OPINION: Times adds to escalating rhetoric of incitement
Democrats sure love to quote mob movies when they want to sound tough.
Back in 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama was at a fundraiser in Philadelphia when he referenced “the Chicago Way” as described by Sean Connery’s Jim Malone in “The Untouchables.”
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” said Obama, who rose to power from the Chicago political scene. “Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”
There’s no need to imagine the sort of breathless pearl-clutching from so-called progressives had such a statement emanated from Obama’s opponent Sen. John McCain or his running mate and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Just a few years later, a deranged individual who believed the government was using grammar as a means of mind control shot up a constituent gathering in Arizona hosted by Rep. Gabby Giffords.
Before the blood dried or the bodies of the six killed turned cold, the fingers were being pointed at Palin for inspiring the shooter because she’d included Giffords’ district in a standard-issue map of targeted congressional seats.
The disgusting smear against Palin was repeated just more than a year ago by the New York Times editorial board when a fan of Bernie Sanders and Rachel Maddow attempted to assassinate Republican members of Congress on June 14, 2017, at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.
Only because Capital Police were on hand to protect the third-ranking member of the House leadership, Rep. Steve Scalise, who was gravely wounded in the attack, did we narrowly avoid the worst political bloodbath in our nation’s history.
Unlike the Giffords shooter, the political motivation of the man who attacked the Republican members was splattered all over his social media accounts.
So what did the Times do with this evidence?
Go after Palin, of course.
“Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably,” the Times editorial board wrote the following day. “In 2011, when Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, the link to political incitement was clear. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.”
The Times was eventually forced to issue a correction that noted there were zero links between Palin and Loughner, and she unsuccessfully sued the paper for defamation. The case was dismissed because she couldn’t prove the editorial writers knew what they were writing was false, despite the fact the claim against Palin had been debunked for years. Turns out ignorance is a defense.
Now, with violence and harassment against members of President Donald Trump’s administration and his supporters on the rise and being actively encouraged by the likes of Rep. Maxine Waters, the Times has decided to throw more gasoline on the fire.
On July 6, in a rallying cry to Democrats to oppose whomever Trump would eventually nominate to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, the editorial board wrote: “This is all the more reason for Democrats and progressives to take a page from “The Godfather” and go to the mattresses on this issue.
“… This call to arms may sound overly dramatic. It’s not.”
“Going to the mattresses” means going to war with rival mafia families.
Whether in the movies or real life, it means blood in the streets. It means a series of attacks and retaliations carried out by mob soldiers who lie low in bare apartments lacking furniture with mattresses on the floor.
If Democrats didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any at all.
We don’t even have to wait to see if the unhinged rhetoric of the left will inspire actual violence. The assassination attempt on Scalise and his fellow Republicans proves it already has.
A man has been arrested for threatening to kill Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and his family over net neutrality. Yes, net neutrality.
Sen. Rand Paul, who was on the baseball field with Scalise getting shot at and later had his ribs broken in an assault by his neighbor, was the subject of additional threats recently and Capital Police arrested a man for threatening to chop him and his family up with an ax.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has now been harassed multiple times in public by progressive activists, who have also gotten in the face of his wife and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
Simply wearing a Make America Great Again hat is now an invite to assault, as we saw in Texas where a 16-year-old had his ripped off and a drink thrown in his face at a Whataburger by a member of the Texas Green Party.
The anger on the left has boiled over, and as long as the hateful demonization of Republicans keeps up it won’t be long before we see a repeat of the attack at a baseball field.
America will reject the left’s tactics this fall. Republicans will hold the House, expand their majority in the Senate and cement control of the Supreme Court with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.
To borrow another phrase from “The Godfather” that the Times can understand, Trump is going to settle all family business.
Andrew Jensen can be reached at [email protected].