House Democrats who voted to impeach President Trump and rebuked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for their fiery rhetoric are being accused of adhering to a double standard when it comes to Rep. Maxine Waters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has defended Ms. Waters, California Democrat, for her Saturday rallying cry in Minnesota for protesters to “get more confrontational,” even though House Democrats have a record of bringing down the hammer on Republicans for similar transgressions.
Rep. Lisa McClain, Michigan Republican, blasted Ms. Waters’ “vile rhetoric” as well as what she described as a double standard in a Monday floor speech and again in a Tuesday interview on Fox News.
“The Democrats have set a standard, and all I’m asking is, Madame Speaker, don’t you think we both should play by the same rules?” asked Ms. McClain on “The Faulkner Focus.”
She noted that House Democrats stripped the Republican Greene of her committee assignments in February for 2018 posts about QAnon, for which she has apologized, and impeached Mr. Trump earlier this year for “incitement of violence” over his speech prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot.
“I mean, I often say that if it wasn’t for double standards, we’d have no standards at all,” Ms. McClain said. “We saw this with Marjorie Taylor Greene when they expelled her and removed her from her committees because of words she said prior to even getting to Congress.”
The House impeachment count against Mr. Trump cited two comments during his Jan. 6 speech on the Ellipse: “We won this election, and we won it by a landslide,” and “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Mr. Trump also encouraged the crowd to walk to the Capitol and said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
“Let’s not forget President Trump. They impeached President Trump for incenting violence,” Ms. McClain said. “Madame Speaker, do you really want to hold your party to a lower standard than you hold Republicans? I don’t think so.”
Ms. Waters joined protesters on the seventh straight night of demonstrations in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, about 10 miles from the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, site of the Derek Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd.
She told reporters at the scene that protesters should “stay on the street” unless Mr. Chauvin, a former cop who is White, is convicted of murdering Floyd, who was Black. The jury began deliberations Monday.
“We’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational,” Ms. Waters told reporters, as shown on Unicorn Riot video. “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Ms. Waters has since said she was being “non-violent,” while Ms. McClain asked whether those were “the words that someone would use if they wanted to incite more violence or insurrection?”
The first-term Republican noted that two Minnesota National Guard members were injured by shattered glass at about 4 a.m. Sunday, hours after Ms. Waters made her comments, from a drive-by shooting in Minneapolis.
“If the majority cares about this institution, if the majority cares about this nation, they need to get their own house in order and tamp down on the vile rhetoric,” Ms. McClain said.
Asked if Ms. Waters needed to apologize, Ms. Pelosi told reporters Monday, “No, she doesn’t,” but “that woman on the floor should be apologizing for what she said,” according to C-SPAN, apparently referring to Ms. McClain.
The Republican responded by tweeting, “As ‘that woman,’ no I won’t apologize for calling out the double standards that you have set.”
Ms. Waters said Sunday she sought to support “young people who are struggling” in her role as “Auntie Maxine” by appearing at the protest.
“And so I wanted to be there kind of as auntie Maxine, to show them that not only do I love them and I support them, but they can count on me to be there with them at this terrible time in all of our lives,” Ms. Waters told MSNBC.