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Opinion/Editorial: Pols quiet on Pelosi's attack are big cowards

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pelosi attack

A worker carries a sheet of plywood from the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi in San Francisco Oct. 28 after an attack on Paul Pelosi.

How hard can it be for a member or candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives to say that it is intolerable to attack an 82-year-old man with a hammer?

Apparently, it is too hard for Republican members of the House from Virginia and the state’s Republican candidates who hope to win seats on Nov. 8.

Silence in response to the assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House, represents a form of cowardice that should exclude anyone, regardless of political affiliation, from public office.

So if Virginians don’t soon hear expressions of disgust at the savagery that fractured Paul Pelosi’s skull from their current Representatives Bob Good, Morgan Griffith, Ben Cline and Rob Wittman, those men deserve no respect, much less anyone’s vote. The same applies to Republican candidates Yesli Vega, Jen Kiggans, Terry Namkung, Leon Benjamin Sr., Karina Lipsman, Hung Cao and James Myles.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin did decry the attack at a rally for Vega. But the man who hopes to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024 could not find the grace to keep his criticism apolitical.

“There’s no room for violence anywhere, but we’re going to send her [Nancy Pelosi] back to be with him in California,” the governor told a crowd which then cheered.

Republicans have been harbingers of hypocrisy since refusing to condemn the GOP’s attempted coup on Jan. 6, 2021. The attack on the Capitol by followers of former President Donald Trump hoping to overturn the 2020 presidential election normalized violence in politics.

Now, the party running on a platform of controlling crime lacks the moral grit to denounce a brutal attack on an octogenarian.

Party of law and order?

Give us a break.

The man charged in the attack on Paul Pelosi is 42-year-old David DePape. According to the Washington Post, his social media posts called for shooting journalists who reported that the 2020 election was not determined by election fraud. DePape also had social media posts that used a white supremacist acronym for Far Right Ethno-Nationalist, the Post reported.

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DePape’s right wing, racist and anti-Semitic online raving echoes the kind of extremism the Republican Party has refused to call out since Trump began running for president in 2015.

DePape reportedly carried zip ties when he broke into the Pelosi home in California and confronted Paul Pelosi with the question “Where is Nancy?” It was an eerie reprise of Jan. 6, when Capitol insurrectionists broke into the House Speaker’s office chanting “Nancy, Nancy.”

The problem for Republicans is that they empowered this kind of violence by demonizing Democrats, especially Pelosi, in their current campaigns. Anyone who attended last week’s 5th Congressional District debate between Republican incumbent Bob Good and Democratic challenger Josh Throneburg heard firsthand the hatred and blame that Good spewed at Pelosi and President Joe Biden.

Good is a member of the extremist House Freedom Caucus. So are Griffith and Cline. They espouse outrageously partisan positions that would likely find purchase in the disturbed minds of people like of DePape.

The most disheartening part of the spineless silence by Virginia’s Republican House members and wannabes is that their party presented them with principled examples to follow.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky offered these words on Twitter:

“Horrified and disgusted by the reports that Paul Pelosi was assaulted in his and Speaker Pelosi’s home last night. Grateful to hear that Paul is on track to make a full recovery …”

Former Republican Vice President Mike Pence, who was threatened by the Jan. 6 traitors, nailed it, too.

“This is an outrage and our hearts are with the entire Pelosi family,” Pence tweeted. “We pray Paul will make a full recovery. There can be no tolerance for violence against public officials or their families. This man should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Back here in Virginia, Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares also got it right.

“As I’ve said before,” Miyares tweeted, “violence has no place in our political discourse or society and anyone who does so is a coward who should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. “

Paul Pelosi’s attacker is indeed a coward. But politicians who cannot muster the courage to call him out in no uncertain terms are even more gutless.

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