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Stretch, grab a late afternoon cup of caffeine and get caught up on the most important news of the day with our Coffee Break newsletter. These are the stories that will fill you in on the world that's spinning outside of your office window - at the moment that you get a chance to take a breath.
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The 'Resistance' Is Turning into a National Lynch Mob

Karl Marx once acidly quipped that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. But that’s not even right. When violent ideologies shred the fabric of common life, as is happening right now, there’s nothing funny about it. Not for those of us who have to live through such “interesting times.”

No doubt you’ve read the headlines. A Latin American-style socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has just effectively won a seat in the U.S. Congress, defeating a long-time Democratic Party boss. One of her close campaign associates is a Jew-baiting demagogue, who whipped up votes by denouncing “greedy Jewish landlords.”

The president’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, and her family were evicted from The Red Hen restaurant by an owner who disapproves of her politics. Then that owner led a mob to follow some of the Sanders family and harass them at the next place they went to eat. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tried to eat at a Mexican restaurant, only to face a mob of protestors inside the eatery screaming “Shame” amidst profanities and insults. Florida Attorney General (and frequent defender of President Trump on Fox News) Pam Bondi was identified, harassed, and spat on when she tried to watch the new Mr. Rogers movie.

These courageous radicals seem to enjoy picking on women. But let’s be fair. When there are enough of them, they are willing to go after men. Remember the cast of Hamilton taking the stage to humiliate Vice President Pence? A menacing mob gathered outside presidential speechwriter Stephen Miller’s apartment, just this week.

Or if they have the weapons: It was only a year ago that a Bernie Sanders volunteer tried a one-man military coup, attempting to murder the entire Republican leadership of our Congress.

In the midst of this unhinged, overheated environment, a member of Congress is pouring gasoline on the fire. Rep. Maxine Waters urged protestors to harass government officials and presidential staffers in every sphere of life.

Don’t forget that Rosie O’ Donnell called for a military coup to prevent Trump’s inauguration. Madonna spoke of “blowing up the White House.” Kathy Griffin posed like an ISIS terrorist, holding a wax version of the president’s bloodied head. One-time actor Peter Fonda opined that Trump’s young son Barron ought to be thrown in a cell and gang-raped.

To its credit, the Republican National Committee has taken notice of these scary trends. The montage it produced has already gone mega-viral:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/eFRHX6glTSM

We’ve seen this kind of rhetoric just once before since America was founded -- in the build-up to our Civil War. Southern leaders who dreaded the end of their “peculiar institution” outlawed abolitionist newspapers and books, defying the First Amendment. They drove out preachers and political activists with threats of violence. They even outlawed the practice of setting slaves free, as George Washington once had in his last will and testament. Pro-slavery radicals had long spoken of black people as part of a lesser species. By the 1850s, they started dehumanizing anti-slavery whites — and even all Yankees. Unwilling to simply hold onto their slaves and exploit them, slavery advocates insisted on expanding that practice to the Pacific and dreamed of creating a “slave empire” that annexed Cuba and Mexico.