Excerpt from column by Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner, including the important rules of protesting, or “Protesting 101”:

Imagine a new, smallish, terrorist attack perpetrated by a Muslim. And imagine if, around the country, people began pouring pigs’ blood on sidewalks in front of mosques.

Or imagine if someone who happened to be homosexual murdered a widely-admired actor, and then in San Francisco and New York people began publicly shredding rainbow flags in protest.

In both instances, the political Left and its media enablers justly would be apoplectic at the protesters, and would probably call for the Justice Department to charge them with hate crimes.

Not that the pigs’ blood or the burned gay-pride flag actually hurt anybody physically. But the feelings of the Muslims or homosexuals would be so wounded, according to the Left, that the blood-spatterers and flag-shredders should be not just criticized but punished.

The Left would be half-right. Those forms of protest would be both mis-aimed and utterly insulting, and thus justifiably subject to bitter criticism – but not punishment. Noxious expressions in this country, unless they deliberately incite violence, are protected.

But legal protections do not insulate the protesters from criticism, nor do they make the criticism illegitimate.

Yet let the noxious expressions be aimed at the American flag or national anthem, and suddenly the Left is utterly unconcerned that the expressions enrage most Americans. Instead, the Left is full of sympathy for the protesters and disdain for those who criticize the form of their protest. Suddenly it is the “right” to protest that the Left cares about, but not whether the means or target of the protests is rightful, respectful, or appropriate…. [The bit about the rules of Protesting 101 is in the rest of the column.]

And for a straight-news summary of one aspect of the situation last week:

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) The NFL-protest controversy is playing out politically in unpredictable ways, with at least one embattled Democrat and at least one embattled Republican taking stances popular with their “base” voters rather than trying to straddle any sort of middle line.

Bruce Rauner, the Republican governor of otherwise heavily Democratic Illinois, blasted the players in no uncertain terms – even though he also is a part-owner of an NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers….

[later in the story]…. In a sort of mirror-image display, Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, facing a tough re-election campaign next year in Republican-heavy Indiana, worried less about offending moderate patriots than he did about his own liberal party activists. Before hedging his bets a little, he harshly criticized the president for instigating the controversy….