In the face of rising political violence by Antifa and others, Nancy Pelosi tells Dems to 'be ready to throw a punch'
There can be little doubt that violence is being employed by the American Left to intimidate its opponents into silence, and that the leaders of the Democratic Party not only refuse to condemn it, but are now encouraging it. So far as I have been able to find, no Democrats in high office have criticized Antifa and told its members to stop employing violence. That political faction of the Left has repeatedly engaged in violence on a national basis in order to silence voices.
And it was the GOP congressional delegation that faced an attempted mass assassination by an avid follower of one of the leading Democrat presidential candidates in both 2016 and 2020. His name, James T. Hodgkinson, has virtually been erased from the public memory, even though he managed to almost kill a large number of Republicans and gravely injured Steve Scalise, a member of the GOP's House leadership team. He was reportedly "distraught" at the election of Trump. In other words, a Trump Derangement Syndrome case.
When kooks on the right threaten or attempt violence, GOP voices condemning them are not hard to find. (Spare me the fraudulent claim that Trump endorsed neo-Nazis at Charlottesville as "fine people" — he explicitly condemned them in his remarks.)
But now we have the top Democrat in elective office now telling Democrats at an official conference that they should get ready to use violence:
At DNC summer meeting, Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicts 2020 will be a "tough election."— ABC News (@ABC) August 23, 2019
"You have to be ready to take a punch," she says. "And therefore you have to be ready to throw a punch—for the children." https://t.co/JsAo4rT8TM pic.twitter.com/kFlfDBNIsq
In fairness, President Trump has his own history of softness on violence, as catalogued by ABC:
Trump referenced Rep. Greg Gianforte's 2017 attack on a reporter by saying that "any guy who can do a body slam, he is my type!" (snip)
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on the day of the Iowa caucuses, for instance, he told audience members he would pay their legal fees if they engaged in violence against protesters.
"If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell ... I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise," he said on Feb. 1, 2016.
At a Las Vegas rally later that month, he said security guards were too gentle with a protester. "He's walking out with big high-fives, smiling, laughing," Trump said. "I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you."
A similar situation unfolded at a rally that month in Warren, Michigan.
"Get him out," he said of a protester. "Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court. Don't worry about it."
On March 9, 2016, as a protester was being escorted out of a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, he was sucker-punched by another attendee.
The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office released a statement saying officers arrested the man suspected of throwing the punch, identified by authorities as John Franklin McGraw, for allegedly assaulting the protester.
The day after the Fayetteville incident, the Trump campaign released a statement that didn't mention Trump's earlier comments at other rallies where he appeared to suggest hitting protesters.
"We obviously discourage this kind of behavior and take significant measures to ensure the safety of any and all attendees," it read.
These were foolish comments, made in the heat of disruption to his speeches, and he shouldn't have spoken that way. But at least his campaign clarified that it discourages violence. And no move has ever been made to pay legal fees.
The current situation, with a large national organization, Antifa, openly assembling with weapons and masked faces, threatening and employing violence, is much more serious than spontaneous reactions to provocative disruptions by Trump-supporters at rallies. And Speaker Pelosi is encouraging future violence, rather than defending spontaneous violent reactions, as Trump wrongly did.
Twitter video screen grab.
I am not holding my breath for any Democrat at all to comment negatively on this open call for preparation for violence by the top leader the Democrats have.