‘Legitimate Political Discourse’? Make Them Own It, Democrats
Credit: Screengrab
February 7, 2022

In my last post, I mentioned an appalling phrase in a Republican National Committee resolution condemning Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, a phrase I thought would be noticed only by deeply committed GOP-bashers like me -- but now I see that even The New York Times has taken notice:

G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’

The Republican Party on Friday officially declared the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and events that led to it “legitimate political discourse,” and rebuked two lawmakers in the party who have been most outspoken in condemning the deadly riot and the role of Donald J. Trump in spreading the election lies that fueled it.

The Republican National Committee’s voice vote to censure Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at its winter meeting in Salt Lake City culminated more than a year of vacillation, which started with party leaders condemning the Capitol attack and Mr. Trump’s conduct, then shifted to downplaying and denying it.

On Friday, the party went further in a resolution slamming Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger for taking part in the House investigation of the assault, saying they were participating in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

But will Democrats know what to do about this?

I'm certain that Republicans would know if this were an embarrassing phrase about violence linked to Democrats and liberals. I know this because CNN used a questionable phrase to describe sometimes violent protests in the summer of 2020, and Republicans have been hanging the phrase around the necks of Democrats, liberals, and the mainstream media ever since. Here's an August 2020 New York Post story:

CNN is getting roasted for describing protests in Wisconsin as “fiery but mostly peaceful” during a live broadcast — that showed a building fully engulfed in flames Wednesday night.

The chyron “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING” appeared on screen as CNN reporter Omar Jimenez delivered a live report in Kenosha.

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Republican officeholders and influencers pounced.

And they've never stopped trying to work it.

If there's more right-wing violence, Democrats and liberal influencers need to be ready to say, "I guess this is more of that legitimate politcal discourse." Don't save this phrase for a riot or a bombing -- if some guy rips a mask off a store clerk in a mall or punches a flight attendant who tries to enforce a mask mandate, say, "Is this what you Republicans call legitimate political discourse?"

Hang the phrase around Republicans' necks. Memify it. Make them own it, again and again.

Posted with permission from No More Mr. Nice Blog

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