News & Politics

Trump Calls Red Hen Restaurant 'Dirty'

President Donald Trump speaks at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss., Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Trump has the naysayers all riled up again with an early morning tweet attacking the restaurant that told Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave because it had “certain standards” to uphold.

Trump’s tweet:

The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!

Sanders also tweeted criticism of the restaurant, but she did it from her @PressSec account. The former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics said it was a violation of federal ethics law to name a private business for personal retaliation.

The same can’t be said of the Trump tweet because he used his private platform and not the official White House Twitter account. Still, was Trump wrong to tweet about the “dirty” Red Hen restaurant?

Some might think such behavior is below the station of the president whether he used a private account or not. But what’s new when it comes to Trump criticizing his critics?

While refined public discourse is a virtue we want and need in a civil society, that ship has sailed, giving way to the irrational, obnoxious, troll-infested mobspeak that parades as “national conversation” these days. Trump didn’t incite this incivility; he jumped into it, head first. That’s not such a terrible thing, at least on occasion.

If the president could truly set the tone of public discourse and rally citizens to rational discussion, I’d be all for keeping derision in the basement at all times. But that’s a pipe dream today. Sometimes the only way to fight fire is, well, with fire. Idiocy with mockery. Hate with scorn. Foolishness with sarcasm.

It’s not the first time presidents have been critical of private businesses and the press. Theodore Roosevelt famously called business leaders criminals and swindlers. Barack Obama attacked Staples, Hobby Lobby, and Wall Street bankers. Jack Kennedy quoted his father that “all business men are sons of bitches” when referring to steel executives.

Trump’s use of Twitter, however, has made his comments immediate and common. Considering his opponents are using the same media, it’s reasonable that he should use it to answer the hourly onslaught of filth flung in his direction.

When a restaurant refuses to serve the White House press secretary, it deserves to be mocked, not only by the president, but by anyone else who believes she was severely wronged.

This strategy is working. As the Right pushes back against the Left, using their tactics against them, the Left is becoming more exposed for who they really are — crazed Marxists who want to transform America into an ideological nightmare.

Before those of us who prefer more principled dialogue get up in arms about Trump’s comments or fall to our fainting couches, we need to seriously consider the environment in which we live. One of the problems Republicans have had in the past has been ignoring the barrage of outlandish attacks by the Left. Their reticence allowed false labels to stick.