On Tuesday afternoon, the House impeachment managers commenced their case against former President Donald J. Trump with a brief video depicting the events of January 6 juxtaposed with Trump’s alleged words of “incitement.”
What the Democratic managers predictably left out were several clips of their own party-members invoking similarly incendiary language intended to inspire animosity, if not outright violence, toward Republican officials.
The most pivotal subject then, that Trump’s second impeachment will need to address, is where and when the tenets of free speech devolve into an incitement to violence. That is to say, is the definition of incitement anything more than timely and partisan?
Luckily for all, the House Judiciary GOP released a video in response to Raskin that highlights some of the Democrats' violent rhetoric.
What Democrats didn’t show you today. pic.twitter.com/PSwM0fYKTx— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) February 9, 2021
Maybe most blatantly, California Rep. Maxine Waters, in June of 2018, called for a mass intimidation campaign against Trump appointed government officials, instructing a crowd, “If you see anybody from that (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 anymore, anywhere." A clear call to action if ever one existed.
Waters later looked to distinguish her own inflammatory words from those of her nemesis, then-President Trump, calling him “the poster child for violence,” going on to say “he's the one who threatens… Don't forget at his rallies, when he said go ahead and beat them up, I'll take them out on a stretcher," completely ignorant of her blatant hypocrisy in the matter, not to mention the hypocrisy of her Democratic pals.
President Joe Biden himself is not above fantasizing over political violence, making multiple remarks in 2018 on his desire to “beat the hell out of” President Trump, saying on the campaign trail, “The press always ask me, ‘Don’t I wish I were debating him?’ No, I wish we were in high school – I could take him behind the gym. That’s what I wish.” Implying only a friendly chat, no doubt.
Even Biden’s ultimate choice for running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris, has a prior flirtation with incendiary remarks, speaking on the Late show with Colbert of the "protests” for which “some… at times turned violent," Harris had this to say.
"They're not gonna stop, and everyone beware, because they're not gonna stop... They're not gonna stop before Election Day in November, and they're not gonna stop after Election Day… Everyone should take note of that, on both levels, that they're not going to let up — and they should not. And we should not."
The historical definition of incitements seems to be a moving target: But with President Biden and VP Harris leading the Executive, Rep. Waters, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, and Trump in the throughs of his second impeachment -- It's clear the moving target leans to the left.
For an impeachment trial centered on supposed ‘incitement' to be granted any due respect, a clear application of standards across time and party needs to be evident -- and the proofs in the transcripts -- no such standard exists.
Ultimately, these words of VP Harris ring true.
"We must always defend peaceful protest and peaceful protesters... We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence… Make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice."
Wise words, however doubtful anyone supporting the impeachment cares to remember them.