Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Tom Nichols and Others on How Republican Response to Pelosi Attack Shows GOP Is Now a Brutal Mob

Hammer photo uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Malene Thyssen

Commentary continues regarding the intended attack on Nancy Pelosi that resulted in an attack on her husband. As Timothy Noah writes, "'We' Don’t Have a Political Violence Problem. Republicans Do":

The Paul Pelosi attack was no aberration. Only one party counts violent insurrectionists as a constituency it dare not alienate.

Noting the prominent fascist streak in American politics on the right side of the political aisle, a streak now out in the open in one of the nation's two major parties, Aaron Rupar and Noah Berlatsky indicate

Democratic leaders have been targeted for violence by right-wing radicals, insurrectionists, and would-be assassins in every election since 2018. This is part of a GOP embrace of violence that, in its terrifying escalation, threatens both democracy with a small d and the physical safety of Democratic leaders, partisans, and voters.

Republican efforts to distance themselves from the attack aren’t convincing, nor are they meant to be. They are instead part of a long-standing campaign to justify violence against Pelosi and against other Democrats by demonizing them and then refusing to condemn any excess of rhetoric, or indeed violence, directed against them. Some elected Republicans even think the brutal violence against Paul Pelosi is something to laugh about.  ...

The plain fact is that many Republicans, elected and otherwise, want to do violent harm to Democratic political leaders and voters as a matter of policy and tactics.

Conservative commentator Tom Nichols, who has parted company with the GOP as it is currently constituted, writes that the sadistic glee now being displayed by Republican leaders at the attack on an 82-year-old man is an inflection point showing us just how depraved the party has allowed itself to become

January 6 was not an outlier. Laughing over a hammer attack on an old man, the GOP has completed its transition from a political party to a brutal mob. … [T]he reaction among Republican elected officials and their conservative-media life-support system to the beating of Paul Pelosi—by a man named David DePape, who was charged with attempting to kidnap Speaker Nancy Pelosi and admitted to planning to torture her—feels different.

I am not alone; my friend Mona Charen, among others, also senses that this event marks a new level of depravity in the GOP. I have struggled for a few days to decide why, exactly, this moment seems like an inflection point.  ...

Sadistic glee in harming others is a sin (at least in my faith). But it is also a social cancer, a rot that can spread quickly and kill the spirit of democracy. If all attempts at reason and all offers of friendship fail, the rest of us should shun those whose dark hearts encourage them to revel in such poison. Unfortunately, millions of our fellow citizens seem poised to vote many such people into power. The darkness is spreading.

Will this be any kind of turning point for the party itself? Of course not. They're too far gone. They sense victory in the midterms and are empowered by blood lust as a result. They're laughing for that very reason.

You cannot reason with people deliberately choosing subhumanity, especially when they doll that choice up with pseudo-religion. As Ben Adler notes, they'll respond by pushing only more fabricated lies and absurd conspiracy theories.

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