For reasons many of us may not understand, Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters thinks she needs to drive a message with hatred, vitriol and maybe even violence to be an effective representative to her constituents in California. And she has focused her ire on the Trump administration.
In part of her latest tirade in Los Angeles on Saturday, Waters shifted her focus from the president to Vice President Mike Pence as her next target to “knock one down.”
Check out Waters’ speech here. The Pence part comes about the 5:20 mark, when she makes clear she’s just as committed to the removal of the vice president as she is to impeaching President Donald Trump.
“I had a conversation here today when someone asked, ‘well what about Pence? If you were able to impeach (Trump), Pence will be worse.’ And I said, ‘one at a time. You knock one down, one at a time. You knock one down, and then we’ll be ready for Pence. We’ll get him, too,” Waters said as her audience laughed.
All of this might be taken as the usual hyperbole of politics, where combative terms are just tools of the trade.
But as periodic antifa riots and more spontaneous violence have shown since the beginning of the Trump administration, liberal words of violence in 2018 are more likely to lead to liberal acts of violence than in recent years.
And no one can deny the violent undercurrent beneath Waters’ words — she even admitted being threatening in her own words.
“We don’t ask permission to protest. We protest when we understand we have to make America hear us and see us and understand that we all have something to say,” she told her audience on Saturday.
“There are those who said that we lacked civility when I got up and talked about the president’s cabinet,” she said, recalling her own now-infamous rant in June demanding that Trump’s inner circle be accosted anywhere they’re seen in public.
“And I said, ‘If you see them anywhere, if you see them at a restaurant, if you see them in a department store, even at a gasoline station, just tell them you’re not welcome here anymore. And so it frightened a lot of people. And of course the lying president said that I had threatened all of his constituents. I did not threaten his constituents, his supporters. I do that all the time, but I didn’t do it that time,” Waters said.
Even some of Waters’ fellow Democrats have gotten nervous at her rhetoric. After her June rant, she even drew a rare admonishment from her own party’s leaders.
In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again. Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea. https://t.co/vlpqOBLK4R
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 25, 2018
On Monday, however, The Hill reported Waters denying that she advocated for violence in her past statements: Waters also said she was not advocating any violence against political opponents and sought to draw a distinction between her remarks and Trump’s on that issue.
“What bothered me so much was, they tried to frame that as violence,” Waters said, according to The Hill. “That’s not violence.
“The poster child for violence is the president of the United States. He’s the one who threatens. Don’t forget at his rallies, when he said, ‘go ahead and beat them up, I’ll take them out on a stretcher.’
“I do not advocate violence,” Waters said, according to The Hill. “I do not believe you should hit, kick, shoot.
“We have to tell people the difference between violence and incivility and protesting.”
Well, apparently, the California congresswoman doesn’t listen to the tone of her own rhetoric. And it’s likely she’s applying a double standard to her threats.
Waters has the same freedom from speech as every American, of course. But neither she nor any liberal can deny that the context of the day makes it that much more likely that her words can translate into violence in ways rarely seen in American history — and thanks to the ubiquity of social media, can spread in ways that were almost impossible before.
Would she be as forgiving if conservatives, Republicans or tea party protesters made the same kinds of comments or spoke in the same tone?
Maxine, if members of your own party are telling you to tone it down, it’s a good bet you’ve gone too far.
Federal law considers it a crime to threaten physical violence against the commander in chief and the vice president. Does that not apply to Democrats these days?
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