House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held an "emotional" press conference to caution the rest of us "about the language" we use. "We all have to take responsibility for our actions and our words" and "any incitement they may cause." Some people aren't as "balanced" as we may think, Pelosi pontificated.
It's hard to decide which is more repugnant, her acting ability or her double standard. Madam Speaker, perhaps you're the one who isn't "balanced." Consider:
Would a balanced person equate the Tea Party rallies and town hall meetings you've maligned with the "violence of the ‘70s" to which you referred?
- A video clip of the "White Night" rioting in San Francisco on May 21, 1979, should refresh your recollection. The violence "caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage to City Hall and the surrounding area as well as injuries to both police officers and rioters." Rioting began after a jury convicted Dan White of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder for killing San Francisco Mayor George Mascone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
- Do you see anything in the tape remotely similar to the taxpayer rallies and meetings, which are the objects of your contempt?
- You were Democratic Party chairwoman for Northern California living in San Francisco at the time. Did you admonish participants against inciting violence when they announced their planned protest?
- Did you speak out against the violence afterward?
- Did you blame the organizers who announced the protest for the violence?
- Are you actually implying that Dan White was incited to commit murder because of somebody's speech?
- Or, do you think that conservatives incited him to violence by force-feeding him "Twinkies"?
- Did you jet out of D.C., and miss seeing the enormous "Tea Party" rally in Washington on Sept. 12 attended by a vast throng of peaceful, liberty-loving Americans? It should have disabused you of your "fear" of these folks inciting violence. They didn't leave behind any trash, much less injured victims, burned buildings and police cars, and none was arrested.
- Was there a news black-out in Pacific Heights, or were you at your vineyard in Napa Valley? By the way, your vines are looking lush. Apparently, the EPA hasn't found any species endangered by watering your grapes. (It was a struggle, but I resisted calling them sour.) You must be the envy of the bankrupt farmers and unemployed farm workers in the Central Valley of California who are deprived of water because of the two-inch "delta smelt" bait fish. Those farmers are some voices you should stop ignoring.
- Where is your concern for inciting violence at "town meetings on health care" when you call patriotic Americans "Astroturf" carrying "swastikas"?
- Are your words responsible for inciting thugs from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to beat up a black man handing out flags at a town hall meeting in St. Louis? Is conservative not your favorite color?
- Here's a video clip of you Madam Speaker, a Catholic, telling workers at the San Francisco office of the "No on 8" campaign that they were "doing the Lord's work," which contradicts the Pope. It's probably another reason why, instead of a photo-op, you got a lecture from him when you visited the Vatican. Since you find it so easy to diss the Pope, slamming everyday Americans must be a no-brainer for you.
- Weren't you concerned that your words might incite violence when you told the workers that you didn't understand why people would put "such a hateful initiative on the ballot"?
- Are your words responsible for the threats of actual violence against churches and individuals who supported the ballot initiative?
- Are your words responsible for the Prop 8 opponents who spray-painted swastikas on a Catholic Church in San Francisco and committed additional acts of vandalism at other churches supporting Prop 8?
- Where is your concern about inciting violence against insurance companies when you call them "villains" and "immoral"?
- Where is your concern about inciting violence against the CIA when you accuse them of "misleading Congress all the time?" [at 42 seconds into the tape]
- Why would you praise the "brave and dedicated men and women" of the CIA who "perform an invaluable service to our country," if you think they lie to Congress all the time? You attacked them after you were briefed on water boarding. [at 1:09 into the tape]
- Why weren't you concerned about inciting violence against President George W. Bush when you expressed your outrage at him for commuting Scooter Libby's prison sentence? You condemned Libby even though he was never convicted of revealing the identity of a CIA operative.
- So, where is your concern about potential violence against CIA agents now that the ACLU's "John Adams" project is secretly photographing agents, and showing their photos to terrorist suspects?
- Since you're so vexed about speech inciting violence, why are you "a fan of disrupters"? Here's a wild guess:
- They're "very American" because they agree with your leftist politics
- But when we disagree, you call our "disruptions" "ugly" and "un-American"
- Since you didn't speak out against "Code Pink" for disrupting hearings in Congress, should we consider them the poster girls of "balanced" and "very American"?
- Why weren't you concerned about inciting violence against immigration agents when you told an audience in San Francisco, which included illegal immigrants, that "raids" enforcing immigration laws are "un-American" and "must be stopped"?
Madam Speaker, the balanced among us are on to you. You can't defend your unconstitutional power grabs, such as forcing government-run health care on us, so you do what every logically-challenged person does who can't rebut an articulate argument-put up a straw man, light the fuse, and call the fire department.
If you really believed that decent Americans, armed with nothing more than facts and questions for their elected representatives will commit violence, you'd probably think twice before comparing them to rioters and linking them to Nazis.
Do all of us the decency of apologizing for your lack of decorum. And check your fax machine - I sent you a Kleenex in case you're ever able to get some tears flowing.
Jan LaRue is Senior Legal Analyst with the American Civil Rights Union; former Chief Counsel at Concerned for Women; former Legal Studies Director at Family Research Council; and former Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families.