Berkeley protesters just fell into the most obvious trap imaginable. Again

An attention-thirsty bigot came to speak at UC Berkeley last night (I refuse to say his name), at the request of the College Republicans . He couldn’t have asked for a better evening. What was originally billed as a peaceful protest quickly turned violent.

Melissa Batchelor Warnke, writing in the LA Times, gets it:

The alt-right and conservative media will slice and dice this footage to show the moral depravity of progressives. Conservative politicians will use this to ends progressives would never endorse; they will make innocent people suffer while citing these acts of extraordinary naiveté. It is the most obvious trap imaginable, and we fell into it. Again.

These are miserable times, and we should be resisting the erosion of democratic norms at every turn. But what happened at Berkeley wasn’t heroic or principled; it was disorganized, and pathetic. Fighting incivility with incivility inspires no one. It makes progressives look stupid, and it makes the people the protesters purport to represent less safe.