Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, was given an opportunity to bash Democrat politicians for some of their recent violent political rhetoric. During a TV interview yesterday, clips of Democrats using violent or aggressive rhetoric against Republican-affiliated individuals were played from Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Maxine Waters, and Sen. Cory Booker.
“I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh: You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price,” said now-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the steps of the Supreme Court less than a year ago. He was speaking as Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were hearing a case that Schumer wanted ruled on in a particular way. His remarks appalled even left-wing commentators, although he faced no censure or impeachment for them.
“If you see anybody from [the Trump] cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome!” screamed Waters to a crowd of angry Democrats in 2019. Trump officials were on the receiving end of harassment, as were individual Republican voters.
“Please don’t just come here today and then go home,” Sen. Cory Booker told activists recently. “Go to the hill today, get up and please get up in the face of some congresspeople!” Booker also disrupted the constitutional process for confirming a Supreme Court justice by repeatedly violating Senate Judiciary Committee procedures. Those hearings were disrupted and voting delayed by the actions of hundreds of activists, many of them arrested for occupying Capitol buildings and attacking the front of the Supreme Court.
Lee was given the opportunity to criticize these Democrats for their rhetoric, even as they are working to convict Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. While, unlike the Democrats mentioned above, Trump explicitly called for marchers to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard, the pro-impeachment caucus says he should be convicted of incitement for complaining bitterly about how the 2020 election was run.
Amazingly for a politician, Lee declined the opportunity to criticize even Schumer’s attack on Supreme Court justices. Instead, he talked about human nature, how people make mistakes, and all politicians should try to talk about issues rather than individual personalities or violent rhetoric.
“These are outgrowths of the same natural impulse that exist from time to time among anyone in this business and in many other businesses. Look, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone is entitled to a mulligan once in a while. And I would hope, I would expect that each of those individuals would take a mulligan on each of those statements because in each instance they’re making it deeply personal. They’re ceasing to make it about policy, instead they’re talking about getting up in people’s faces, and making individuals feel perfectly uncomfortable and that’s not helpful. The best way to handle this is to talk about issues rather than individual personalities,” Lee responded.
There can be no question that he was talking about the three Democrat politicians whose violent rhetoric had just been aired. His reward for trying to turn down the temperature was to be lied about and disparaged by liberal media outlets such as The Daily Beast, Business Insider, and The New York Times.
“Mike Lee Suggests Trump Should Get a ‘Mulligan’ for Capitol Riot Day Speech,” The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush falsely wrote. The article is riddled with errors.
Thrush falsely claimed that the video clip that provided the context for Lee’s remarks included remarks from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. While Pelosi has in fact engaged in violent rhetoric — she accused Republicans of trying to kill people, accused Sen. Tim Scott of being complicit in George Floyd’s murder, called for anti-Trump uprisings, and encouraged rioters during the Summer of Rage (in which cities suffered from billions of dollars of property damage, attacks on federal buildings and churches, and the killing of dozens of Americans) — Pelosi’s comments weren’t aired in this particular clip.
Thrush asserted, without evidence, that Democrats’ year-long embrace of attacks on the rule of law that were pictured in the clip had not “resulted in violence.”
Thrush’s propaganda piece against Lee also mischaracterizes the histrionic rhetoric of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. She falsely accused Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, of trying to murder her. “You almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago,” she claimed publicly and without evidence, saying that she wouldn’t work with him because he was “trying to get me killed.”
Thrush and The New York Times downplayed this unhinged rhetoric by describing it as blandly as possible. “[S]he recently took a swipe at” Cruz, the paper claimed.
The New York Times engaged in what would be called “reckless disregard for the truth” in a court of law. Lee was in no way referring to Trump with his “mulligan” remarks, but to Democratic politicians whose inflammatory remarks he was specifically asked to respond to.
He chose to be polite. Liberal media outlets decided to reward him for that by treating him the way they treat any other Republican elected official who does not cater to their whims: by lying about him and disparaging him.