Remember the response from Democrats when January 6 insurrectionists built a gallows for Mike Pence? Universal horror and condemnation was the response, in case you have forgotten. I believe many of the gallows builders were deadly serious that day. Had they got their hands on Pence they would have hanged him.
Democrats would have almost unanimously agreed that it would have been one of the darkest days in American history, had it happened. And it would have been, too. It would have been a day of even greater shame than it was.
Remember the name of the shooter who wounded Republican Steve Scalise and five others in the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity back in 2017? Of course you don’t. You don’t remember his name because we don’t lionise such people. We condemn their behaviour, we don’t transform them into folk “heroes,” like the Republicans did with Kyle Rittenhouse.
So when a MAGA pile of crap broke into Nancy Pelosi’s home on Friday, attacked her husband Paul with a hammer and waited for the Speaker to return, take a wild guess what the Republican response was. Mostly there were four responses that I know of. One was to say it was really Antifa that did it. Another was the absurd claim that Paul and Nancy Pelosi staged it. Another was that Paul Pelosi deserved what he got. And the fourth was that it was Paul Pelosi’s gay lover who attacked him. There were very few condemnatory remarks from the “party of personal responsibility.”
As bad as all that is, it gets worse. Many Republicans in Congress and in state legislatures are afraid to speak out against the attack on the Pelosis because they’re afraid of angering their base. Imagine that. There are very few calls for justice from the “party of law and order.”
Incidentally, the man who attacked Pelosi is noted for making racist comments online, quoting My Pillow guy Mike Lindell about the Big Lie of the “stolen” 2020 election and supporting QAnon conspiracy theories. He’s obviously a kook who is devoted to Donald Trump. But then, what else would he be? There are no surprises here.
Expect at best a tepid response from most Republicans and Fox News to this outrageous assault on American democracy. Expect a lot of whataboutisms. Or backhanded condemnations (e.g. “This was terrible, BUT, Pelosi should have never ….,” fill in the blank.) Don’t be surprised if you even hear the occasional rationalisation for such a horrible assault on Paul and Nancy Pelosi’s home from the “party of family values.”
But the facts are inescapable. This egregious attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul was incited. It was incited by Fox News, by the MAGA machine and by — more than anything or anyone else — Donald Trump himself. It’s stochastic terrorism. Make no mistake, as much as the “party of personal responsibility” tries to spin this and pivot away from reality, this ultimately is their doing. And it’s going to get worse.
There are eight million stories in the naked city of vile Republican hypocrisy, this has been one of them. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.