As a few of my colleagues have already noted, many of the fans at last night's World Series game in Washington -- a third consecutive Nationals loss -- booed President Donald Trump when he was shown on the jumbotron. Some also chanted "lock him up," a play on the refrain about Hillary Clinton that has reverberated at countless Trump rallies. In case you missed it, here's how it sounded at the ballpark:
This response has touched off a flurry of commentary, with quite a few Trump haters reveling in the crowd's hostile reception, and a number of Trump supporters tut-tutting about how disrespectful it was -- especially in the immediate aftermath of the successful Baghdadi mission. Still others, including frequent critics of the president, furrowed their brows about the unseemliness of the spectacle:
JUST NOW: Dem Sen @ChrisCoons not happy with the "Lock him up " chants at World Series last night.— John Berman (@JohnBerman) October 28, 2019
"Frankly think the office of the president deserves respect, even when the actions of our president at times don't. "@NewDay pic.twitter.com/OJwZfv9Vp8
Joe does have a point on this, however:
Anyone who delivered scolding lectures, or even hyperventilated, over the illiberalism of Trump supporters' "lock her up" chants should be outspokenly offended by this, right? Because norms, institutions, etc. Except we already know that Trump's hardcore partisan opponents don't care one whit about those things; they merely simulate concern about such matters as a means of pummeling Trump, then hypocritically cheering norm and institution erosion when it advances their agenda or makes them feel good. As far as the booing and heckling goes, my overall reaction to this little passing tempest is as follows: Meh. Sports fans, with relatively rare exceptions, boo politicians. It's what they do:
This isn't hard, guys, people boo at baseball games. Barack Obama booed: https://t.co/c8xbEwgsJI W booed: https://t.co/JEksrUksv0 Bill Clinton booed: https://t.co/Yt15XxjST7 George HW Bush booed: https://t.co/mJ8Qw2rOAK— Karol Markowicz (@karol) October 28, 2019
I'm not thrilled that the crowd lustily booed Trump, nor am I especially bothered by it. Also, the game was held in a stadium filled with lawyers, lobbyists, activists, bureaucrats and journalists residing in Washington, DC -- ground zero of the 'swamp,' and one of the most left-wing jurisdictions in America. Trump won four percent of DC residents' votes back in 2016. Four years prior, sensible, moderate, reasonable Mitt Romney won...seven percent of the vote. The place is almost comically Democratic. Trump obviously knew that a well-heeled group of Washington liberals would not give him a warm reception, grinning and clapping as the boos rained down. So far, he's demonstrated elusive restraint by just letting it go. That could always change, of course.
Parting thought: If Trump had attended an Astros home game in Houston, what would the cheer-to-boo ratio have been? I'd guess more cheers than boos, as Texas is far more conservative than DC, and Texans tend to be pretty polite. But the Lone Star State could be a battleground next year, as Trump's numbers there are noticeably softer than other Republicans', a stream of whom are retiring.