Rachel Maddow explains why the attack on Paul Pelosi by a “red pilled” QAnon conspiracy theorist, and the GQP’s response to that attack is the latest indication that Republicans have made political violence part of their brand. As Max Boot writes, Don’t blame ‘both sides.’ The right is driving political violence. And Jennifer Rubin warns, Republicans have shown who they are. Voters should believe them.
Rachel Maddow argues that as Republican leaders discredit elections and encourage the abandonment of democracy, the option they are tacitly endorsing for how to run a government is force and violence, a value seen in the reactions of many Republicans to the attempted murder of the husband of the Speaker of the House.
But if you’re a person who has all your faculties, and you know that something like this has happened, if you minimize it, mock it, celebrate it, the attempted murder of the Speaker of the House’s husband, what is now formally charged as the attempted kidnapping of the Speaker of the House, well, if that’s how you react to knowing that this has happened, well then you’re telling us what you want instead of politics. You’re telling everybody what you want to be able to do to your political opponents. What you enjoy seeing your political opponents subjected to.
And that is in fact the other option, if we’re not going to have elections anymore. It’s either violence and force or its voting . And if it’s not voting, then it is going to be violence and force.
We’re eight days out from the first national election since the last Republican president, the leader of their party, tried to stay in power by force.
[On] Friday, a man plead guilty in federal court to threatening to kill congressman Eric Swalwell and his staff.
Also last week, three people were found guilty of their part in a militia kidnapping plot targeting the governor of Michigan.
Today [officer] Harry Dunn testified in the seditious conspiracy trial of the Oath Keepers for their role in Trump’s effort to have a violent mob of his supporters overthrow the government and keep him in power by force, despite the election results. In power despite the election results and therefore by force.
Those are the choices, right? It’s either elections or its force and violence.
We are eight days out in this election, a clear majority of Republican candidates for congress and state-wide offices say election results should no longer count. They do not believe in election results.
Even below that level, in state legislative races, look, clear majorities of Republican candidates in those races in the swing states, they say election results shouldn’t count. They don’t believe them, we shouldn’t use elections anymore.
If they do not want us to have elections anymore, don’t kid yourself, there is another good option. It’s democracy or it’s not. And if it’s not, it’s violence and force.
This is the year, this is the election when your vote up and down the very bottom off the ballot is an answer to this one question: Is it democracy, or is it force and violence?
Our vote this year is about whether we ever get to vote again. This is not the year to sit out.
UPDATE: NBC’s Ben Collins, who reports on domestic extremist groups for NBC, explains on Deadline White House today:
"We have to be clear about what's happening here: One side is agitating for violence, the violence happens, they deny it's them, and then they say even if it was us, we would've been proud of it anyway" – @oneunderscore__ w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/yIc9rlmWuW
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) November 1, 2022
It’s worth noting that the criminal complaint against the man who violently attacked Paul Pelosi includes his confession — which debunks every conspiracy theory pushed and amplified by Republican politicians and right-wing media.