On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for a congressional hearing to investigate the Robinhood stock trading app after it decided to block investors from purchasing stock in response to investors increasing the price of GameStop and AMC stock. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) opposes AOC on almost everything, but he agreed with her on this. AOC took his olive branch and lit it on fire.
“I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there’s common ground, but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out,” AOC responded. “Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren’t trying to get me killed. In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign.”
AOC went on, claiming that “accountability” for the January 6 Capitol riot “includes a new Senator from Texas.”
AOC’s Twitter thread made it clear the congresswoman holds Cruz personally responsible for “serious… mental harm” she and others suffered.
“You haven’t even apologized for the serious physical + mental harm you contributed to from Capitol Police & custodial workers to your own fellow members of Congress. In the meantime, you can get off my timeline & stop clout-chasing. Thanks. Happy to work with other GOP on this,” she concluded.
AOC’s accusation is entirely baseless. It is true that the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 mostly intended to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden. While there were serious concerns regarding election integrity in the 2020 presidential election, many of President Donald Trump’s defenders went too far in contesting the election. Trump himself encouraged a desperate movement to push Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject some states’ electoral votes.
Cruz encouraged his fellow Republicans to block the counting of Electoral College votes, but not to overturn the election. He called for a bipartisan commission to investigate election irregularities.
Cruz — like Trump — never called on supporters to storm the Capitol and breach it, much less to threaten the lives of elected leaders. He merely worked to stall the final certification until after an investigation had answered concerns of fraud and irregularities.
In fact, when the rioters stormed the Capitol, Cruz condemned the attack in no uncertain terms. He went further than Trump, who also called for peace.
“Violence is always unacceptable. Even when passions run high. Anyone engaged in violence—especially against law enforcement—should be fully prosecuted,” Cruz tweeted during the attack. “God bless the Capitol Police and the honorable men & women of law enforcement who show great courage keeping all of us safe.”
“Those storming the Capitol need to stop NOW. The Constitution protects peaceful protest, but violence—from Left or Right— is ALWAYS wrong. And those engaged in violence are hurting the cause they say they support,” he concluded.
Ricochet editor Bethany Mandel pointed out that when House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) nearly died after getting shot at the congressional baseball game practice in 2017, he did not accuse Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) of inspiring the violence, even though the man who shot Scalise supported Sanders.
Americans rightly condemned the Capitol riots, and none should make light of the threats against the lives of members of Congress in that attack. One of the rioters did threaten to kill AOC, but Cruz did not encourage such a heinous attack.
It seems Democrats are attempting to take advantage of the Capitol riot to accuse Republicans of inciting violence or even of abetting domestic terrorism. While some Republicans did go too far in contesting the election, they did not advocate violence. Ted Cruz is not responsible for the rioter who threatened to kill AOC.
By the Democrats’ new standard of inciting violence, many Democrats who championed Marxist critical race theory and encouraged Black Lives Matter protests that devolved into destructive riots would have to be held accountable to similarly inciting violence. Do they really want to start down that road?
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.