Rick Snyder is the victim of "a social media campaign that declared him unfit to appear on any public stage."
That's Nolan Finley's perspective on the ex-governor's aborted Harvard University teaching fellowship, a one-year Kennedy School of Government appointment that he withdrew from last week after a critical backlash. The Detroit News' editorial page editor presents his take in a column headlined "Rick Snyder becomes the mob's latest victim:"
Snyder didn't poison the children of Flint, as his detractors claim. . . .
Snyder's offense was bungling the response [to tainted drinking water]. He acted too late and with too little urgency. He seemed not to grasp the seriousness of the situation until it was blowing up his administration.
Fault him for that. But also recognize that he learned a lesson from the experience, one that would be worth sharing with the future government leaders studying at Harvard.
He won't get that chance.
Protests on Twittrer, tagged #NoSnyderFellowship, were "hardly a massive backlash against Snyder," Finley writes.
But on social media, a smattering of posts can look like a groundswell. . . .
And so the mob's thirst for blood is quenched, for now.
But with each victory of demagoguery over reason, it will become bolder, and less tolerant, and more difficult to sate.