Political pressures are divisive, fueling the response to Pelosi’s attack

Political pressures are divisive, fueling the response to Pelosi’s attack

The attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband, Paul Pelosi, was met with the finger of blame for the political violence, fueling partisan tensions in the week before the election. midterms that will decide whether the president and his fellow Democrats keep or lose control of the House.

The brutal assault reignited the already intense debate about crime, law enforcement and the ramifications of political discourse — topics that were already front and center on the campaign trail this cycle, especially after last year’s attack on the US Capitol.

Every political party, as usual, is not on the same page.

In the eyes of Democrats, the attack marked the predictable consequence of the right the rhetoric that has been aimed at Pelosi for decades — an extension of Democrats’ campaign warnings about the threat of “MAGA Republican extremism.”

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) he tweeted on Monday that the attack was “the logical result of a Republican Party that has singled out the Speaker and other prominent women in public life for more than a decade now,” sharing screenshots of ominous campaign ads aimed at Pelosi.

Republicans, by contrast, blamed it the general increase, post-pandemic in some crimes — and suggested, by extension, that Democrats were guilty of being too soft on those who break the law.

Complicating the debate, the Republican response was clouded by mixed messageshighlighting the sometimes conflicting pressures facing the various GOP factions in the era of former President Trump.

After the assault of Paul Pelosi, 82, at the couple’s home in San Francisco, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) quickly condemned the violence in no uncertain terms, saying who was “horrified and disgusted” by the tragic. incident Yet Trump has been silent for days. And his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., took to Twitter to mock the attacksuggesting a hammer — the weapon allegedly used in the assault — would make a good Halloween accessory.

Across the Capitol, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who hopes to win the Speaker’s gavel if the chamber changes hands next year, condemned the violence Fox News interview on Sunday, saying “what happened to Paul Pelosi is wrong” and that he communicated sympathy to Nancy Pelosi over text after learning of the attack.

Many GOP leaders, including McCarthy and Trump, have linked the assault on Paul Pelosi to crime rates and politics in general — an issue that has been a major theme in the Republican midterm campaigns.

“With Paul Pelosi, it’s a terrible thing, and with everyone, it’s a terrible thing,” Trump he told the Spanish conservative Americano Media during the weekend. “Look at what happened to San Francisco in general. Look at what’s happening in Chicago. It was much worse than Afghanistan.”

The suspect, identified by the police as David DePape, 42, didn’t seem to attack randomly, but was looking for Nancy Pelosi specifically and asking where she was, according to a source informed on the matter. DePape’s online posts have questioned the results of the 2020 election, defended Trump and promoted QAnon conspiracy theories.

The Department of Justice on Monday accused DePape on two federal counts of assault and attempted kidnapping.

DePape too he had a story of pro-nudity activism, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, fueling the arguments of the right that the attacker was actually a leftist and spurring baseless conspiracy theories about him and Paul Pelosi. Police later said DePape and Paul Pelosi did not know each other.

Beyond online disputes over the attacker’s personal political beliefs, Republicans have pushed back on Democratic arguments that right-wing rhetoric fueled the attack by saying political violence is a problem on both sides.

Republicans over the weekend referred to the New York gubernatorial candidate and current Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) who was accosted by a man while speaking at a political rally earlier this year and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot when a gunman opened fire on Republicans practicing for a charity baseball game in 2017.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who had six broken ribs in an attack by his next-door neighbor in 2017, responded to Pelosi’s attack by referring to a deleted tweet by Pelosi’s daughter in 2020 who said his neighbor was right.

“No one deserves to be assaulted. Unlike Nancy Pelosi’s daughter who celebrated my assault, I condemn this attack and wish Mr. Pelosi a speedy recovery.” Paul tweeted.

The finger-pointing and punctuation on political violence comes as 80 percent of Democratic and Republican voters say the other party represents a threat that could destroy America if not stopped. according to a recent NBC poll.

“The attack on Paul Pelosi is a product of our coarse political rhetoric and should not be a part of it. Whenever there is political violence, or the threat of it, the ultra-partisans go the other way “- my side is good and right and the other side is evil,” Republican strategist Doug Heye told The Hill in an email. . “The reality is political violence can come from anywhere and happen on a bipartisan basis. We can all do better, instead of pushing each other as our discourse spirals further down the drain.”

Pelosi, more than any other Democrat on Capitol Hill, is used to being targeted by Republicans, who have been for decades. demonizing the long-time Democratic leader as a rich liberal from San Francisco who is out of touch with most of the country. This strategy has, at times, been successful, strengthening the GOP base and forcing vulnerable Democrats in battleground districts to distance themselves from the party’s top figure.

But the GOP’s attacks also often jumped from the political to the personal, portraying Pelosi not just as a political rival of differing opinions, but as a threatening “enemy” who, left to her own devices, would it will dismantle the freedoms Americans hold dear. Increasingly, those attacks featured threatening rhetoric or allusions to violence. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), for example, accused Pelosi of being “guilty of treason” — a crime, Greene said, that is “punishable by death.”

Pelosi’s Democratic allies have long warned that such violent political speech inevitably leads to actual physical violence — an argument that is amplified after Friday’s attack on Paul Pelosi.

“This is just the combination of the demonization of Nancy Pelosi by many people across the aisle,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) said Sunday in an interview with CNN. “This kind of dangerous violent rhetoric will lead to the natural result, which is violence. And that’s what happened with Paul Pelosi.”

Partisan reporting and daily activities on Capitol Hill have been rocked by political violence and threats. Most prominently, last year’s attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob injured more than 150 law enforcement officers and resulted in several deaths, including police officers who later took their own lives.

Only a month after the attack of January 6, the House voted to remove Greene from his committee duties when it was revealed that, before coming to Congress, he had “liked” social media posts promoting the assassination of prominent Democrats, including Pelosi.

Nine months later, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) he was stripped of his committee posts after promoting an animated video depicting the killing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), a national liberal figure who is often the target of violent threats.

McCarthy has promised to return both Greene and Gosar to their committee posts next year if Republicans take control of the House in the midterms.

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