Politics – February 13, 2022
‘Legitimate political discourse’
Richard N. Bond served as the chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1992 to 1993. So he has an informed vantage point on the world of trouble the RNC brought upon itself with three little words. The committee passed a censure resolution against Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger earlier this month that described the House select committee on which they serve as a politically-motivated effort to target citizens who engaged in “legitimate political discourse” on January 6, 2021.
In an open letter to current RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, Bond wrote, “At a time when our focus as a party should be on the Biden administration and Democrats at every level of power, you made former President Donald Trump’s unquenchable thirst for revenge against Republicans who disagree with him the political story of the week.“
Recalling the events of January 6, Bond noted, “More than 725 rioters from nearly all 50 states have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the storming of the US Capitol. Five deaths are directly attributable to events of that day; approximately 140 law enforcement officers were treated for injuries. It could take millions of dollars to repair the damage caused by the rioters, according to congressional testimony by the architect of the US Capitol.”
As historian Nicole Hemmer wrote, “legitimate political discourse” is “an odd way to describe the actions of a mob that chanted ‘Hang Mike Pence’ as it clashed with police before breaking through the doors and windows of the Capitol in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. And while, after widespread ridicule, the RNC insisted that it was referring only to the nonviolent protesters supporting Trump’s lie that the election was stolen from him, its attempt to whitewash right-wing violence is part of an ongoing pattern on the right… The end result of these efforts to minimize, excuse, and erase right-wing violence is an environment that invites even more of it.”
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