News & Politics

Rep. Waters Claims 'Confrontational' Doesn't Mean What Everyone Knows It Means

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool

Poor Maxine Waters is just being misunderstood. She’s not really a violent sort. She’s only speaking metaphorically about protesters getting violent — you know, just like every conservative in the last 20 years who has made a metaphorical reference to violence and been accused of “inciting” violence.

I would bring up Donald Trump but Grandma Waters’s head would explode.

Waters was interviewed by The Grio website and disavowed any and all intent to incite violence with her words over the weekend at a demonstration against police killings. She said to a reporter for One News Network that if the jury didn’t convict former policeman Derek Chauvin of…something…that demonstrators would stay in the streets and “fight for justice.”

Waters wants Chauvin to be convicted of first-degree murder, even though he’s not on trial for it. But she stirred up a lot of controversy by saying this: “Well, we’ve got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

What did the incendiary Ms. Waters mean by that? Not what everyone who speaks the English language thinks it means, she says.

Further clarifying her comments on being “confrontational,” the California congresswoman said “I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up. I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation.”

She continued, “I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say. This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them.”

Yes, but what did you mean by saying “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business”? Here, Ms. Waters falters in her damage control efforts. In fact, she makes no effort to explain what that mafia-like threat meant.

Unless, of course, she was just speaking metaphorically. Then it’s OK — at least when a liberal Democrat does it. But when the Arizona GOP wanted to stop future Senator Mark Kelly “dead in his tracks,” it was a death threat.

 “This dangerous rhetoric has absolutely no place in Arizona and is what’s wrong with our politics,” said Jacob Peters, a Kelly spokesman. “Mark Kelly is running for Senate to overcome this type of nasty divisiveness that does nothing for Arizonans.”

Rep. Waters had much to say about the distortion of her remarks being racist. Listening to her is like getting a radio broadcast from an alternate universe.

“Republicans will jump on any word, any line and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us, basically calling us violent … any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word, so they do it and they send a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that, how this is a time for [Republicans] to raise money on [Democrats] backs,” Waters added.

“This is a time for [Republicans] to keep telling our constituents that [Democrats] are the enemy and they do that time and time again,” Waters said of what she described as a Republican strategy. “But that does not deter me from speaking truth to power. I am not intimidated. I am not afraid, and I do what needs to be done.”

That Waters doesn’t see the Democrats using the exact same strategy against Republicans is a perfect illustration of politics in the early part of the 21st century.