Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh attempted to dine at a steakhouse in downtown Morton, D.C. Wednesday night, but Politico reported that the meal was interrupted by a crowd of protesters against the Roe v. Wade coup. They showed up in front of the restaurant and called the manager to fire Kavanaugh. ShutDownDC المجموعة group chirp That the judge snuck off his back with his security chance, allegedly before he even got to the candy.
A representative of the restaurant chain told Politico’s Danielle Lippmann that Kavanaugh and other patrons were “unjustifiably harassed by unruly protesters… Politics, regardless of your side or your opinions, should not trample the freedom to play in the right to congregate and dine. There is a time and a place for everything. Disturbing all our customers’ dinners was an act of selfishness and immorality.”
This confrontation between a government official enjoying a meal is among the first to make headlines since Trump and his cadre of Cabinet secretaries and White House staff left their posts. It is also an indication that this form of political protest is not going away any time soon.
Restaurants used to be reliable safe havens for the formal Washington types. They were firmly bipartisan places where ideologies and the news of the day mattered little more than the wine that came with dinner. That all changed in the Trump era, when the administration’s controversial policies and blunt rhetoric turned restaurant eateries into another political battleground.
A watershed moment was the 2018 protest by then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen at an MXDC Mexican restaurant. Nielsen had just defended the children’s separation from their parents at the border when she was seen eating dinner. The news spread quickly to activists with the Democratic Socialists of Metro DC in America, who extended an invitation on social media for their members and followers to meet at the restaurant. The group walked to Nielsen’s table chanting “Shame! Shame! Shame!” and “If children don’t eat in peace, you won’t eat in peace!”
“This administration is taking it to a whole new level where we need to break the rules of etiquette,” said Amanda Werner, who was among the protesters. Washington in time. “People are more willing to reconsider the old social structures of respect and politeness and realize that there are more important things at stake.”
Only social norms continued to be broken: a mother with her child confronted then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt at Teaism, urging him to resign. Protesters shouted at Senator Ted Cruz at the expensive Italian company Viola for his support of Kavanaugh’s assertion before the Supreme Court. Congressman Maxine Waters called on the public to “push back” members of the Trump cabinet who confronted them, and tact and “courtesy” dominated the national debate. (It wasn’t just public places like restaurants; protesters began to appear more regularly in the private homes of officials.)
Activists weren’t the only ones boycotting dinner. Many restaurants are starting to become more political, too. Perhaps most famously, Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, asked then-press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family to leave her establishment, prompting Trump himself to attack the restaurant’s cleanliness on Twitter.
The vast majority of metropolitan area restaurants are still trying to stay out of political strife, but they are no longer sacred neutral temples. When the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson, a wide variety of restaurants and bars offered promotions and hosted events to raise money for and access to abortion rights. Last week, a The tweet went viral To offer US$1,000 to any restaurant server in the capital who was serving a plate of raw eggs to the “forced birth man” who ordered chicken. And after Kavanaugh’s protest in Morton, ShutDownDC chirp That Venmo DC service industry workers would get $50 for a sure-view of any right-leaning Supreme Court justice and $200 if justice still exists 30 minutes later.
‘Decent’ or not, the boundaries of time and space are no longer the same.
This story has been updated with additional information from ShutDownDC.