On Sunday I published a guest post from Congressman Kevin Cramer in which he chastised critics of Donald Trump for blaming violence at his rallies on him.
We ought to instead blame “liberal Chicago thugs.”
“[T]o blame one person’s violence on another’s words seems desperate and unbecoming,” he added.
Cramer has a point, but as I wrote in a criticism of his flirtations with Trump yesterday, you cannot talk about the violence in and around Trump’s rallies without acknowledging what that loudmouth has done to encourage it.
But if Cramer is guilty of that sin, so are his critics.
In response to Cramer’s post state Rep. Kylie Oversen, the titular chairwoman of the North Dakota Democratic Party, called his comments “appalling.”
“Extremism of any form is unacceptable, and North Dakotans deserve representatives at all levels of government who stand up against hatred and denounce violence to bridge divides,” Oversen said in her statement. “Kevin Cramer should take a hard look in the mirror and pressure his preferred candidate to do the same.”
Left-wing columnist Mike McFeely, quoting Oversen, has also bashed Cramer for his post today.
But just as Cramer failed to hold Trump accountable for encouraging violence, neither McFeely or Oversen mention real violence (and attempts at violence) perpetrated by left-wing activist groups and Bernie Sanders supporters.
You know what’s appalling, Rep. Oversen? This, from a Trump campaign stop in Ohio, is appalling:
The man charging the stage, apparently to do violence to Trump, is named Thomas Dimassimo. He posted this on Twitter after getting bailed out of jail. You can still see where his t-shirt was ripped by the Secret Service:
— MARLON BANDO (@Younglionking7) March 12, 2016
McFeely suggested that Cramer using the term “Chicago thugs” could be “viewed as racially charged.” Only, what word but “thugs” describes a group of people storming a political rally in order to obstruct and intimidate?
I will not defend Trump. At best, the man is an embarrassment and a buffoon. At worst, he’s a dangerous strong-man candidate who is flirting with violence as a valid political tactic.
But neither am I willing to let opportunists like McFeely and Oversen denounce Trump without acknowledging that their side of the political debate has a violence problem too.
A pox on both your houses.
If we’re going to talk about something “appalling,” let’s talk about people willing condone violence, by omission of ciriticism, because they say it was inspired by someone else’s words.