them unless they were rude or intimidating.

            1. Rational?

              There really are no circumstances where I can imagine serving Idi Amin, Hitler, Stalin or Ceasescu if I have the choice.

              Or Trump. I’m not serving him either.

              You can serve anyone you want.

            2. Why does it matter what you would do? This person did what she thought was right (and she didn’t “kick her out”) and said she would do it again. And she doesn’t represent the “Left” or anyone else, this was a narrow decision, like the Supreme Court’s, that she made for her personal satisfaction. Big deal.

      2. So I guess TV interviewers who host programs you don’t approve of are fair game too? Or elected politicians of the other party to the one you favour?

        This could quickly get out of hand.

    1. I have more confidence in, and less cynicism toward, my fellow American voters than to think they will cast their ballots for a clearly incompetent and viciously malignant sonuvabitch merely because someone was impolite to one of his minions.

      1. You seem to be overlooking that half of your fellow American votes *did* vote for a clearly incompetent and viciously malignant sonuvabitch.

        The only people who will approve of this act will be those who would never vote Trump anyhow. Floating voters who maybe did vote Trump last time and might next time, the ones the Dems need to appeal to, will not view this favourably.

        1. Anyone who’s more offended by Sarah Huckabee Sanders being denied service at The Red Hen than by kids being torn from their parents at the border — which means 55% of Republicans, but pretty much no one else — is simply beyond persuasion. Those deplorables must be outvoted.

          Let’s not forget that 11 million more Americans voted against Trump in 2016 than voted for him. His “victory” was the biggest fluke in this nation’s electoral history. All Putin’s horses and all Putin’s men won’t be able to put that Humpty Dumpty back together again.

          1. When children were separated from their parents during Obama’s term…crickets from you, crickets from CNN, crickets from Peter Fonda. Trump does it (which is the law enacted under Clinton, IINM), the Left’s collective heads explode. Show a picture of children in cages (taken in 2014) and the Left goes berserk about how Trumpies are Nazis.

            1. Bullshit. Plenty of us on the Left were willing to criticize Obama (or Clinton or any other Democrat). The Right, on the other hand, simply falls in line behind Trump, who has a 90% approval rating among Republicans. And Obama never adopted a policy of intentional cruelty as means of deterring people from seeking refuge in the US, the way AG Sessions and Trump have announced they’re doing.

              Have you listened to the vile rhetoric Trump spews on this issue, how he claims his opposition wants to “infest” the nation with alien invaders? His alt-right, white nationalist base — which now has control of the Republican Party — thrills to the sight of the dusky hordes being made to suffer through separation from their children on our borders.

              If you’re not disgusted by this, man, you’ve lost touch with your humanity.

              1. Not a peep about this during Obama’s time. It was reported on (not picked up by the MSM), but no one cared.

                I saw the outrage about Roseanne’s tweets from the Left, she lost her show. Where is the mass condemnation of Fonda? Why is his new movie still coming out after the horrible things he tweeted? Double standards all around.

              2. It’s just the usual confabulated whataboutery. There were plenty of stories about it during Obama’s time, as Ken said. I remember reading them myself, and I remember Obama being criticised by the left for his inaction on American immigration. But even pointing out your vaporous nonsense is an engagement too far. You’ve done your usual ‘but Obama’ diversionary tactic(while ignoring every one of Ken’s points about Trump) and I bothered to reply, and it was silly of me. You’re not an honest conversationalist and these back and forths always turn out to be completely pointless.

              3. Peter Fonda? That’s all you got, Peter-freakin’-Fonda? About whom nobody’s thought in 40 years (excepting for his one brief, shining turn as a beekeeper in Ulee’s Gold).

                I haven’t heard anyone on the Left defend him, and I certainly haven’t done so. But, as vile as was his tweet (and it was vile, indeed), at least Peter Fonda was trying to make an underlying point — about how maybe Trump might feel different regarding kids being ripped from their parents if it were his own child (though, given that Trump displays the hallmarks of a sociopath incapable of experiencing empathy for anyone else, probably not).

                What was Roseanne Barr’s underlying point in calling Valerie Jarrett an ape?

        2. I think you are correct. I cannot see how this incident will result in a net increase of anti-Trump voters. In politics, the number of votes you have is all that counts.

  10. There comes a point when people have to ask themselves if just following orders is a moral or ethical defense. Are you willing to sacrifice career or facilitate cruelty.

    Kirstjen Nielsen and Sarah Huckabee Sanders are well past that inflection point. Their decisions have consequences, and the rest of us get to decide how we chose to respond.

  11. I see nothing here for progressives — among whom I count myself — to be proud of. This was deplorable, let alone detrimental to the cause of reasonable opposition.

    1. Quite. It plays into the trope that left wing people are all emotionally driven authoritarian elites out to get the honest worker.

      At least that’s the way I’d spin it if I was Sarah Huckabee Sanders or her party. It doesn’t have to be true to be effective.

  12. RE: “Her sole crime is working for Trump.” With respect, PCCE, I beg to differ. Ms. Sanders’ principal crime is volunteering to serve as the propagandist-in-chief for a corrupt and evil enterprise. I do not share the “leftists glee,” and the state-of-affairs that led to this incident makes me sad. However, as the owner/leader of the business, I would not want to compel my employees to cook for or serve Ms. Sanders. I view this situation no differently than I would one involving other odious and infamous persons — Joseph Goebbels being one example. This is not a legal issue, it is a point of morality and principle.

    1. She wasn’t refused because she works for Trump or because of her personal beliefs, she was refused because she stands at the podium and lies and lies and lies and supports fascists actions. Lie down with a pig and you stink too bad to eat in public.

      Poor Suckabee. Guess she’ll have to do like her revered boss and eat cheeseburgers in her bed.

    2. I do have to agree that it is a mischaracterization to say that Sara Sanders “sole crime is working for Trump.”

      Sanders isn’t Trump’s janitor or some other job that has nothing to do with his sexism, racism or his authoritarian despotism. She is his professional spokesperson, the **active** enabler of his lies and despicable actions as they happen.

      That is more than sufficient reason for people to shun Sanders. She is the Baghdad Bob to Trump’s war mongering, only she’s there 100% voluntarily. The same might not have been true for Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf under Saddam Hussein’s regime.

      If Sanders’ active support of Trump’s despotism is sufficient reason to violate our usual decorum and bounce her from a restaurant remains in question. But doing so certainly wasn’t merely because she “works for Trump”.

    3. The baker in the recent gay wedding cake case considered his position “a point of morality and principle” as well. While I disagree with his views, I don’t see the difference in the type of justification supporting them.

      Do you also support the rights of the baker? Would you support a restaurant owner who asked Bernie Sanders to leave?

  13. I have owned and operated a small business for 35 years. I have several employees, some of whom also deal with the public and customers including professional customer service.
    My private business is not a government institution public meeting place or a college campus. I reserve the right to curtail the speech rights of customers in my business.
    The welfare of my employees is my primary responsibility. I am also responsible to other customers who may be made to feel uncomfortable.
    In similar circumstances I would have done the same. Bigots are not protected classes and I would not want my business associated with the bigotry and white nationalism that exudes from the Huckabee family. What is the business owner supposed to do when a bunch of neo nazi’s walk into your business?

    I once laid off an employee that came back from vacation with a very short hair cut and a swastika the size of a grapefruit on the back of her neck. The ACLU told me to protect her rights, my lawyer told me that I and my other employees and customers also had rights. I’m pretty much an old white guy but it was deeply offensive to me and I did not want by business associated with it. As it turned out, I did not get sued, and I think I did the right thing.

    If you consider yourself part of “the resistance,” when called upon, that means resisting.

    I’m sure their business will increase as locals understand that the owner took a stand and patrons can be guaranteed a bigotry free environment.

    1. I would not want my business associated with the bigotry and white nationalism that exudes from the Huckabee family.

      It’s rather a stretch to say that being a customer associates the business with that person.

      What is the business owner supposed to do when a bunch of neo nazi’s walk into your business?

      Serve them? Unless their conduct at that moment is objectionable.

      1. In Huckabee’s case, it’s not at all a stretch. I would not want my restaurant to be associated with her or her family.

        Same thing with open neo-nazi’s. You mean make my employees serve them even if it makes them uncomfortable?
        Sorry, no shirt, no shoes, open display of nazi symbols – no service.

        1. You mean make my employees serve them even if it makes them uncomfortable?

          Yes. Employees in a customer-serving role should take pride in serving all customers.

          Sorry, no shirt, no shoes, open display of nazi symbols – no service.

          Sure, open display of Nazi symbols is grounds for declining service. Merely *being* a neo-Nazi is not.

        2. I don’t think anybody is claiming that Huckabee was openly displaying Nazi symbols.

          The actions taken by the restaurant owner were unprofessional, petty snd childish.

    2. I think you are confusing issues here. You said you reserve the right to curtail the speech rights of customers in my store. Well, maybe you do, good luck with that. But that has nothing to do with this Sanders case. You also have the right to let the employee go. That is no doubt. But again, has nothing to do with this Sanders case.

    3. Most members of the Trump cult hate liberals as much as the latter hate Trump. What would the reaction of liberals be if a Trump supporter and restaurant owner asked Nancy Pelosi to leave the establishment? Liberals would be outraged and not quiet about saying so. Business owners denying prominent people of the opposite political persuasion the right to frequent the establishment is not a road we want to go down, whether such action is legal or not. Further dividing the nation is not good policy or politics. As liberals, we will be living with Trumpites for the immediate future. Our goal should be to persuade the persuadable and politically marginalize the rest. The actions of the restaurant owner will only reinforce the victim complex of the Trump cult, which only makes it more dangerous.

      You may think denying Sanders service is an action of resistance, and maybe it is. But it is also a very poor political tactic, likely resulting in many negative ramifications for those who choose other means to resist Trump.

      1. Well, I am not a restaurant owner and I have the right to choose may clients. There are people whose politics can make a productive relationship impossible and I choose to avoid those clients.

        Here’s a list of restaurants Sarah can go to
        Pizza Gate Hut

        Chili’s – “I want my baby back baby back baby back, no my actual baby back.”

        Whites Only Castle

        Ben and Gerrymandering’s

        Wendy’s Kids Gonna Be Reunited?

        Traitor Joe’s

        The Russian Tearoom, of course

        Irrational House of Propaganda

        Drama Queen

        Birther King, Home of the Whopper 😆 😆 😆

        The No One With Olive Skin Garden

        Red Mobster

        Woolworths Lunch Counter
        Selma, Alabama
        Circa 1963


        1. The Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in was Greensboro, NC, 1960, but I otherwise get a kick outta the names.

          1. You don’t chhose to be black, but you do choose to be a Trumpite. Enough of this fals equivalency.

          2. You don’t chhose to be black, but you do choose to be a Trumpite. Enough of this fals equivalency.

              1. I don’t think that’s quite what I was trying to say. I really think that publicly shaming a person who has allied oneself with a cause that appears objectively evil is not on the same level as shaming one whose politics differ from mine. I understand the difficulty here: Who am I to decide what is evil? Well, how far do we let this proceed before we can agree that evil really is being done? When we’re digging mass graves? And I think that it’s just a little too easy to dismiss some of our legitimate concerns as TDS. Again, there is so much talk here of political expediency, and so much disdain for genuine virtue (at least to my eye) that I myself despair sometimes for MY political compadres on this site.

              2. I have to confess that I’m becoming a little uncomfortable with some of my own comments here. “Public shamimg?” That really should not be in my repertoire. I’m becoming verklempt I fear from vileness overload. Still, the Republicans really should be ashamed.

    4. It must feel good not to be one of those bigots that are not protected. Keep up the good work.

  14. Under common law which is what our laws is based on it was illegal for a restaurant or inn to refuse service to anyone. The commom law still applies in the United States. It is not always enforced, but it should be.

  15. Under common law which is what our laws is based on it was illegal for a restaurant or inn to refuse service to anyone. The commom law still applies in the United States. It is not always enforced, but it should be.

  16. Under common law which is what our laws is based on it was illegal for a restaurant or inn to refuse service to anyone. The commom law still applies in the United States. It is not always enforced, but it should be.

  17. I have to agree with the restaurant owner here. Since Trump, Sanders and everyone else in this administration do not treat anyone else with respect, they do not deserve to get any respect in return.

    Being the nice-guy doesn’t work at all with these low life criminals and they should be dealt with accordingly.

      1. Well, how well has it worked treating them with respect? I find that as ludicrous as the bible verse “…turn the other cheek…” which shows one as a willing victim.

        1. The problem here is – this refusing to serve her and the family at a public eating place is very petty. It provides just the excuse and fuel for their followers. It does nothing to reach your objectives.

      1. Yes, the article even pointed out how serving her is offensive to some of her employees by the things she said about their class type (LGBT or whatever). I’m sorry, but she says things against classes of people. She has the right to say them, but others don’t have to accept what she says.

        1. Nobody wanted them to accept anything she said. They behaved like bullies, refusing food to a customer because of disagreement with her views. I hope I never happen to live near people like them.

    1. Since Trump, Sanders and everyone else in this administration do not treat anyone else with respect, they do not deserve to get any respect in return.

      So you allow Trump’s conduct and standards to determine your own?

      1. What fool would agree to a fist fight where the fool is required to have hands tied behind the back while the opponent can whale away. I don’t intend to be cannon fodder.

  18. If you are allowed not to serve people who you disagree with, then you should have the right not to decorate their cakes.

    This is incoherent, pick and choose thinking.

    Which is why I now call my self a centrist. Which both sides hates. Which makes me glad.

  19. Neither political beliefs, political party nor being a professional enabler of a dangerous lying bigot are protected classes.

    I don’t want to see a tit for tat escalation where business all try to one up each other by barring people over divisive politics. But OTH, Sarah Sanders deserves legal, real world repercussions for the real world harm she actively supports every day. So I’m not quite sure what to conclude about this incident.

    1. I see a number of comments referring to “protected classes.” In California, political beliefs are protected by anti-discrimination law. When discussing ethics, ephemeral legalities are rarely useful.

      The bottom line, for me, is “Which way is the gun pointed?” If the government were to tell the restaurant owner that she must serve the press secretary, that is using force to achieve one group’s goals. The same, of course, is true when the government tells a baker he must make a cake for a same sex wedding. While I might share more political and religious views with the restaurant owner than the baker, I am equally uncomfortable with using force against either of them. Freedom of association includes the freedom not to associate.

      Before responding with the usual “What if it were the only baker in town?” arguments, please ask yourself “Is this something I’m willing to deprive another person of their liberty or life to enforce?” Whenever you say “There ought to be a law….” that is exactly what you’re saying.

      1. Do you have a citation for the California law that makes political affiliation a protected class? (Are you saying Democrats can sue over being excluded from the Young Republicans club?)

        So you’re saying you’d prefer a century of Jim Crow over the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requiring that places of public accommodation serve persons of all races?

        1. According to the ACLU, only the District of Columbia, Seattle and the Virgin Islands specifically protect people from being refused service because of their political affiliation or ideology.

  20. This is what happens when tribalism has turned out society into an uncivil melee, compounded by the shaming effect of social media. I am profoundly disappointed in those readers who don’t realize that the Right sees us the same way, and will now feel enabled to do this to us. And so it will go forever.

    If this tribalism in America doesn’t stop, we’ll never progress politically. Both sides need to work together, when that is possible, but if we demonize the other side to this extent, then the country will forever be divided.

    You don’t like identity politics that demonize the Other? Well, those of you applauding the booting of Sanders are doing it, too. And this on a website that tries to hold itself to higher standards of civility.

    1. “This is what happens when tribalism has turned out society into an uncivil melee, compounded by the shaming effect of social media”

      The tribalism is already here, and Trump was stoking it last week with his rally to all vilify immigrants as murderers.

      The question for me, on a purely practical level, is can we really afford to cede the growing tribalism to the right, and let them wield this powerful, dangerous tool exclusively? I do sense a danger in picking up that hammer. But is the danger even greater if we let Trump roll over us because we are afraid to be un-civil to people who are un-civil to us?

      I don’t know the answer. But I do know that what we are doing now does not seem to be stopping Trump. He’s been holding Nazi-adjacent campaign rallies since he was elected. He’s continuing to vilify immigrants and our alies. His othering continues unabated.

      So, to me, the question is can we afford to treat the people who are actively supporting this clear path to racist authoritarianism with politeness where we are not legally obligated to do so?

      Which is the greater danger? Trump? Or not being polite to Sarah Sanders?

      I don’t actually know. And I’m taking your thoughts on this under advisement because I respect your history of taking the hard, **consistently** principled path.

      1. Seriously, how many bannings like this do you think it will take before we bring down the Trump regime? 75? 125? I’m sorry, but this kind of incivility accomplishes NOTHING except divide America further and make people feel good about their Left-wing feelings. If you really think that being impolite to, or hating or deplatforming or vilifying Republicans is going to bring them down, I think you’d better ponder that again.

        Why do people think that this kind of incivility is politically effective?

        1. Yes, bringing down Trump requires a dispassionate and effective political strategy. Although I despise Trump, I do not allow my emotions to play a role in trying to defeat him and his minions in the context of the rules of our current political system. In my estimation, the actions of the restaurant owner will do nothing to secure more anti-Trump voters, but will likely harden the views of the Trump cult and possible win over more converts to it.

          During the last 20 years or so, liberals have shown themselves to be poor politicians. Liberals who applaud the restaurant owner’s action reflect this judgment. In politics you must think with your head, not your heart!

          1. As long as you insist on playing by the rules when the other side is clearly not paying any attention to those rules, you will continue to lose.

            1. If you’re going to use a consequentialist argument, i.e. that it’s okay to fight dirty so ling as it gets results, then Step 0 should be actually demonstrating those results. As Jerry points out below this didn’t actually accomplish a thing toward the actual goal of thwarting Trump. Not all forms of fighting dirty are effective and this was little more than a tantrum.

            2. “As long as you insist on playing by the rules …”

              I think you are thinking of the wrong set of rules. What Democrats need to do, when they are in a position to do it, is stop the machinery of government vis any Republican goals. Remember the ever-changing bullshit reasons for not letting Obama appoint an SC justice? Start making up those kind of rules, and playing by them. That represents offensive (as opposed to defensive) use of power.

              Acting like an asshole in a restaurant does not.

        2. I think the reason is that it works for the right. Not necessarily the individual ban per se, but the rallying cry, the people closing ranks to support the business owner, etc. If there is one thing the right does better than the left, it is close ranks and march in lock step. And outrage, manufactured or not, only makes that easier for them.

          As a liberal, I want people to be be able to think differently. I don’t want group think. But that leaves us ridiculously vulnerable to an enemy who is united by it.

          This isn’t new. It’s human psychology. Ruling through emotional appeal as Trump is doing is ancient. It’s even a theme in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in the dueling speeches to the crowd by Brutus and Mark Antony.

          How do we fight an enemy who has the highest approval rating among his party in history? How do we fight a untied front while eschewing all of their tactics?

          We don’t want to become Nazis to fight Nazis. But we do have to do something different than what we are doing now. And I don’t know what that is.

      2. If you really believe this then why not take Sanders kids. Just like Trump separates all the kids down on the border. More effective than kicking them out of the eating facility.
        This idea is nonsense and accomplishes nothing.

        Instead how about what Senator Flake is saying. He is in a position to block all of Trump’s judicial nominations until he comes around on some other policies, such as tariffs, or immigration.

        1. “If you really believe this then why not take Sanders kids. Just like Trump separates all the kids down on the border.”

          Now *that’s* a sensible suggestion. Why not? See what she says about the policy then.
          (One could return her kids when, say, all the separated kids are reunited with their parents).

          One could suggest the same about Trump’s kids but chances are he wouldn’t even notice.

          Seriously, every time Sanders appears on our TV, defending the indefensible and lying and distorting the facts beyond recognition, my loathing for her increases. And the thought of smacking her in the face with reality is irresistibly tempting.


    2. I could get behind a bright-line rule against ever refusing anyone service in a business of public accommodation. And civility (like longevity) has its place — but so, too, does public opprobrium.

      Lyndon no doubt thought it uncivil for protesters to gather outside the White House gates chanting “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” and the Civil Service thought it impolite to say “Hell no, we won’t go” or “Fuck the Draft.”

  21. “I am ashamed of my political compadres here.”

    I don’t think they are your political compadres any more.

    I think it was Reagan who once said “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party; the Democratic Party left me!”

  22. How about a restaurant that serves democrats only, or republicans only. No fat people, no people with red hair. No left handers. No one from Alabama. No one from New York.

    How long before we start shooting at each other.

    This nonsense has to stop.

  23. Anyone see Sarah’s dad’s tweet about Pelosi’s camapaign managers? Both sides sure like to jack up the other. Best to ignore it I suppose.

  24. I think the owner asked Huckabee to leave out of concern for her employees and concern over the visit creating a negative rather than a positive result for the business. I don’t think she asked her to leave because she wanted to make a political statement.

    The incident is not so much an indication of “tribalism” as it is a measure of the extreme nature of the Trump admin’s policies. This took place as Sarah used Jesus to condone and even promote the caging of immigrant children. Speech has become action.

    Open racism and bigotry are not “politics” but the antithesis of politics.
    At some point, constant defense of speech rights in the context of blatant human rights abuse along with unprecedented mendacity and corruption only serves to carry water for abusers.

      1. Are you a Russian troll carrying water for Trump? You sound like one.

        In our country there are any number of restaurant Sarah could go to that actually cater to the extreme right. No one denied her food.

        1. All right, Dale Pickard. You apologize to mayamarkov or leave. We do not accuse other readers of being “Russian trolls carrying water for Trump.”

          Apologize now for the Roolz violation, or go elsewhere. (And read the Roolz.)

        2. Dale,
          I am not a Russian, I am a Bulgarian. Our language is fairly similar to Russian, therefore my name may sound like a Russian one but it isn’t. So I can at best be a Bulgarian troll. About Trump – I support him on some issues and oppose him on others. He and his minions often look to me nasty and crazy. His opponents often look to me as trying to surpass his minions.

    1. … the owner asked Huckabee to leave out of concern for her employees …

      Oh come on, the idea that the employees are in any way harmed by having to serve someone they disagree with politically is ludicrous.

      What amazes me is that the American Left, having lost disasterously through presenting itself badly, still has no idea how to appeal to the middle ground (or, worse, thinks that it can win by appealing only to the far left).

      Sheesh, the Dems lost to easily the least-qualified and worst presidential candidate in history. That really takes some doing! Please consider that, to have done that badly, you may just be doing something wrong!

      1. “Sheesh, the Dems lost to easily the least-qualified and worst presidential candidate in history.”

        Agreed. The Dems nominated a rank opportunist with no moral compass over a candidate with more integrity than most politicians in the last 50 years, while the Republicans nominated a rank opportunist with no moral compass over—ceiling cat help us!—Ted Cruz. So who are the greater fools here?

  25. In my country, refusal to sell customers food – even bread – has been repeatedly used as a weapon against political and religious opponents after 1944. I am disgusted by refusing food to anyone under any pretext, and I am shocked that so many approve this.

    1. Of course, in spite of what many here have said, Sanders was not “refused service” or kicked out. She was politely and privately, asked to leave, and if she had refused I doubt that she would have been bodily carried out.

    1. How many politicians are not professional liars? It’s part of the job description. Add in almost all salespeople and business executives and advertising people and pretty soon you run out of customers.

      I think virtue signalling on the job is unprofessional.

      1. Your assertion is both a lie and a false equivalence.
        So you made a false equivalence to lie.

        One man’s honest and moral behavior is another’s virtue signaling. I think lying to your customers and constituents is unprofessional. Strange how we differ that way.

  26. Jerry, it appears to me that you are “ashamed of (your) political compadres” so often now that perhaps it is time to disown them completely. Declare yourself an “Indepe dent” and move on with it. You certainly don’t fit with any of the current Leftists or even most Democrats.

      1. Jerry, I’m glad you’re standing by your beliefs as a non-authoritarian leftist. Attention naturally goes to the loud and outrageous, so it’s good to see you affirm the principals that make you a liberal. Whether one agrees or disagrees with you, you deserve respect for trying to remain consistent in your values and calling things as you see them, no matter where they’re coming from. You’re not alone in your beliefs; thank you for being articulate and vocal.

      2. I’ve always though of myself as a leftist as defined by others, even though I never liked the word as a label for those of us who favor such ideals as rationality, morality, equality, fairness, empathy, and altruism, because both left and right convey the notion of being “off the rails.”

        But you, Dr. Coyne, have brought my attention to a movement that really is off the rails, and you’re calling them the leftists.

        Well, that’s fine by me and I hope it catches on, because, although my ideology hasn’t changed, it relabels people like me as belonging to the level-headed middle.

    1. I’ve wondered the same thing. It’s interesting to see you push the wedge. Who do you work for gary?

    2. Oh, by all means, make common cause with a Rightwing that’s abandoned all conservative principle to follow Trump into the abyss of white nationalism.

      No one does more “virtue signaling” than the Rightwing. What do you think flag lapel pins and public prayer are all about?

    3. That is an interest thought but determining your own label by who agrees or not with you on all points might just be impossible. Personally, I never felt the need to join any tribe or group politically. I don’t think it possible. A good part of the liberal left that have parted with PCC is generational as much as philosophical. Until the larger structures change, the main thing is that they all vote democratic and work the rest out after. If they do not do that, they just grind on without power to do anything.

  27. The other thing that’s happening here is that the hateful policies of the Trump make public pariah’s out of his sycophants and followers. Trump destroys the reputation of anyone who gets near him. Anyone with any integrity is repelled. Those that are left are truly disgusting people.

  28. It seems the country is truly at war politically. When one side sees Trump and the current administration as the best in the history of the country and the other the worst, there isn’t much hope for civil discourse. I understand why some choose not to run again. It makes one want to just not talk about politics and pretend it doesn’t exist.

  29. I haven’t read through all comments so pardon me if I am repeating someone else.

    The restauranteur, who asked Sanders to leave, may have spared Sanders & her party from receiving subpar (or even spat upon) food.

    The people in the Trump administration are not just people on one political side. They regularly spew falsehoods, refuse to answer questions, & spew vileness.

    Imagine if Germans had made it uncomfortable for Nazis to engage in public, eat at restaurants, & attend movies. Maybe, just maybe if Trump officials realize how much people detest their actions, they’ll seek employment elsewhere. A embarrassing spotlight upon each of them as they’re in public is exactly what they deserve.

    1. I agree. We should nip this evil in the bud. And no more false equivalency. This administration has reached a level of repulsiveness that we can surely recognize as an objective evil, dangerous to us all. This is not about political rights anymore when these people are separating families. It’s like creationism, Professor Coyne, a person may have the right to believe it, but they can’t claim it as a fact. We are under no obligation to respect the vile philosophy of the Trumpsters anymore than we should respect creationism. Frankly, I don’t think it’s either good or bad tactics anymore to be polite to them. All polls seem to indicate that they are immovable. If people haven’t chosen sides by now they’re probably dead.

  30. It’s just the “basket of deplorables” all over again.

    No matter how deserved turning Sanders away was, those who do this kind of thing are little more than useful idiots. There is no bottom, but we’re headed there.

  31. Many of the comments to this post remind me how little most Americans understand how politics work. To effectuate change you need to win elections and to win elections you need to get more votes than the other candidate, which doesn’t require you to be “Mr. Nice Guy.” This obvious point seems to have escaped many people. Conservatives have realized this much better than liberals. The only question that needs to be asked about this incident is whether it will net your side more voters than the other. Elections “ain’t beanbag” and it requires a cold, emotionless analysis of how best to win them. If you don’t do this, you will have the opportunity to whine and cry as your candidate goes down to defeat as you wonder how stupid the people are who voted for the other guy.

    So, did this incident net more or less anti-Trump voters? I think the answer is less. It will not win over fence sitters or Trump voters because both groups will think Sanders was treated unfairly. Likewise, Trump made a major political blunder by separating children from their parents at the border. In your heart you may applaud the restaurant owner. In your mind you should think, “oh no, another political blunder.”

    1. Exactly. The self-indulgent Left seem to have no conception of how their acts and attitudes are perceived by the middle ground.

        1. Perhaps we should change the term “middle ground” to “undecided.” A recent poll shows that about one-fifth of voters are undecided between Trump and a generic Democrat. So, while you may think every voter has made his/her mind up about Trump that is clearly not the case. So good politics says you need to win them to your side. Until Trump decides to dissolve elections, the rules of the “old” politics are still applicable. The action of the restaurant owner is not good politics.


          1. I do wish that I could share your optimism about the future of our republic sir. Just on the face of it though, if 20% of our electorate can look at the obvious, undisguised repulsiveness of Donald Trump compared to some generic Democrat, and remain “undecided,” then I submit that they are really just closet “deplorables” and too ashamed to admit it. I use the term deplorable with purpose here. If reason doesn’t work, hopefully at some point before the Republicans become so vile they destroy the republic altogether, perhaps they might be shamed back into humanity.

    2. The old politics are past. Elections are not free of influence by bad actors but more importantly the Republican party is no more – Trumpism is a cult and Trump followers are cult members. No one can expect to change the mind they have so clearly lost.

      1. In that case you are doomed to a second term of Trump.

        In order to boot him out you need to persuade more people to vote for somebody else but you are telling them that they are stupid and evil and they’ve lost their minds.

        From here it looks like you’ve given up the political fight and all you’ve got left is name calling and throwing them out of your restaurants.

        1. Yes, indeed. That view is defeatism characterized by incessant whining. Unless you’ve given up on democracy, politics is the only way to change things. Unfortunately, liberals have relatively not been very good at it. The fall election will tell us if they’ve learned anything from their mistakes.

          1. Also, while persuading Trumpites to change their views and votes will be largely ineffective, politics can bring to your side the undecideds and the non-voters. Politics is the means to get these people to the polls and to vote for your candidates. Cheering the restaurant owner will not help to accomplish this. It will hurt this goal.

  32. “It seems the lefties are working very hard to equal their enemy.” Yes indeed. Use of the term “the resistance”, implying that Trump’s government is analogous to the Nazi conquest of France, is itself a slightly ridiculous illustration of Trump Derangement Syndrome. In fact, some posters, presenting classic TDS symptoms, invent terms like “Nazi-adjacent” to throw at Trump and his minions, verbally associate some of them with Goebbels, etc. etc. We can soon expect to see cartoons of Betsy DeVos with a little Hitler mustache.

    As our host and several posters point out, acting out TDS symptoms is very helpful to the Republicans. But pop-Left help for the GOP is an old story, as those old enough to remember 2000, if not 1948, will be aware.
    One could almost wonder whether the GOP pays for acting-out on the pop-Left.

    So far, I would add, the Democrats in Congress have behaved like grownups. Let’s hope that TDS behaviors do not infect the Democratic Party, or else we might be looking forward to a 2nd Trump term.

    1. Yes, that’s what the Nazi apologists said. You’re making false equivalence based on lies. Typically those who buy into Trump’s lies, bigotry and corruption are those who make noise about “Trump derangement syndrome”.
      Suffering a little cognitive dissonance are we?

  33. The restaurant can do what they want. As can bakers baking cakes for whomever they want.

    Sanders and Trump fall into the category of: what would I do if they were my neighbor. The way they both act is generally abrasive and rude, shallow and deceitful. It’s my neighbor, so I am not going to do anything unfriendly to them, it will just be ‘that neighbor’ I never really talk to.

    Neighbors like Trump and Sanders are just not worth the time, but if I had an open patio barbecue neighborhood party I not going to uninvited them, though I doubt they would want to come to my atheist abode.

  34. I do audio and video production. If I were asked by Answers in Genesis or a white supremacy group to help them get their message out I would not agree to do it, not for any amount of money. I would be hesitant to work for any political party at all.

    But a restaurant is a different kind of business. You’re providing a generic service that doesn’t specifically promote an idea that you might not agree with.

    On the third hand, being a spokesperson is a choice. It’s not the same as race or gender. In the same sense that you have freedom of speech but not freedom from the consequences of that speech, there are social consequences for selling your integrity. By the same token there may be consequences for the restaurant for not selling their integrity. Still, the blame ultimately goes to those who generated the social divisions in the first place, namely the power elite.

    1. On yet another hand, I don’t think it is blame we are looking for. There is no blame to Sanders for going to the restaurant to eat and there is no blame to the restaurant asking her to leave. It is simply wrong.

  35. Comes a time with any form of authoritarianism that they decide that no only are you unfit to eat in a restaurant, you are not fit to raise your children and the authoritarian regime does if for you.

      1. So you’ve seen the light that the baker shouldn’t be able to turn away the gay couple seeking a wedding cake?

    1. Who’s running the country again? Who controls the house and the senate? I could’ve sworn it was the Republicans, and I could’ve sworn that a recrudescent far-right was gaining traction everywhere in the western world.

      I disagree with this woman’s actions, I think it was morally counterproductive, but to suggest this kind of stuff is more threatening to the foundations of a democratic society than the populist right who control every arm of government and have been elected into various governments in eastern Europe and elsewhere is hallucinatory bullshit.

        1. I was replying to the OP, who suggested that this sort of incident precipitates the emergence of authoritarian regimes that forcibly steal people’s children from them and raise them as their own.

      1. Where did I say or even imply this is worse than what the authoritarian right want? Nowhere. Both sides are awful.

        How a movement starts is never how a movement ends. The sales pitch is never what you actually end up with.

        1. But that’s precisely the point. You’re trying to draw an equivalence between this woman’s actions and the actions of people like her on the right and in government. There just isn’t an equivalence there to be drawn.

        2. Children have been torn from their parents on our southern border. Sarah Huckabee Sanders missed a chicken dinner. It would be perverse to contend that those two things are in the least way equivalent.

  36. On almost every other lawn in my town (Portland, OR) you can see the sign, “IN OUR AMERICA, LOVE WINS.” If this is an example of love winning, I’m about ready to renounce my citizenship.

  37. Democracy is government by talking about it. This stuff makes talking harder. Those supporting the restaurant owner seem to want less talk, more screaming at clouds. You may feel this will win you ground, but I assure you it will not.
    Jerry is completely right here.

  38. The current govt. administration has a tin ear or feigns what looks like wilful ignorance. How does one go about shocking them to listen? This latest debacle of an immigration policy (separating children from their parents who largely fall into the category of refugees) has crossed the line and is tantamount to state-sponsored child abuse.

    I have trouble condoning recent actions such as heckling Nielsen at that restaurant and now barring Sanders. However, I noticed that the very next day after the Nielsen public shaming, Drumpf walked back his policy. There are some things that punch through the sound barrier around him.

    Now there are *still* around 2300 children still incarcerated apart from their parents. What is the answer to get this govt. to see reason, and make those children a top priority? They should have been reunited with their parents, post-haste! Still the govt. remains wilfully blind, deaf and dumb. I can understand some people getting so frustrated and feeling helpless and thus deciding to, if necessary, err on the side of the better welfare of the most vulnerable. This is not too far off from good-intentioned people resorting to civil disobedience in the face of abject ignorance. Whoever has some alternatives ought to spell these out, more loudly and clearly, as polite letter writing and vocal objections from even the best and brightest aren’t working.

    1. “Whoever has some alternatives ought to spell these out, more loudly and clearly, as polite letter writing and vocal objections from even the best and brightest aren’t working.”

      Talk to your neighbors. If they seem anti-Trump and do not vote, try to persuade them why it is critical that they do so. You will probably find many of these folks. This includes voting for Democrats on the state and local level as well as the national. A good political organization at the local level is the key to electoral success.

      1. We can’t vote in your country, as we’re Canadians, else we’d do what you suggested. We just want you good folks to know that you have our sympathy and concern, and there are extra sets of eyes observing and taking note.

        Meanwhile the children still in internment centres must sit and quake in fear and trepidation.

  39. You’re right, of course. But I admit to chuckling gleefully at this, nonetheless. (Too bad, though, that it was Sanders that got this; she reports things, not decides them.)

  40. >> Her sole crime is working for Trump.

    Her crime is lying to the America people over and over and over. This is serious stuff, given her podium.

    She deserves a lot more than public scorn for this, but that’s all we have. She needs to get some feeling for the damage she’s doing.

  41. Many of the most bilious replies to Jerry Coyne’s sensible, equanimous post are written by repeaters. The Democratic Party has moved away from me, too. Leftist radicals don’t remember what happened when the rightwing radicals of McCarthy’s heyday promoted such fear that professors removed prints of Picasso paintings from the walls of their homes, when ordinary people were afraid to speak about their liberal views. I hope and trust that we will have a different president anon, if everybody just calms down and listens to reason instead of hysteria. In the meantime, I don’t see any strong leaders emerging from my party. I don’t think that my party in congress have behaved like grownups. Instead they and their media proxies have spewed propaganda, most recently about the immigration issue, propaganda as vile as that of Republicans, ignoring and denying the actions on the border of our own party’s presidents. The consequence of Hillary Clinton’s contempt for her opponents was the election of the worst candidate in my long life. Her “basket of deplorables” was as disastrous for her as Mitt Romney’s remarks were for him when he said that forty-seven percent of Americans are dependent on the government and added that he didn’t worry about them. As Aristotle advised, moderation serves us well.

    1. “Many of the most bilious replies to Jerry Coyne’s sensible, equanimous post are written by repeaters.”

      What are repeaters?

    2. My wake-up call was when the authoritarian left went full blown nuts over a Richard Dawkins tweet about having a pot of honey taken away at the airport. Thousands of tweets by nobody’s who collectively will never sell as many books as any book he has ever written will sell in the first edition. Tiny tiny people who now control the left.

      As someone said, I did not leave the left, the left went over a cliff and I chose not to follow.

  42. You don’t refuse service to someone because they lie, because they’d once committed a crime, or because you don’t like them or their views . Not in the United States. Not in a free country. You don’t do that.If you do, freedom dies.

  43. Agreed. I’ve been Left for 40 years but I am very uncomfortable with where all of this is going. Moving toward Democrats-only and Republicans-only restaurants does not seem like moving forward to me.

    1. A single incident of a woman who can’t abide Huckabee’s lies and slanders, so she asks her to leave her establishment, and all of a sudden we’re moving toward “Democrats-only and Republicans-only restaurants?” That seems a bit of an overreaction.

      1. No, that is the where not overreaction. That is a real tesponse to the act and to those that defend the act which violates everything the United States stands for.

        1. I thought Trump and Sanders violated everything the United States stands for. (Or at least, everything it was once popularly believed it stood for).


    2. As long as the Fat Cats of K Street are doling out the corporate dosh, no one need worry that there will be Republican- and Democrat-only restaurants.

  44. Since she’s a systematic lier, the owner should have served her a burger when she ordered a steak. Since she lies so systematically, the owner would have argued he could only think she was lying when ordering her steak. 😁
    That being said: no. They should not have thrown her out, it is going very low, to her own type of level.

    1. I like that burger spoof. Wilkinson could always insist the burger was actually a steak.
      “Many, many, people told me it was a steak. The staff say it’s a stake. I’ve heard this many times. It could be true, and I actually think it is. If you disagree you’ve been listening to fake news.”

  45. It seems to me people are frustrated with Trumpism and Sanders is one of the most visible symbols of his disastrous presidency. So, what IS an appropriate response? How do you resist? What can a restaurant owner do that could make a difference? If you only have one vote and that doesn’t seem protest enough? I’m very sympathetic with Wilkinson, but I doubt I would have done what she did.

    1. How about vote for the not-Trump candidate? Donate all of the money Sarah spent at the restaurant to the not-Trump candidate. Pound on doors come election. Donate time and money on the next campaign for the not-Trump candidate.

      Democracy, it really does work.

  46. Well, I’ll disagree with almost everybody here on this one and side with the restaurant owner. Some people are so loathsome I wouldn’t want them on my premises. ‘The customer is always right’ is BS.

    “[Sanders] sole crime is working for Trump.” Well, yes, and look how she does it. “Just following orders” was discredited as a defence at Nuremberg, IIRC.

    (I also tend to disagree with the general opinion here about the wedding-cake shop, or at least I’m on the fence about that one).

    I guess I’m temperamentally unsuited to be in business.


    1. I agree with the cake maker. That is artistic. Hotels and restaurants to me come under a different category and have an obligation to serve everyone based on Common law. In those days refusing someone service was a very serious matter to a traveler.

      1. United States common law did not require that places of public accommodation serve all comers. That’s why the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had to be enacted to end Jim Crow.

            1. C.C.E.D. Pa. 1910. The case is cited in a article in th the Marquette Law Review. 1968.
              Also I did not notice that auto correct changed the spelling. Nelson v Boldt is correct style of the case.

              1. Nelson v. Boldt, which is trial rather than appellate court decision (and, thus, of precedential value nowhere but in the district in which it was decided) stands for the proposition that an inn-keeper may decline to accept business from anyone the innkeeper deems “undesirable” (in that case, a former prizefighter with a record for disorderly conduct).

                Accordingly, it would support the decision of the proprietor of The Red Hen to exclude Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as it would the decision of white shopkeepers to exclude black customers during the Jim Crow era. It does not establish a general common-law right to demand service from an unwilling proprietor.

      2. “I agree with the cake maker.”

        Well, if you liked the Colorado case, you’ll love today’s Supreme Court action, as they vacated the Washington Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Arlene’s Flowers, Inc. v. Washington, which held that a florist’s religiously-motivated refusal to sell arranged flowers for a same-sex wedding violates the Washington Law Against Discrimination. The SC granted certiorari, vacated the judgment, and remanded the case to the Washington Supreme Court in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n.

        1. And why, for that matter, is cooking someone a meal in a restaurant any less an “artistic endeavor” than baking a cake (or preparing a floral arrangement)?

          1. Exactly right. In fact, it could be expanded to just about anything. With this decision, the bricklayer who laid bricks for my patio in an artistic pattern can refuse to do the same for a gay family. Of course, in America, refusal must be premised on religion. Religious bigotry outweighs simple, individual bigotry.

            1. If religious scruples exempt butchers and bakers and candlestick-makers from civil-rights laws, I have a hard time seeing a principled basis on which those same scruples wouldn’t exempt Mormons from the laws proscribing bigamy.

  47. Someone I used to work with was in a similar situation and came up with a solution that enabled the staff to get their moment of payback without giving their target the chance to feel (or act) aggrieved. She was working as waiting staff at Wimbledon one year, serving cream teas, and Margaret Thatcher walked in and sat down with a group. Thatch was the only one of the group to order tea (rather than a cold drink), so the staff knew the tea would only be drunk by her. They got together in the kitchen and stood in a circle round the teapot, and one by one solemnly spat in it.

    I lived through every moment of the 80s under Thatcher, and all I can say is: Brilliant.

  48. I kind of agree with Wayne George’s sentiment, I suppose? It feels unfair for businesses to be allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation, but not on anything else. Contrary to him, however, I don’t think retaliation is fine.

  49. Legal, yes: based on what I’ve learned about protected classes.

    Wise? I am not sure, just as I am never sure with boycotts. Sometimes they work, sometimes not.

  50. When are we going to get over this notion of having to take the high road all the time? When has that worked out for us? Avoiding name-calling might be good policy for a traditional debate, but out in the streets, during a presidency like this, these shit-bags need to be called out for what they are. Telling lies on the daily in support of a dysfunctional presidency has ramifications, in this case it’s being tossed out of a restaurant. This is different from the “cakes for gays” issue because sexual orientation isn’t a choice. Political affiliation is a choice, and so is choosing to stand in front of the country and lie every day. (Note I’m using the word “choice” colloquially, determinism aside.)

    1. I don’t get whether the “cakes for gays” argument is used in support or opposition to this restaurant incident. The Supreme Court has stated that you don’t have to sell cakes to gays, and today expanded that to include flowers – you don’t have to sell flowers to gays. This is the law of the land. I say we expand it to include public liars – you don’t have to feed them.

  51. There are too many comments to read, so U apologize if this is a repeated idea, but my one thought is: are all employees of the Red Hen of one mind? Would the owner discriminate against an otherwise qualified candidate for server or line cook if that person were conservative? I think that a business owner should be able to serve or not serve customers, because public opinion will make or break their business. But if you discriminate against your customers, how do you avoid discriminating against your employees? Do you treat them differently, give different raises, exclude them from group “should we kick her out” decisions? There is a case to be made for civility, and for making sure your virtue signals aren’t breaking the law in another area.

  52. In fact, by kicking her out, I suspect Wilkinson violated the law.

    That’s doubtful. I think there’s only three or four states that list political ideology as an ‘illegal’ reason for denying people service, and Virginia isn’t one of them.

    Personally I think the US would be much better off with strong nondiscriminatory public accommodation laws. Serve everyone. Gays. Blacks. Nazis. Appointees in an administration you disagree with. But I suspect that (a) our current conservative Supreme Court doesn’t agree with me and would happily allow discrimination, and (b) would only change their mind and support antidiscrimination public accommodation laws if they felt that allowing discrimination would end up hurting white wealthy Christian conservatives.

    So while businesses refusing Sanders or Nielsen are doing something I wish were illegal, if them doing it causes SCOTUS to make it illegal, then at least something good will have come of out it.

  53. @ #58
    “I think there’s only three or four states that list political ideology as an ‘illegal’ reason for denying people service, and Virginia isn’t one of them.”

    Only the District of Columbia, Seattle and the Virgin Islands specifically protect people from being refused service because of their political affiliation or ideology. So, no states.

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