Klavan On The Culture

What if Obama Did What Trump Does?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on Super Tuesday primary election night at the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sharyl Attkisson likes to play something she calls the Substitution Game. Attkisson is the investigative TV reporter who had to leave CBS News because they would not run her stories exposing scandals in the Obama administration. Attkisson, who was equally tough on the Geroge W. Bush administration, suggested that her bosses play the Substitution Game, like so: when Democrat malfeasance occurs, they should use their imaginations and substitute Democrats with Republicans in order to recover their sense of fair play. How would they report the IRS scandal, for instance, if it was Bush abusing the IRS instead of Obama? How would they report Benghazi if the lies were being told by Dick Cheney instead of Hillary?

So in the same vein, let me ask this: what would Trump supporters be saying right now if one of Barack Obama’s high level staff members had manhandled a female reporter (or any reporter) for asking an inconvenient question? That’s what Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reportedly did to Breitbart’s Michelle Fields at a rally Tuesday night. Sources told Lloyd Grove at the Daily Beast:

Fields was walking next to Trump, on his right, when she pointed her recording device at him and asked if he still disagrees, as he said last December, with late Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s attacks on affirmative action.

Before Trump could answer, Lewandowski grabbed Fields from behind, taking hold of her left forearm and “yanking her down toward the ground like a ragdoll.”

 Grove’s sources further report that Lewandowksi apologized to Breitbart’s Washington political editor Matthew Boyle and said to Boyle “that he and Fields had never met before and that he didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.”

Grove’s sources further report that Lewandowksi apologized to Breitbart’s Washington political editor, Matthew Boyle, and said to Boyle “that he and Fields had never met before and that he didn’t recognize her as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaking her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.”

So again, Substitution Game: How would Trump supporters react if Obama’s guy said he had roughed up a reporter because he thought the lady was with Fox News?

Now Lewandowski is saying he never did it at all. If Obama’s guy said that, after reportedly apologizing, would you believe him?

Look, Trump has repeatedly called for violence against hecklers — and violence against hecklers and protesters has followed. In the video above (around the 8:30 mark) Megyn Kelly shows a man sucker punching a black protester who is being escorted OUT of a Trump event. Afterward, the thug explains that the protester wasn’t “acting like an American,” and that “the next time we see him, we might have to kill him.” This is not an isolated incident, but one of a number of such outbursts, which Trump and his people have repeatedly excused.

Substitution Game: what would the Trumpians say if a black man devoted to Obama had cold-cocked a white protester at an Obama rally? Especially after Obama had instructed his followers to “knock the crap” out of anyone who might oppose him. Use your imagination.

In the above video, Kelly interviews David Wohl, a pro Trump attorney. Wohl says of the violence at Trump rallies: “People appreciate it and people love him [Trump] for it. That’s the reality.”

Oh, well, if that’s the reality…

Ben Shapiro — whom I’m increasingly proud to call a friend at a time when so many seem to have misplaced true north on their moral compasses — asks Wohl: “How repulsive are you people?”

Good question. If you’re a Trump supporter, try playing the Substitution Game, and you just might get the answer.

Editor’s note: Michelle Fields is a former employee of PJTV.