Democrats last week began a well-orchestrated campaign to change the subject from Obamacare by declaring Republicans the newest terrorist threat.
House Majority leader Steny H. Hoyer claimed that Democrats faced threats of violence in their home districts. He demanded that Republicans take a stand against it. “Silence gives consent,” added Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, who accused Republicans of “aiding and abetting this kind of terrorism.” Democrats promptly exploited their own fear-mongering by rushing out a fundraising letter.
Meanwhile, a shot was fired through the window of Republican House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s Richmond office. Instead of attempting to fill his campaign coffers over the incident, Mr. Cantor denounced Democratic recklessness in creating “media vehicles for political gain.”
To hear Mr. Clyburn talk, you’d think the Capitol had been bombed - like President Obama’s spiritual mentor Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground did in 1971 or the communist Revolutionary Fighting Group did in 1983. We don’t recall Republicans placing the blame on Democrats for those bona fide terror attacks committed by the Democrats’ ideological cousins. For the party’s leaders to make such insinuations now rings hollow.
The Democrats and their supporters have consistently demeaned and mischaracterized the broad, nationwide, nonviolent grass-roots movement that arose in opposition to their radical agenda. A willing press establishment relays baseless claims that these protesters are violent uncritically and without investigation. This was demonstrated last weekend, when visibly delighted Rep. Andre Carson, Indiana Democrat, told reporters that anti-health-bill demonstrators had slung racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus. A Washington Times reporter witnessed other members of the press establishment scurrying back to the press gallery to go live with the charges without bothering to verify them. The story has yet to be substantiated.
Mr. Clyburn now wants to tie any potential future violence directly to the Republican leadership. Demonstrators “get their signals” from the Republicans, he said, leaving the implication that anything that might happen is at best condoned by, and at worst ordered by, the GOP.
But Mr. Clyburn is the one sending the signal, whether he knows it or not. Any leftist thug is now free to toss a brick through a Democratic congressional district office window secure in the knowledge that the act of vandalism will be blamed automatically on Tea Partiers or Republicans.
Such hoaxes are tickets to instant press coverage. In October 2008, Elmhurst College student Safia Jilani claimed to be the victim of anti-Muslim violence, sparking an outpouring of concern on campus. Chicago police later determined that the attack was faked and arrested Ms. Jilani. In February, a noose was found hanging in the library at the University of California at San Diego, spurring demonstrations, speeches and rallies. A minority female student later confessed to hanging to noose, calling it “a mindless and stupid mistake.” Not all such occurrences are hoaxes or misunderstandings, but the immediate presumption is that any such incident is genuine, and self-righteous blame is doled out much more quickly and in greater quantities than contrition once the hoax is exposed.
This victimization sideshow is meant to hide the fact that Democrats are pursuing policies that the American people oppose, and they are beginning to face a political price. A CBS News poll released Wednesday showed that 62 percent of Americans want Republicans to continue to challenge Obamacare. Other polls show congressional approval ratings at record lows. We suppose the people who were polled are aiding and abetting terrorism too, by Democrats’ standards.
We did not see either Mr. Hoyer or Mr. Clyburn hold a press conference last summer when thugs from the Service Employees International Union were beating demonstrators at town meetings or when they used physical intimidation tactics and made threats of violence against demonstrators on the Mall on March 21. Silence gives consent, indeed.