Conservative says it’s long past time for Democrats to fight back when Republicans cross the line
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. (john smith williams /

Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin lamented that when Republicans break the rules to get what they want, Democrats never hold them accountable.

Writing Thursday, Rubin cited House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his ongoing attempts to bring down the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol. She said that he has attempted to embody Donald Trump's behavior with bullying and threats in an ongoing attempt to obstruct the process.

"Now that the committee has sought phone records from telecom companies to examine the phone history of witnesses of Jan. 6, including members of Congress, McCarthy has threatened the companies in an attempt to keep them from complying," Rubin cited.

She went on to call it "intolerable," telling Democrats, including the White House, that it's time to hold this behavior accountable by referring it "to the House ethics committee, if not the Justice Department."

McCarthy obviously isn't the only one spouting threats. Rubin cited Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), who threatened "bloodshed" if Democrats win more "rigged" elections. "There's nothing I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American," he said.

While violent Republican hyperbole isn't unusual, after Jan. 6 there is an increased sense of fear for future acts of domestic terrorism.

"This advertisement for future violent insurrection is precisely the type of conduct from Republicans that defenders of democracy feared would become more regular," she wrote. "It would be bad enough for a private citizen to make such a statement; it is inexcusable from a member of Congress."

Past examples include Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) threatening to execute members of Congress and McCarthy joking about hitting Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with the gavel. Then there's the bizarre case of Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who attempted to enter Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with large amounts of cash, claiming he was going to "rescue American citizens." The U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan refused to allow him passage

"Mullin was outraged by the response, the officials said — threatening U.S. ambassador John Mark Pommersheim and embassy staff and demanding to know the name of staff members he was speaking with," the Post reported at the time. He then disappeared, leaving many concerned he attempted to enter Afghanistan alone. Rubin said it was "nuts" and called for him to be disciplined.

She argued that the behavior is indicative of a "MAGA mentality" that the former president has been using since the early days of his 2016 campaign.

"Disdain for law and order and reliance on extralegal actions and threats of violence are yet further signs that another Jan. 6 may indeed have been a dress rehearsal for further attacks on our democracy," she closed.

It puts President Joe Biden in an awkward position. Any attempt at accountability would appear partisan, but Rubin argued that at the very least he should encourage Congress to act on the "shameless thuggery" of the GOP.

Read the full column at the Washington Post.