If our only hope for justice and righteousness depends on harassing Supreme Court justices out of their overpriced steak dinners, then the end appears near for this New World democracy thing we’ve been trying.
Despite surging COVID-19 cases, endless mass shootings and Donald Trump seeking the final Jan. 6 horcrux, Fox Newsies continue to shriek in horror over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s famous interruptus last week.
A small, impromptu protest formed outside Morton’s SteakHouse in Washington DC last Wednesday when word leaked out on social media that Kavanaugh was having dinner inside, according to Politico and other news media.
Politico reported Kavanaugh never heard nor saw the protest and left out a side door to avoid a scuffle after he finished dinner.
Morton’s poured gasoline on the smoldering red meat by issuing a statement that, “Honorable Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh and all of our other patrons at the restaurant were unduly harassed by unruly protesters while eating dinner at our Morton’s restaurant,” officials said in their statement, the corporate restaurant is owned by Landry’s. “Politics, regardless of your side or views, should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner.”
They went on to scold the stunt as being an “act of selfishness and void of decency.”
The incident immediately became fodder for late-night comedy and punditry, making hay with the ripe irony of defending the dinner rights of a man who had just taken part in a move that pushed American women back into second-rate-citizen status.
Moliere could not have created a richer device to expose the hypocrisy and iniquity of a man who lied his way to the top. It’s irresistible to hope that his $8 Bud tasted as bitter as his sworn testimony about the settled law and precedence of Roe vs Wade.
That Kavanaugh was outed at some boojie chain that gets $75 for a steak a la carte and serves it up with a pedestrian California red blend at $26 for a short pour, it’s easy to see why the cynics and comics are seriously sorry not sorry Kavanaugh had to leave before he had his pudding cake.
However, as much snarky fun and relief the Kavanaugh conniption provided, dogging, stalking, outing and doxing is nothing less than extortion.
Aurora has had a bad taste of this stuff, not unlike so many people in other places.
For years, rabid anti-abortion protesters have targeted the Aurora homes of physicians and other health-care workers connected to abortion clinics. Anti-abortion sympathizers smugly shrugged and clucked their tongues, adding that if you don’t want to be a victim of such antics, don’t provide abortions.
The intent of protests like that is clear: frighten people in their homes or jobs to make them quit or change course. It’s blackmail.
In 2019, more than 100 protesters marched past the home and through the neighborhood of a man in charge of a GEO ICE immigrant detention center in Aurora.
Protesters yelled, “No ICE. No KKK. No fascist USA.”
The stunt terrified neighbors, many of whom did not feel like the home-protest drew them to the cause of activists.
One of the man’s neighbors, Kayla Iaquinta, 17, told The Sentinel then that she was friends with the detention center chief’s daughters, scared by the protest.
“They did nothing wrong, and this is making it worse for the community,” she said of the protest.
About a year later, activists protesting the Aurora City Council’s stance on police reform, in the shadow of the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of Aurora police and rescuers, took it to a lawmaker’s home.
A group calling themselves Community E marched and demonstrated in front of the home of Councilmember Francoise Bergan in 2020, demanding her support for police and immigration detention reforms.
Bergan courageously walked to the end of her driveway and engaged with them, explaining her stance behind votes on the city council. The group said it would continue a policy of “home protests” for political adversaries. After widespread push-back, it never really materialized.
Often, these terroristic tactics are less in your face but reach for the same idea: harass or blackmail someone into changing their mind, their job or their behavior.
I’ve had everything from signs left on my car saying, “I know what car you drive,” to letters taped to the door of my house, to explicit, raging voicemails detailing how I should die because of my opinion on gun control. (Warning: The voicemail recording is exceedingly foul and vulgar).
Not only is it deeply wrong to clearly extort anyone, for any reason, but especially under the auspices of “free speech.”
And it changes nothing.
Kavanaugh has a lifetime ticket to the Supreme Court to continue wreaking havoc on American democracy and the rights of those he disdains.
Ruining his ribeye won’t change a damn thing. Neither will regularly reminding me that bad things happen to “big-nose” guys who continue to “cause trouble.”
All the home protests and ruined restaurant dinners in the world won’t restore critical rights stolen from American women.
Rather than offer tacit or full-throttled support for these extorty tactics, call them out and send the price of a sullied supper to an organization that runs ads for the candidate you agree with and against one you just can’t stand.
Push Congress and President Joe Biden into adding seats to the Supreme Court or imposing term limits or outright impeaching Kavanaugh for his corrupt and conniving schemes.
Protest all you want at their office, newsroom or government chambers.
Pressure Congress to throw out the banal and dangerous Senate filibuster rules that put the nation at grave risk by allowing minority Republic extremists to blackmail the entire nation. Elect lawmakers who will legislate the rights of women instead of ditch them.
But don’t do something as base as terrorizing people you loathe for good reason. It’s a stunt that changes nothing in all the wrong ways.