cross january 6
Washington, DC - January 6, 2021: Pro-Trump protester with Christian Cross seen during rally around at Capitol building (Photo: Lev Radin/Shutterstock)

Republicans are desperately trying to shout down violence against Democrats not by denouncing the violence but by claiming that Democrats are committing the same kind of violence. It's a narrative that conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot calls absurd.

After another politically motivated attack, this time on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul, happened last week, Republicans have belittled it as just another example of everyday crime. The attacker was demanding to know where Nancy Pelosi was and is reportedly radicalized due to the Jan. 6 attacks on Congress.

Five years ago, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot after a Bernie Sanders supporter began shooting during a softball game practice that happens for charity annually. Scalise wasn't the only official on the field, there were members of both sides, but Scalise was the only official who was shot. A Tyson Foods lobbyist was the worst injured person at the scene, with multiple shots to his chest and arms resulting in lung damage. Two Capitol Police officers were also shot.

in June, a man was arrested after he called the police on himself because he wanted to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Republicans have falsely claimed that Black Lives Matter killed dozens of people, but they have been unable to identify who these people are and where they were shot.

Over the past six years, attacks on Democratic officials have dramatically increased, with attacks on Pelosi and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) are among the biggest targets.

A recent report from The New York Times revealed that the majority of language that demonizes the other side is coming from Republicans. At the same time, children's hospitals and doctors who work with youth facing gender dysphoria have become the target of violent threats that go from death threats to bomb threats. Then there's the matter of the Jan. 6 attack on Congress, which featured a cache of weapons, bombs, militia members and an organized plot to build a gallows to hang elected officials who didn't support Trump.

Writing Sunday, Boot noted that the idea that such violence is coming from "both sides" simply doesn't hold water. Climate activists are throwing soup on priceless works of art under glass. Conservatives are organizing assassination efforts.

"The same day as the Pelosi attack, a man pleaded guilty to making death threats against Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)," wrote Boot. "Two days earlier, three men who were motivated by right-wing, anti-lockdown hysteria after covid-19 hit were convicted of aiding a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). In August, another man died after attacking an FBI office because he was so upset about the bureau’s search of Mar-a-Lago. 'We must respond with force,' he wrote on Trump’s Truth Social website."

That doesn't count the man waving a gun and trying to run Evan McMullin (I-UT) and his family off the road. He's running against Sen. Mike Lee in the state after Lee joined the movement to change the 2020 election results.

Boot also noted that the several mass shooting events that have been part of right-wing hate, such as Pittsburgh, El Paso and Buffalo, all of which were linked to the so-called “great replacement theory." It's a racist theory that people of color are being brought into the U.S. to replace whites. As Boot explained, it's now "openly espoused" on Fox “News” network.

He urged readers not to allow Republicans to get away with the false equivalency that somehow the two sides are the same. Republicans may attack Democrats as "socialist" or "communist," but when the left accuses people like Kanye West of being a fascist it's because he's promoting Hitler and urging people not to believe or trust Jewish people. When people march down the street chanting, "Jews will not replace us," it's hyperbole to link them to antisemitism. When an elected official posts photos of his vacation at Adolf Hitler's summer home, the same isn't seen on the other side with a Democratic official worshiping at the grave of Hugo Chavez.

"The New America think tank found last year that, since Sept. 11, 2001, far-right terrorists had killed 122 people in the United States, compared with only one killed by far-leftists," said Boot. "A study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies last year found that, since 2015, right-wing extremists had been involved in 267 plots or attacks, compared with 66 for left-wing extremists. A Washington Post-University of Maryland survey released in January found that 40 percent of Republicans said violence against the government can be justified, compared with only 23 percent of Democrats."

The driver of political violence isn't coming from the left. It's coming from "the ascendance of Trump," he said. And the Republican Party firmly supports the extremism, as evidenced by the fact that they refuse to speak out against it.

"So please don’t accept the GOP framing of the assault on Paul Pelosi as evidence of a problem plaguing 'both sides of the aisle," Boot closed. "Political violence in America is being driven primarily by the far right, not the far left, and the far right is much closer to the mainstream of the Republican Party than the far left is to the Democratic Party."

Read his full column at the Washington Post.