Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh dropped by Morton’s Steakhouse in downtown Washington, D.C., for dinner last week, but it didn’t turn out to be a pleasant evening: Kavanaugh was spotted, Leftist protesters appeared, and the justice had to leave through the back door. A Morton’s representative then issued a statement saying that politics shouldn’t intrude on one’s “right to eat dinner,” and for Leftist Twitter, it was off to the races. “The right to eat dinner”? Why, that isn’t in the Constitution, and therefore does not exist!
Politico was likewise cheered at the prospect of Leftist thugs forcing Kavanaugh to flee Morton’s, heading its notice of the incident “Happy Friday” and adding: “Thanks for reading Playbook. Drop us a line with your best constitutional argument for the right to eat dinner.” Politico then provided email addresses for three of its “journalists”: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, and Ryan Lizza.
The “constitutional argument for the right to eat dinner” business comes from Morton’s response to the incident, which began, Politico said, when “D.C. protesters targeting the conservative Supreme Court justices who signed onto the Dobbs decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion got a tip that Justice Brett Kavanaugh was dining at Morton’s downtown D.C. location. Protesters soon showed up out front, called the manager to tell him to kick Kavanaugh out and later tweeted that the justice was forced to exit through the rear of the restaurant.” Note the manipulative wording: Politico assumes that there is a “constitutional right to abortion” that was overturned, when there never actually was such a right, and the claim that there was never had any justification in the Constitution at all. This is how the Leftist media attempts to control the narrative.
Politico went farther than that, sneering at Kavanaugh despite the fact that he was the victim in the incident. If Sonia Sotomayor had been the Justice who was thus harassed, would Politico’s coverage have been different? Like night and day. But in this case, Politico continued, “Daniel Lippman looked into the incident for us and confirmed that account. While the court had no official comment on Kavanaugh’s behalf and a person familiar with the situation said he did not hear or see the protesters and ate a full meal but left before dessert, Morton’s was outraged about the incident.” And here is where the real fun began: “A rep for the chain steakhouse sent Lippman this statement: ‘Honorable Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh and all of our other patrons at the restaurant were unduly harassed by unruly protestors while eating dinner at our Morton’s restaurant. Politics, regardless of your side or views, should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner. There is a time and place for everything. Disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency.”
Was the Morton’s rep making a statement about constitutional rights? Of course not. He or she was making a statement about common decency, a virtue that is in alarmingly short supply among Leftists. But in using the word “right” in connection with Kavanaugh’s natural right to enjoy a meal in peace, Morton’s rep gave Leftist commentators what they thought was an opening. MSNBC’s Katie S. Phang tweeted: “‘The right to eat dinner.’ Sounds like a privacy right not identified or listed in the Constitution so therefore, it doesn’t exist.” Another Leftist “journalist,” Judd Legum, tweeted an implicit call for boycotts of restaurants that had the temerity to let conservatives eat: “.@Mortons is owned by billionaire @TilmanJFertitta Fertitta also owns @RainForest_Cafe, @McandSchmicks, @BubbaGumpCo, and numerous other chains.” If such boycotts materialize, that would be just fine with the fascists of ShutDownDC, who tweeted: “We hear Kavanaugh snuck out the back with his security detail. @mortons should be ashamed for welcoming a man who so clearly hates women.”
The reactions from Politico and the Leftist journalists, and numerous other Leftists on Twitter, show that the Left is embracing totalitarianism at a rapid clip, and that all too many Leftists are just fine with the idea that if you hold political opinions that they deem unacceptable, you should be harassed and hounded anywhere and everywhere, presumably until you’re simply too exhausted to continue to dissent from their agenda. “Inside every progressive,” ex-progressive David Horowitz has said, “is a totalitarian screaming to get out.” They’re out, they’re out.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 25 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.