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She was poised and graceful and presidential. After suffering a humiliating and unprecedented defeat, Hillary Clinton conceded the race to her opponent and did her best to calm the nation. “Donald Trump is going to be our president,” Clinton told her disappointed supporters Wednesday, “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”

But Harry Reid must not have been listening. The minority leader released a bitter and vicious statement Friday blasting the president-elect for “emboldening the forces of hate and bigotry in America.” Unlike Clinton, Reid’s doing little to calm anxiety or restore faith in Democracy.

After an unexpected Republican victory and during a moment of national uncertainty, Reid catalogued the worries of every minority from Latino to LGBTQ Americans. “I’ve felt their tears and I’ve felt their fears,” Reid wrote. But he only amplified them.

As he prepares to leave politics, Reid would have rioters forget that the president-elect isn’t a monarch. He doesn’t mention the fact that midterm elections are two years away, that there’s a chance to reverse course. There’s no alternative offered other than obstinate protest.

“We must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs,” Reid wrote instead, “at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate.”

Released the morning after protesters burned flags in New York and vandals smashed cars in Portland, Reid’s statement reads almost like an endorsement of disorder. Luckily, the top congressional Democrat isn’t the leading voice in his party.

Both Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Obama have expressed a willingness to work with Trump. Without sacrificing their credibility or endorsing his policies, the Democrats simply expressed their faith in the constitutional order. Clinton best captured that sentiment during her concession speech.

“Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power,” Clinton told her supporters. “It also enshrines other things: the rule of law, the principle that we are equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression.”

And she’s right. Though warped by Obama’s executive overreach, the planks of our constitutional system were designed to check demagogues. Those will bend but won’t break under President Trump.

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Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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