On Sunday, I wrote: “Trump Wants More Violence. That’s Fine With Kevin McCarthy.” But today, Beltway reporters tell us the GOP House speaker absolutely, positively doesn’t want violence. He doesn’t even want Trump supporters to protest his possibly impending indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Kidding. Sure, the spineless SINO—Speaker in name only, as I like to call him, since he’s utterly beholden to the likes of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and the House Wing Nut Caucus—held a press conference before the House GOP’s annual ideological orgy, or “retreat,” this year in Orlando, Fla., where he discouraged violence, and even protest. “I don’t think people should protest this, no,” he said about Bragg’s reported plans to indict Trump on charges related to the hush money he paid porn star Stormy Daniels.
NBC News, noting that McCarthy’s comments came in response to a question from its reporter, reported that McCarthy “urged calm.”
“I don’t think people should protest this, no. And I think President Trump, if you talk to him, he doesn’t believe that, either,” McCarthy said. “Nobody should harm one another.… We want calmness out there.”
Give me a break, people. To their credit, the NBC reporters opened their story noting that Trump actually said, “Protest, take our nation back!” So I guess that implicitly contradicts McCarthy’s claim that Trump “doesn’t believe” his supporters should protest. Except McCarthy deserves more than an implicit rebuke. He is a dangerous liar.
This whole surreal news cycle—Trump “announcing” on Saturday morning that he’s going to be “arrested” Tuesday, amplified credulously by reporters who know better (Trump didn’t know anything of the kind), followed by some of the same reporters dutifully trumpeting McCarthy’s obvious lie that he wants no protest—has just been another episode in “Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Maybe Including A Democracy.” It’s a less momentous microcosm of how the mainstream media parroted the George W. Bush administration’s false claims about the basis for a war against Iraq, which began 20 years ago this week. I guess it’s less momentous—unless it’s another step toward worsening political violence from the right and the end of the rule of law.
Maybe I’m exaggerating. Maybe not.
McCarthy can’t seriously be said to discourage violence by pro-Trump forces when he is riling them up by parroting Trump’s race-baiting false claims against Bragg—that he’s a George Soros–funded, soft-on-crime “radical.” Listen, if Trump is right—that a politically motivated prosecutor is trying to arrest and imprison a popular former president and current presidential candidate on false or flimsy charges—I’d say his supporters ought to protest. Peacefully, of course. But that’s where this thought exercise falls apart, since many of them seem inclined to skip peaceful protest and go straight to violence.
Meanwhile, Trump himself is warning the New York Police Department not to listen to Bragg’s calls for law enforcement to protect the embattled DA’s office. (I’m not linking to his Truth Social posts; you’ll have to trust me here.) And McCarthy’s House GOP minions are preparing to subpoena Bragg and his attorneys to testify about their allegedly politically motivated Trump prosecution. This might not end well.
Trump wants violence, and if you are a Republican leader amplifying his absolutely baseless claims—and most GOP leaders, from former vice president Mike Pence to Greene, are—you either want it too, or don’t care much if it occurs.
Anyone who really wants “calmness out there,” as McCarthy claims he does, would either say Trump is wrong—that’s probably too much to ask—or just STFU.