Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) published a video on Thursday placing the blame for the bomb threats to her office — and to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — squarely on President Donald Trump’s shoulders, despite his clear and repeated condemnation of the attacks. Waters avoided any mention of her own efforts to incite protest, or the similar statements from Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, and Cory Booker.
“I think the president of the United States should take responsibility over the kind of violence that we’re seeing for the first time in different ways,” Waters declared in the video. “I think the president of the United States has been dog-whistling to his constituency, making them believe that their problems are caused by those people over there.”
The congresswoman argued that the perpetrators “are acting out what they believe the president wants them to do and the way that he wants them to act.”
Waters rightly criticized Trump’s inciting speech during the 2016 presidential election. “If you pay attention or you paid attention to the president during his campaign, when he talked violence, he talked about beating up on people and taking them out on a stretcher and even said he would pay their lawyers’ fees to get them out. Just the other day he was laughing and basically appreciating the fact that a member of Congress has slammed a journalist, and he mimicked and mocked the slamming of that journalist,” she said.
“He, in his own way, really does do a lot to promote violence,” Waters argued.
Yet Trump is far from alone. Shane Mekeland, a Republican candidate for Minnesota’s state House, blamed Democrats for inspiring the incivility that led a man to punch him out of nowhere, leaving him with a concussion and the inability to campaign outside without getting a headache.
“They’re constantly driving this narrative of ‘It’s okay to be violent,'” Mekeland said. Waters herself has led the charge, calling for activists to harass members of the Trump administration in public places like gas stations and restaurants. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) encouraged activists to “get up in the face” of Republican candidates and office-holders. Hillary Clinton said Democrats “cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.” Eric Holder declared, “When they go low, we kick them.”
“This stuff just fuels this,” Mekeland told PJ Media, referring to the assault against him.
Waters not only denied her role in this, but accused Trump of “lying” when he denounced mobs of liberal protesters.
“Now they’re trying to turn it on us, just because the women are outside of the legislature when Kavanaugh was being considered for confirmation and they were opposing him,” Waters said. “He turned it into their mob … that ‘Democratic mob,’ but he is good at that. He is expert at lying and deceiving and, of course, encouraging people in his own way to be violent or to be racist or to be separatist.”
Hundreds of protesters interrupted the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after Democrats urged resistance by any means possible. When protesters (paid by the Women’s March) like Linda Sarsour started yelling in the hearing, they were joined by Democrats obstructing regular order. Protesters suggested Kavanaugh would bring about “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and more than 200 where arrested before Christine Ford’s sexual assault allegations.
Then, in the last days of the confirmation battle, hundreds of protesters stormed the Hart Senate Office Building, effectively taking it over. A whopping 567 protesters were arrested in those last three days.
Democrats launched into witch hunts, refused to help Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee investigate Christine Blasey Ford’s claims, and went to the media. They literally warned that people would die if Kavanaugh became a Supreme Court justice.
Even after Kavanaugh was confirmed, Waters declared that he “won’t rest easy” in his job. The woman who encouraged protesters to harass Trump administration officials in their homes, at restaurants, and at gas stations seemed intent on pushing more harassment of a sitting Supreme Court justice.
Waters claims she has never called for violence, and she technically has not urged protesters to hit or wound or maim Republicans. Constant harassment has powerful physical effects, however. When protesters yell someone out of a restaurant or kept her up all night with a bullhorn, that damages her physical condition.
Trump has called for and celebrated a few isolated specific acts of violence, and he needs to apologize for that. But Waters and her fellow Democrats have pushed a climate of political harassment that also encourages violence.
Yet Waters will not be deterred. She tied the bomb threats to President Trump, but insisted her protests will continue.
“I want to tell you, we must not be intimidated to the point where we stop advocating and protesting for justice,” she declared. “That’s what I intend to do, and as the young people say, I ain’t scared.”
Trump is not calling on Waters to stop protesting. Protest is a good thing, and Americans need to make their voices heard. Constant harassment of public officials in their private capacities is something entirely different, however. When Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sits down to eat dinner with his wife Heidi, they should not be yelled out of a restaurant. When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen settles into bed at night, she should not be woken up by a bullhorn.
Waters encouraged “protests” like these, and Mekeland blamed her for his debilitating assault.
America’s crisis of incivility and political violence will not be solved by more yelling and finger-pointing. If Waters truly wants to bring an end to the violence, she should re-examine her own calls for harassment.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.