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Awful: Local GOP Headquarters Firebombed in North Carolina

Caveats galore: We don't know who's responsible for this crime. We don't know what spurred them to act. We don't know what or who may have specifically set them off.  What we do know is that the Republican Party headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina was firebombed this weekend, with a menacing political message spray-painted on an adjacent structure. No matter what details emerge as the investigation progresses, this is inexcusable and disgusting:


An initial report from the Charlotte Observer:

Hillsborough police are investigating the apparent weekend firebombing of the Orange County Republican headquarters, an incident that one GOP official called an act of “political terrorism.” Police say the incident occurred when a bottle of flammable liquid was thrown through the front window of the office on Ja-Max Dr. The words, “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else” were spray painted on the side of an adjacent building. “This highly disturbing act goes far beyond vandalizing property; it willfully threatens our community’s safety via fire, and its hateful message undermines decency, respect and integrity in civic participation,” Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said in a statement. “Acts like this have no place in our community.” Orange County, home to the University of North Carolina in nearby Chapel Hill, is overwhelmingly Democratic. Democrats and independents outnumber Republicans 5-1. Hillsborough police along with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were continuing to investigate. Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of state GOP, called the bombing “political terrorism.” “The office itself is a total loss,” he said. “The only thing important to us is that nobody was killed, and they very well could have been.”

The article notes additional crimes against Trump supporters' vehicles over the weekend: "On Sunday the Bangor Daily News reported that about 20 cars were vandalized with spray paint outside a Saturday rally for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump."  The media has been righty critical of Donald Trump's calls to violence at primary-era rallies, as well as his casual musings about riots and civil unrest if he doesn't get his way (which some his prominent followers have echoed).  But many in the press have seemed conspicuously less distressed about violence and rioting perpetrated by Trump opponents, and Democrats have not faced accusatory demands to condemn the criminal acts committed by people on their end of the political spectrum.  Does anyone doubt for a nanosecond that if the tables were turned on this story, and a Democratic office had been attacked, we'd be thrust into a very serious "national conversation" about Donald Trump's "dangerous rhetoric"?  The cynical idea is to equate speech with physical violence, thus muzzling dissenting voices in the name of public safety.  In almost all cases, individuals are responsible for their actions, not the political speech of others. Conservatives aren't immune from this stifling demagoguery either, as Mary Katharine Ham and I addressed in our bookEnd of Discussion.


Still, it seems as though whenever a deranged person does something horrible that might plausibly be blamed on the political Right, liberals loudly pounce -- even when there's absolutely no evidence to support their premise.  But when the shoe is on the other foot, coverage is relatively muted.  Sometimes, the double standard is simply astonishing.  In any case, Hillary Clinton and leading Democrats absolutely should immediately and unequivocally condemn this disturbing incident in North Carolina.  And if leftists were made to live by their own rules, their politicians, activists and media allies would all be pressured to defend their "otherization" of Republican voters (the political temperature has been especially hot in the Tar Heel state recently), and admonished to watch their rhetoric.  "Climate of hate," etc.  But we all know that the self-appointed Civility Police tend to patrol certain ideological neighborhoods more heavily than others.  Call it a form of profiling, if you will.   I'll leave you with more photos from the Hillsborough attack, as well as a tweet from a reporter tamping down speculation that completed absentee ballots may have been consumed in the blaze:


UPDATE - Hillary promptly and correctly denounces the firebombing:

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