For years, I have written about our age of rage where people believe that they now have license to attack others in restaurants, hurl threats on social media, and even damage the front doors of those who hold opposing political views. These attacks have been fueled by politicians like Maxine Waters who encourage people to hound conservatives. Howard Dean is the latest leader to rationalize such threats. After Rep. Elise Stefanik revealed a threatening note left on her car, Dean chided her as bringing about such threats by voicing her opposing political views.
Stefanik shared a photo of a note left on her car which said, “Rot in Hell FASCIST PIG,” on Twitter Saturday.
The response from Dean was as rapid as it was rabid:
“I don’t condone this, but ‘as ye sow, so shall ye reap.’ There is no excuse for the note writer or for you. You are a shame to your district and to a democratic United States.”
“As ye sow, so shall ye reap” appears to refer to Stefanik supporting President Trump, including her questions at the Trump impeachment hearing. The statement belies the faux condemnation preceding it. To carry on with Dean’s biblical theme, Dean did not “cast the first stone” but he certainly picked it up and threw it a second time.
What was equally disappointing was the response from George Conway, the husband of Kellyanne Conway who has emerged as a leading critic of Trump. Conway tweeted “@EliseStefanik is lying trash. Please give to her opponent.” Conway, a lawyer, recently (and correctly) denounced the threats of Sen. Chuck Schumer against two Supreme Court justices, as I did in a column. Yet, Conway lost that high ground with this personal attack on Stefanik. I fail to see why threatening members of Congress is more excusable than threatening members of the Court.
The problem with this age of rage is that it gives people license to break free from any expectation of civility or decency. The fact is that people like the rage; they are addicted to it. The response to this note is simple for any mature and decent adult: it is wrong. Period. Instead, much like Schumer’s “apology”, people like Dean equivocate while others like Conway attack. It is merely the shades of rage that have obscured any reason in our political discourse.
49 thoughts on ““As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap”: Howard Dean Blames Rep. Stefanik For Threatening Note Left On Her Car”
So when someone punches Dean in the nose, he will have brought it on all by himself. Maybe such an occurrence will make him rethink his dumb comments?.
Jonathan: You spend a lot of column space decrying the lack of civility in our current political discourse. Fair enough. But most of it, of course, comes from the White House where the current President spews out almost continuous vitriol about his political opponents. As a person of riper years I can’t remember a President who acted with such disregard for, as you put it, “civility and decency”. The Trumpster has set the gold standard for “road rage”. But when someone leaves a nasty note on the car windshield for Rep. Elise Stefanik, a loyal Trump supporter, you are all put out. Now if we are going to talk about rage let’s consider some really serious rage coming from one of Stefanik’s Republican colleagues in the House. I’m talking here about Rep. Ken Buck. This proud representative from the Colorado’s 4th Congressional District has an answer to those, like Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke, who call for restrictions on the sale of assault weapons. In a tweet last week Buck said: “I have just one message for Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke, if you want to take everyone’s AR-15, why don’t you swing by my office in Washington, DC and start with this one?” In an accompanying video Buck holds up his AR-15 and says: “Come and take it”. Now when a Congressional Representative stands up and threatens violence against a candidate and former candidate for President of the United States that’s serious rage that needs to be confronted–something you have conveniently ignored. You would rather focus on a note left on Stefanik’s windshield. Where is the balance, Jonathan?
Jonathan Turley wants to be a judge and hopes that Trump will make him one.
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