Not surprisingly, nearly a week after the violent attack that happened to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi in their San Francisco home while she was in Washington, D.C., the Usual Suspects on the left and in the mainstream media are still doing their level best to try to blame Republican rhetoric and “election denialism” for what happened.
But on the “CBS Mornings” program that aired Tuesday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was having none of co-host Tony Dokoupil’s nonsense on the matter even as Dokoupil repeatedly pressed him to pin Pelosi’s accused attacker David DePape’s actions on conservatives who raised concerns about the 2020 presidential election results, and insinuated that these attacks are always coming from one direction.
After Dokoupil asked him what his reaction was, Cotton wished Paul Pelosi “the very best and a full recovery” and said in no uncertain terms that the book should be thrown at DePape, who he pointed out likely would not have been able to attack Pelosi had immigration laws in the state of California been followed and enforced. Cotton then stated that we should also throw the book at “the person who tried to assassinate Brett Kavanaugh” and “the same thing to all those agitators who are protesting in violation of federal law outside of justices’ homes.”
Dokoupil clearly didn’t like Cotton bringing up instances of left-wing threats and violence, and tried to steer the conversation back to the narrative he was trying to spin.
“[I wanted to] get your thoughts on whether the temperature in the country is just too high, the misinformation is just too much, and that we’re going to see more, not less political violence going forward,” Dokoupil claimed. “That’s the concern. People in your own party have voiced that concern.”
But Cotton again shut him down, saying that urging people to stop campaigning and talking about the issues that matter to most Americans is not the answer to the assault on Pelosi:
“Well you see deranged lunatics attack both Democrats and Republicans alike. I don’t think John Boehner 12 years ago pointing out that Nancy Pelosi passed Obamacare, or Kevin McCarthy now pointing out she passed trillions of dollars of spending that causes inflation led to this apparent nudist activist breaking into their home. The simplest way to stop crimes like this, is to get tough on crime. It’s not to try to stop campaigning in the middle of a campaign seven days before an election on legitimate issues of public concern,” he told CBS.
Dokoupil then tried to infer from Cotton’s answers that he did not blame so-called election denialism for what happened to Mr. Pelosi. Cotton hit back with a great answer:
Dokoupil: But, to be clear from your answers here, I’m hearing, you don’t see any connection between things said in this country — in particular by people denying the results of the 2020 election and the motivations of, as you call it, this mad man in Paul Pelosi’s house with intentions against the speaker. You don’t see a connection between the political rhetoric and the acts of this individual and other individuals?
Cotton:: Well, Tony, no more connection than Chuck Schumer going to the steps of the Supreme Court and saying that Brett Kavanaugh wouldn’t know what hit him if he issued rulings that Chuck Schumer disagreed with. And what do you have? A left-wing hitman showing up at Brett Kavanaugh’s house to assassinate him. The answer to all of these crimes is to get tough on crime and throw the book at these criminals.
At that point Dokoupil gave up his biased line of questioning and began talking about Cotton’s new book, which was the original purpose of the interview.
In my opinion, Cotton is one of the more underrated Republicans when it comes to putting on master classes in how to destroy media narratives in real-time under the harsh glare of the spotlight without breaking a sweat.
In this case, it’s especially important that Republicans get it right and not fall hook, line, and sinker into the traps the press and Democrats are setting as it relates to the Pelosi incident from last week.
Should the attack be condemned? Absolutely, unequivocally. Should it be used as an example to tar and feather all Republicans (notwithstanding the fact that the alleged perp had views that were all over the map and don’t fit in any particular box, and we’re still learning more on that front) who have legitimate concerns about how the elections process works? No, because once the “thought policing” of free speech starts, it only leads down one road, one that would turn this country into something it should never be.
It’s just that simple.