So this happened:

President-elect Donald Trump accused the “Hamilton” cast Saturday of harassing Vice president-elect Mike Pence at a performance Friday evening after the actors called on Pence to “uphold our American values.”

“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen!” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

I do not feel bad for Mike Pence.

The reasons I don’t feel bad for Pence is that he signed on with Trump and has some particularly bad views. I, like a lot of unclean folks, recognize that I have some “particularly bad views” as well and so there is a tendency to see ourselves in him even if we don’t like Trump. That being said, he signed on with Trump, so oh well.

Above comments refer to the booing. I think there’s a time/place argument where there’s a difference between booing at a show and booing at a rally, but it’s kind of murky. I thought the cast speech at the end was fine.

Notwithstanding the fineness of the cast speech, and my ambivalence on the booing, I believe that Donald Trump won the exchange for at least five reasons: (1) To the uncommitted, the hecklers do not come across as the good guys, (2) he wins any time the totalitarian card is pulled out on something people don’t care about, (3) Pence is not himself nationally unpopular, and (4) More important stories are being missed. Oh, and (5) increased tribal solidarity among Trump’s supporters and wobblers.

The only upshot I see is tribal solidarity among his opponents, which I don’t think was previously lacking. Maybe they helped get some of Pence’s past and/or present views on gay rights out there, though not in a way I think is especially helpful.

That being said, this is not a game-changer and is not huge. It’s indicative of potential problems, but right now it’s like a thirty yard kickoff return called back on a penalty. Not off to a good start, but life goes on.

Category: Newsroom

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24 Responses to An Incident Involving Hamilton and a Vice President

  1. Jaybird says:

    We don’t have the necessary intellectual and emotional callouses that we’d need to see “Pence booed at Hamilton” and not immediately have a strong opinion one way or the other.

    In the same way that everybody was helpless against “clickbait” titles back in 2009 (“but I have to know what I never would have guessed!”) but now they don’t even see “one weird trick!” links anymore, we’re going to get callouses to the “here are some endorphins!” stories that Trump/Pence/Bannon will be generating over the next few years.

    But, dang, the meantime is going to be rough.

  2. ScarletNumber says:

    I do not feel bad for Mike Pence.

    No one else in this debacle showed any class, especially you.


  3. Michael Drew says:

    For some odd reason I see this particular tweet as reflecting particularly poorly on Trump. It could just be unevenness in exactly how/why my standards are rising given his new stature.

    I don’t disagree with your assessment of the winning and losing. Though I don’t think it’s about tactical wins and losses for the Hamilton set (the actual NYC one – cast and the audience pool – or tribal eft-liberal in general) yet. It’s still pretty much all self-expression still = very little strategy or tactics. Shock remains the dominant emotion.

    • trumwill says:

      Reflects poorly with you in particular or the public at large?

      For me, this is a confirmation of impressions baked in. (I don’t think, for example, that this was a genius ploy as some do… though there may be some good instincts involved.) I am coming around to the view that with the public at large, it’s not that they don’t see what I see, but they attach a different (or lesser) importance to it. So he’s stable, but his critics are trying to tie a friggin’ tweet to fascism and looking pretty silly doing so.

      And Pence came out of it looking decently good.

  4. ScarletNumber says:

    Jason Kuznicki has no guts.

    • trumwill says:

      That’s him getting off the fence. Don’t know what guts has to do with it.

      • ScarletNumber says:

        I choose to be a Democrat because people have repeatedly congratulated me about Trumpism, and because Trumpism is essentially the opposite of what I stand for.

        Because if he had guts he would have stayed a Republican and told people that he didn’t personally support the president-elect.

        If HRC had won, that’s what I would have done (except stay a Democrat).

        • trumwill says:

          Ahh, so you’re concerned with his leaving the Republican Party (which he did a few months ago). Meh. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. It makes sense to go with the party that shares more of your aims (relatively speaking), which in the Trump years is going to mean the Democrats for Jason (and myself and others of our ilk). Dad stuck it out with the Democrats through the Clinton years. Not sure if that was worth it or not, though eventually the party did come back to him.

      • ScarletNumber says:

        If you are a Democrat, and if you are reading this in disgust: I own every bad name you call me.

        Since I’m a Democrat, he owns me saying he so no guts. So there.

  5. kirk says:

    Not the worst night at a theater for a Republican.


  6. ScarletNumber says:

    Not the first confrontation between Hamilton and a VP.

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