Conservatives and Trump apologists are trying to spin the chaotic bedlam outside the California GOP Convention yesterday. A large group of anti-Trump activists converged on the SF Bay Area suburb of Burlingame. This presented quite an unconventional and uncomfortable scene for the controversial candidate.
Protesters -- some of whom wore bandanas over their faces and carried Mexican flags -- blocked off the road in front of the Hyatt Regency here, forcing the GOP front-runner's motorcade to pull over along a concrete median outside the hotel's back entrance. Trump and his entourage got out and walked into the building.
At one point before Trump arrived, about two dozen protesters tried to rush barriers near the hotel. Police officers then rushed to the building's doors, successfully blocking the protesters from getting in. Some of the doors' handles were handcuffed from the inside so they couldn't be forced open.
After Trump arrived, protesters took down a barrier and flooded the entrance outside the hotel, where police again blocked them from entering. They chanted, "Get him out."
Thankfully, it was Joy Ann Reid's turn in the weekend rotation to host MSNBC's The Place For Politics. Conservative Las Vegas radio host, Heidi Harris, who has said that 'Women think with their hearts' and therefore vote Democratic, was on the panel representing the GOP. Harris defended Trump's 'woman card' comments about Hillary Clinton, and tried to blame the opposition for paying all the anti-Trump activists in Burlingame Friday.
HARRIS: And going back to your comments about the protesters, there are people out there who are professional protesters, who have admitted they've answered things like ads on Craig's List for protesters, a lot of them are there being paid, now there are those who really care about the issue. But it's true, that there... a lot of people financing them to be out there and protest but, God Bless America, they got the right to do it if they don't like the candidate.
REID: It's interesting, Heidi, that's an interesting comment given the fact that the entire Tea Party movement was based on very well-financed protests with professionally printed signs, pretending to be 'grass roots.'
BOOM! Take that, Heidi. It was refreshing that Joy Ann Reid was able to counter Harris' insinuation that the Republicans haven't been paying people to pretend to be authentic protesters. It can't be repeated enough that the Tea Party was absolutely a Koch-funded, Fox News promoted, astro-turf group who bused in protesters to highly orchestrated events after President Obama was inaugurated. Furthermore, the so-called Tea Party "movement" just one example of a long history of Republican ratf*cking.
Any well-attended protest must have some organizational structure to it. But the anger against Trump's racism and xenophobia among large constituencies of Americans is what is bringing people to the streets. People protest Trump events because they are enraged by Trump's White supremacist message, not because Craigslist told them to.