Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday. He has experienced a great deal of ugliness in the wake of this news, but the most notable attack came from the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Christine Pelosi, a Democratic strategist in California, tweeted, “Rand Paul’s neighbor was right.” She has yet to delete the tweet.
Pelosi’s daughter was referring to the incident in which 58-year-old Rene Boucher attacked Paul from behind on his own property while Paul was wearing headphones. Paul actually succeeded in throwing Boucher off, but not before sustaining injuries. The senator suffered five rib fractures, including three displaced fractures, and later required medical attention for pneumonia.
Prosecutors charged Boucher for assaulting an elected official, a felony.
Paul missed many congressional sessions after the attack and sued Boucher for medical and attorney fees. A jury awarded Paul $580,000 in January 2019. Boucher was sentenced in criminal court to 30 days in prison and one year of supervised release.
Liberals expressed anger at Rand Paul after he tested positive for coronavirus for two reasons: first, Paul had voted against a coronavirus relief package; and second, Paul had used the Senate gym, swam in the Senate pool, and met with fellow Republican senators after he submitted himself for testing.
Pelosi’s tweet responded to the news that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) had entered self-quarantine due to exposure to Rand Paul. The Washington Post‘s Paul Cane noted that Romney “told us the other day his biggest personal concern was not getting this because his wife has MS. Now he can’t see her for almost 2 weeks.” In this context, Pelosi endorsed the violent assault that left Paul with rib fractures and pneumonia.
Rand Paul arguably should have isolated himself while he waited for testing, but to endorse violent assault against a man right after he has tested positive for a deadly disease is beyond the pale.
Sadly, this is far from the first time liberals have expressed a sick admiration for the man who put Rand Paul in the hospital. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and former Obama staffer Tommy Vietor suggested Paul deserved to be assaulted and mocked him for suffering the assault.
These liberal celebrations of violence are dangerous, especially considering recent acts of violence against Trump supporters.
Last month, a man crashed his van into a tent where Trump campaign volunteers were registering voters. That driver later confessed his animosity to Trump and compared the president to “someone s****ing on your grave.” Then a woman sucker-punched a man in a Nashville bar because he wore a MAGA-style hat reading “Make Fifty Great Again.” A Florida man charged at a group of Trump supporters, wielding a cane sword at them.
Christine Pelosi should apologize for her horrific endorsement of violence against a man who tested positive for the coronavirus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should reprimand her daughter if she does not.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.