June 19, 2017
If there was hope that the Left would tone down its rhetoric after last Wednesday's shooting, they've been quickly dashed. Thanks to the likes of MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid and CBS's Scott Pelley, the culture of civility was short-lived -- at least in the liberal media. In a crass display that showed how incapable the Left is of restraint, Reid openly attacked House Whip Steve Scalise's (R-La.) views while he lies in serious condition in a hospital bed!
"Everybody is wishing the congressman well and hoping that he recovers," Reid said, "but Steve Scalise has a history that we've all been forced to sort of ignore on race. He did come to leadership after some controversy over attending a white nationalist event, which he says he didn't know what it was." She went on, "Because he is in jeopardy and everyone is pulling for him, are we required to put that aside?" Flashing up his "extreme" beliefs on everything from marriage to health care, she also tweeted that Scalise was shot by a white man and saved by a black woman.
Fellow MSNBC host Joe Scarborough could hardly believe his eyes. In a string of social media posts, he fires back at Reid. "If you are attacking Steve Scalise's voting record right now, do yourself a favor and just stop now. I can't even believe what I'm seeing. Who would even think for one second that it is appropriate to attack a man who is fighting for his life after an assassination attempt?" As for Scalise's values, he tweets, "So let me get this straight. If you're a practicing Catholic and you believe what the church says, you are open to attack after being shot? He's fighting for his life right now. What is wrong with you? Until he's out of ICU, why don't you take it up with the Pope?"
Unfortunately, Reid wasn't the only one who couldn't contain herself. CBS's Scott Pelley had the nerve to say Scalise's gunshot may have been self-inflicted, a suggestion Howard Kurtz called "appalling." Less than a week after a madman left Scalise fighting for his life, some liberals are already blaming the House Whip -- or worse, implying that he deserved it. This is exactly the mentality that inspires violence like James T. Hodgkinson's.
With rhetoric like this, liberals like Reid and Pelley are implying that they don't just want to eliminate your opinions, they want to eliminate you! That's the difference between the far-Left and most conservatives, who think everyone has worth, even if their ideas are worthless. Surely we can all agree that no one deserves to be attacked, have their lives threatened (or their livelihoods) for holding diverse opinions. In a free society, we should be able to challenge flawed ideologies of all kinds. But challenging ideologies is different than threatening people. And that's a distinction liberals will have to understand if there's any hope for healing our nation of this deadly disrespect.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.