According to a report from the Washington Post, it should come as no surprise that a man stormed the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Friday where he violently assaulted her elderly husband while looking for her.
As the report notes, Republican lawmakers and conservatives have been painting a target on Pelosi's back for years -- including suggesting the 82-year-old lawmaker be assassinated.
Pointing out the assailant who sent Paul Pelosi to the hospital for surgery after beating him with a hammer, the report noted that the attacker, 42-year-old David Depape, has been immersed in wild right-wing conspiracy theories for some time, and the report states that some of the GOP's violent rhetoric is mainly to blame.
According to the Post, "For many Democrats, the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband represents the all-but-inevitable conclusion of Republicans’ increasingly violent and threatening rhetoric toward their political opponents — a phenomenon that escalated under former president Donald Trump, who prided himself on his inflammatory oratory and who was often reluctant to denounce white nationalists and others spewing hate speech."
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As House colleague Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) put it, "Sadly this attack was inevitable. Political violence is on the rise. And instead of GOP leaders condemning it, they condone it with silence or, even worse, glorification.”
Case in point, the Post reported, is the history of comments made by controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) about Pelosi that specifically condoned or approved of threats against the veteran lawmaker.
"But the threats against Pelosi have often been particularly ferocious and date back more than a decade, when Republicans worked to make her one of the faces of former president Barack Obama’s health-care law," the report states. "More recently, CNN reported that in 2018 and 2019, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — who was elected to Congress in 2020 and quickly became known for her conspiracy theory-laden views — repeatedly expressed support for executing prominent Democratic politicians, including Pelosi."
"Greene liked a Facebook comment that said 'a bullet to the head would be quicker' as a way of removing Pelosi as speaker, CNN found. And in a video of a speech Greene gave promoting a 2019 petition she’d launched to impeach Pelosi for 'crimes of treason,' Greene calls Pelosi 'a traitor to our country' and says the speaker could be executed for treason," with Greene seen stating in a video, "It’s a crime punishable by death — is what treason is. Nancy Pelosi is guilty of treason.”
According to Michael Jensen of the University of Maryland’s START consortium for terrorism research, "If somebody sets their sights on these individuals and then they decide to mobilize, there’s virtually nothing stopping them,” later adding, "There was an opportunity for the more moderate elements of the Republican Party to distance themselves from the more radical elements and marginalize them, and be the start of the end of this wave. The exact opposite happened. What we saw instead was a doubling down on moving extremism into the mainstream.”
You can read more here.