We saw on January 6th what happens when GOP leaders tried to stir up a crowd. Violence soon followed. So what are we to make of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggesting it would be easy to hit Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with a gavel, should Republicans take the House in 2022.
Now, there are calls for McCarthy to face some consequences for his rhetoric. Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA) wrote: “His language about assaulting @SpeakerPelosi is despicable and certainly undeserving of a gavel.” And Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) on Twitter addressed the GOP Leader directly:
“Don’t you think America has had enough political violence? You should never be encouraging or threatening or joking about causing violence to anyone, including the Speaker of the House. You need to apologize for your statement, or resign.“
On MSNBC, Senator Elizabeth Warren said:
“Kevin McCarthy makes clear every day that he doesn’t understand what leadership is about. All he cares about is playing politics and power and that is not good for his part and that is not good for Congress and that is not good for our nation. Shame on Kevin McCarthy.”
It does seem that there is a double standard in Congress when it comes to Democrats and Republicans. In 2019, former Representative Katie Hill (D-CA) quickly resigned after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer, and two years earlier, Al Franken resigned from the Senate after a 2006 skit surfaced that showed him forcibly kissing a woman on a USO tour. At the time Franken had said, “it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t.” The GOP has faced several similar instances over the last couple of years, with little to no consequence.