Rep. Jamie Raskin’s past tweets have been recently unearthed by conservative media outlets eager to demonstrate the alleged hypocrisy of the Lead House Impeachment Manager currently prosecuting former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment.
The Save America PAC’s “Trump War Room” tweeted a “FLASHBACK” screenshot of a past Raskin tweet that the NY Post breathlessly described as expressing “notion of combat to block Republican efforts to swiftly replace the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg” after she died last year.
Raskin used the phrase “We must fight like hell to stop this assault on health care and the Constitution”:
The GOP rush to replace Justice Ginsburg is all about destroying the Affordable Care Act, women’s health care and reproductive freedom, and the voting rights and civil rights of the people. We must fight like hell to stop this assault on health care and the Constitution. https://t.co/WBSRAG40wz
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) September 23, 2020
Because Raskin is leading the impeachment trial and trying to prove that President Trump incited the deadly violence on the Capitol that occurred on Jan. 6, and has cited numerous times in which Trump used the word “fight,” this is being picked up and amplified by many in the conservative media as a gotcha moment catching Raskin in some serious hypocrisy.
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt dutifully picked up the baton from the NY Post on Thursday’s Fox & Friends, noting “It will be interesting to see if the Trump team if his legal team brings this up” after which Steve Doocy added “oops” and later “hypocrisy,” with a grin. You can see that moment below:
Here’s the thing, though, and it hurts my brain even to have to point out something so banal. The allegation of inciting violence would be only an issue if violence occurred. The case of Trump’s second impeachment trial isn’t the words he used, but rather the alleged cause and effect, which Raskin and others are trying to prove.
To my knowledge, there was no insurrection or violence of any kind that came as a result of Raskin’s tweet. The words “fight” and “fighting” are commonly used by responsible politicians on both sides of the aisle to connote a willingness to bend the people’s will to the policies in which they believe. Those words rarely lead to violence, and so, duh, using those words is not a problem. To suggest hypocrisy is either remarkably ignorant or willfully misleading.
None of this is new, however. Over the past week or so, countless conservative pundits and politicians have presented the false equivalency between Trump’s pre-insurrection speech and words said by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Joe Biden, and Rep. Maxine Waters, to name just a few. One can reasonably argue that their words were irresponsible but seeing as they did not directly lead to any violence, to compare them to what Trump is under trial for is mind-numbingly stupid. And yet, here we are.
Not all conservative media people are falling for this duplicity. Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum was asked about this very topic during a Wednesday recess in the impeachment trial. “We live in a moment of intensely passionate political rhetoric that is oftentimes very ugly on both sides. You think about what Maxine Waters has said, what Cory Booker has said, ‘Get up in their face,’ ‘Fight,’ MacCallum added.
“What makes this a different situation, quite obviously, is what actually ended up happening on January the 6th, which I think was a moment that was very gut-wrenching for all Americans as they watched what happened.”
Thank you, Ms. MacCallum, for saying what needs more saying, particularly on your network.
One cannot cast aspersions for anyone inciting violence when none occurred. To equate even irresponsible language to incite a deadly insurrection is just moronic. And people should know better.
Watch above via Fox News.