Donald Trump has built so much of his campaign on trashing the George W. Bush years. But he's finally getting some love from former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, in his latest Washington Post column — and it's because of the violence that's broken out at his rallies.
Thiessen a longtime champion of waterboarding, now goes out of his way to defend Trump supporters against the charge that they are "some sort of racist mob spun up by Trump’s racially tinged rhetoric."
"Trump supporters are not targeting Mexicans walking down the street with violence," Thiessen writes — despite reports that exactly this sort of thing has been happening. He continues:
The clashes we have seen so far have almost exclusively been at Trump events.
Why is that? Because organized groups of left-wing agitators intentionally come to Trump rallies to provoke his supporters. According to the New York Times, the protesters “fling themselves to the ground, forcing law enforcement officers — often outmanned and overwhelmed — to drag them away. They also shout and curse, making obscene gestures.” They should not be surprised when they get a reaction. Walk into a blue-collar bar and start taunting people that way, and you are likely to leave without some of your teeth.
Thiessen concedes that Trump's egging on of the people in his crowds, including the promise to pay their legal fees, is "highly irresponsible" — but it's just so invigorating to see it: "His supporters see a man who stands up for himself and believe he won’t let the United States get pushed around either."
Yes, Trump’s call for a Muslim ban, his spewing of conspiracies theories about 9/11 and Iraq, his embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Middle East dictators, and his calls for protesters to be “roughed up” are all repulsive. But for many Americans, the left’s smash-mouth tactics are repulsive as well.
Trump understands this, which is why he is milking the protests to his advantage. He is using them to rally blue-collar America by saying we’re not going to take this anymore — we are not going to bow to the Alinskyite tactics of the radical left.
And the protesters are playing right into his hands.