Pelosi Accuses Trump and Colleagues Of Defining Domestic Enemies

220px-nancy_pelosiI have previously condemned both sides in our raging politics for labeling their opponents as “traitors,” “terrorists,” and “enemies.”  That overheated rhetoric is continuing this week with Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling not just President Trump but her own congressional colleagues “enemies of the state.” I have been highly critical of President Trump in his use of such language. I also have long been critical of Pelosi’s conduct as Speaker, including her ripping up the State of the Union. This attack is particularly egregious from a sitting Speaker who represents the body as a whole. If we cannot agree on condemning even this language, we have lost any sense of decorum or decency in our public debate.

In a Monday interview with MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin, Pelosi was asked about the controversy over the postal service and mail-in voting. She responded:

“Thank you for the opportunity to say. One thing I’ll say to the American people: Do not pay any attention to Donald Trump. It is his goal to scare people from voting, to intimidate them by saying he’s going to have law enforcement people at the polls, to welcome, in fact, Russian intervention into our election . . . We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and our honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., with their allies in the Congress of the United States.”

Pelosi clearly states that her colleagues are included among the domestic enemies that the House oath that is required as a qualification for office under Article VI, clause 3.

It is a further denigration of our political debate.  However, this is directly calling those who support Trump in Congress to be domestic enemies. Pelosi has previously caused controversies over comments on the floor that were viewed as violating House rules.

Pelosi herself has led efforts to condemnTrump for his “low standards using disgraceful language about Members of Congress.”

This is not a statement on the floor and is not a clear violation of House rules. However, it is a violation, again, of the traditional role of the Speaker. No one expects a Speaker to be a non-partisan, particularly off the floor. However, she is the highest ranking member of the House of Representatives and leads by example. This has been the continuing example of raw and reckless partisanship from the Speaker. I happen to agree with Speaker Pelosi on some of these policy fights. Yet, calling your own members enemies of the state is a reprehensible moment that would be widely condemned in the media if the party affiliation were reversed.

I admit that I may be hopelessly out of touch with the brawling, insulting character of modern politics. I still believe that our leaders should be examples, particularly presidents and Speakers, in their language and conduct. This is a sitting Speaker saying that members who disagree with her are enemies of the State and the very dangers that members are sworn to resist as threatening the nation as a whole.

It is easy to take this free-fall plunge into such damaging and demagogic language. We can yield to the moment and label opposing voices as traitors or we can insist that our leaders meet minimal standards of civility and responsibility. This is neither. If we become accustomed to labeling opposing views as effective treason, it will not be long before people begin to treat such labels literally and demand treating dissent as treason.

Speaker Pelosi should apologize for this attack and reaffirm that there remains some degree of decency and civility that remains in our public debate.


298 thoughts on “Pelosi Accuses Trump and Colleagues Of Defining Domestic Enemies”

  1. Just saw video of Portland Police charging a shield wall of violent anarchists, taking them down and arresting them. I do hope they broke a few bones in the process. The leftist prosecutor releases them without charges so street justice is the only justice people can get in Portland. Hard for a street commie to run with his legs in casts and hard to swing a club or throw bombs with broken arms. This is what Democrat Brown Shirts have brought us to.

  2. With things as they are currently, I as a poll worker would welcome any law enforcement official watching the polling location for safety reasons. It is nearly an 18 hour day for us and we’d like to not have to worry about who or what comes thru the door of our precinct location

  3. Former GOP Justice Officials Endorse Biden

    A group of onetime Republican presidential appointees who served as senior ethics or Justice Department aides are endorsing Joe Biden for president, warning that Donald Trump has “weaponized” the executive branch and is putting in peril the legitimacy of the Justice Department.

    The former officials endorsing Tuesday served under the Reagan, H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations.

    The officials said they’re backing Biden in the hope of restoring “basic honesty and integrity to the U.S. Department of Justice and to Executive Branch decision-making.”

    For his part, Trump has railed against Democrats taking the reins at the Justice Department, saying Biden would radicalize the nation’s response to protests. Trump has said he is the president whose chief interest is maintaining law and order.

    The endorsement for Biden and against Trump from a cadre of Republicans comes on the second day of the Republican National Convention. On Monday, former Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona led more than two dozen former GOP congressmen in forming “Republicans for Biden,” to coincide with the launch of the convention. Other Republican appointees to endorse Biden on Tuesday:

    — Alan Charles Raul, who served as vice chair of the White House Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board under George W. Bush and served in roles with George H.W. Bush as well as associate counsel to the president in the Reagan administration.

    — Charles Fried, former U.S. solicitor general in the Reagan administration and an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

    — Stuart Gerson, an assistant attorney general under George H. W. Bush.

    — Peter Keisler, former U.S. acting attorney general under George W. Bush.

    — Paul Rosenzweig, who served in the Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush.

    — Robert Shanks, former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration

    — J.W. Verret, who served on Trump’s presidential transition staff.

    Edited From: “He’s Going To Be Unleashed: Republican DOJ Appointees Urge Against Trump Second Term”

    Today’s Politico

    1. I suspect it will be a daily parade of Biden endorsements from high level repubs. Love it.

      1. I love it too. These parasites are welcome to expose themselves. We will see how it all unfolds. Maybe their double dealing, scheming plots will pay off. or maybe not.

        It’s no surprise the Bush lackeys hate Trump. They always did. Never forgive him for blowing lame Jeb out of the water in the primary. Jeb, what a loser.

        The only one I respected was the older one.HW. These other losers are insignificant. at this time. Has-beens.

      2. Did you see this video from Republican Voters Against Trump?

        1. Did you see that Republicans are out registering new voters by a significant number. Those few RINOs are not a problem.

            1. On a daily basis you provide ample “evidence” that you are incapable of critical thinking.

              If you were, you might notice that this is a repeat of 2016.

              I.E.- Establishment elitists in both Parties comfortably ensconced within the DC hierarchy, who care about nothing other than maintaining their positions in order to continue enriching themselves at the Peoples expense.

              Which is why their greatest fear is populism. They are modern day Marie Antoinette’s.

              Yet another reason why Trump will win in November. Which means that once again, you will not get your participation trophy, and you’ll scream and cry like a spoiled self-entitled brat……again.

              1. Sure Rhodes. Drawing a royal flush once means it will be easier the 2nd time. I think that’s how odds work.

                Nothing to worry about. Sleep tight.

                1. Says the 4 Flusher named, BTB.

                  FYI- 4 of a kind does not beat a Royal Flush.

                  Unlike you, I work hard every day. So I have no problem sleeping.

                  Your sophomoric plebeian ramblings here say everything about your PTS problem. Despite how many times mommy and daddy told you that you are important, you’re still not important.

                  But your real problem is rooted in the obvious fact that you’re not very bright.

              2. It’s exactly like ’16 in your mind, Rhodesy. But reality is telling a different story…

                Trump’s base has been crumbling since the Muslim travel ban and there is no Jill Stein or Gary Johnson to pull votes either. Ultimately, Trump’s attempts to squash the post office because the estimated mail in tally is projected in the 75/25 neighborhood for Biden, will ultimately enrage enough people that this will not be the low turn out election that ’16 was (another huge difference since trump won a slim TKO in the EC with fewer popular votes than Romney lost with). And Biden has roughly a 2x greater lead in polling averaging than what HRC had going in during ’16.

                Not looking good for trumpy bear. I can tell this blog is going to need at least a few boxes of tissues on election night. Don’t worry though, I’ll be here for ya, Rhodesy.

                1. While Bugg fails to make sense of the world around him the Republican convention has provided a back drop of violence and intimidation from democrat supporters. How wonderful to see low life democrats rioting in the streets, killing two people in Wisconsin last night and providing us with a video of a Biden mob attempting to intimidate a lone female who says no. It really isn’t wonderful but it represents Biden’s supporters including the hangers on like Buggs.

                  The twitter video that shows a woman with more inner strength than all of the rabid democrat supporters on this list is…


                    1. “Allan mumbles the fever thoughts in his brain out loud.”

                      That the Bugg can’t read the English language is obvious. That is why the Bugg can’t criticize the content and can only use ad hominem

                    2. Newsflash for Allan: just because you post the crazy in response to another post it doesn’t obligate anyone to respond to the crazy.

                    3. Bug, you responded all by your little ignorant self, but your response indicated an ignorance greater than one might have otherwise thought.

                      Look at the video. That will provide pictures since your reading ability is greatly impaired,

                    4. There’s no reason for me to look at the video. It has nothing to do with what I posted. It’s a deflection. An opinion editorial. I already know you’re a trump mutant. Visual proof isn’t necessary.

                    5. What a dummy. You are responding to a comment that included that video.

                      We understand. You pick up a bunch of ad hominems and randomly affix them as responses to others. What a dummy.

                2. Bugs, I could care less about Trump’s base, or Biden’s base.

                  Independent voters always decide elections, and are never part of any candidates “base”.

                  Your knowledge of political science is non-existent. Which is one of the reasons why you are completely ignorant to what is happening.

                  The “woke” canard has unraveled, and normal honest citizens have had enough of that disingenuous bullsh*t. The average voter isn’t a fan of random beatings, killings,arson,and looting, whether in the name of social justice, or anything else.

                  But your Party staked itself to the violence for some incredibly stupid reason. Which is why your Party is going to lose.

                  1. “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake Wednesday, saying “needless violence won’t heal us.”…

                    Biden recalled the unrest after the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd in police custody in May, and said at the time.

                    “Protesting brutality is a right and absolutely necessary, but burning down communities is not protest,” he said about the unrest after Floyd’s killing.

                    On Wednesday, he struck a similar tone.

                    “It is needless violence,” Biden said. “Violence that endangers lives and guts businesses and shutters businesses that serve the community. That’s wrong.”

                    Biden said that the country needs to unite, heal, do justice, end violence and end systemic racism.

                    “Needless violence won’t heal us,” Biden tweeted. “We need to end the violence — and peacefully come together to demand justice.”…”


        2. A lot of people are losing a lot of unwarranted perks because of Trump. Trump’s an outsider who doesn’t depend on the graft of the system.

          1. Alan, presidents can’t govern as outsiders. And it’s ridiculous for an incumbent to campaign as an outsider.

              1. I know, I know. It’s tough to grasp, Allan. But realization of the truth is always the first step.

                1. Why don’t you explain it to us Bugg? Are you going to admit to being dumber than PaintChips?

                  1. It’s actually an elementary concept. Here, maybe repetition will help….

                    “Alan, presidents can’t govern as outsiders. And it’s ridiculous for an incumbent to campaign as an outsider.”

                    1. That tells us you can’t explain it yourself.

                      Trump was an outsider and though things have improved somewhat to this day he is faced with continuous attacks from all sides precisely because he is not a rent seeking politican. The best example of one of those rent seekers is Joe Biden who has gone several steps beyond most, enriching his family by selling American down the drain.

                    2. Does it need to be explained further? If so, it looks like we’re dealing with a bigger problem here.

                    3. Alan, presidents can’t govern as outsiders. And it’s ridiculous for an incumbent to campaign as an outsider.

                      Define outsider.

            1. All of the first Presidents were outsiders and given Trump’s place in politics, he is an “outsider.”

      3. You should use what little critical thinking skills you might possess to consider why there are establishment Republicans endorsing Biden, just as there were establishment Republicans endorsing Clinton in 2016.

        Here’s a clue. It’s because there is really no difference between the 2 political Parties, when it comes to their collective end goal.

    2. You know that Jeffy Flake could not raise enough money to participate in the primary for his own seat for re-election? This is your leader?

      1. That, and the fact that there is no detectable NeverTrump constituency in social survey research. It’s all bought-and-paid for opinion journalists and denizens of the Capitol Hill nexus. Here’s the Flake list:

        Reps. Steve Bartlett of Texas,
        Bill Clinger of Pennsylvania,
        Tom Coleman of Missouri,
        Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania,
        Charles Djou of Hawaii,
        Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma,
        Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland,
        Jim Greenwood of Pennsylvania,
        Bob Inglis of South Carolina,
        Jim Kolbe of Arizona,
        Steve Kuykendall of California,
        Ray LaHood of Illinois (who served as Transportation secretary in the Obama administration),
        Jim Leach of Iowa,
        Connie Morella of Maryland,
        Mike Parker of Mississippi,
        Jack Quinn of New York,
        Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island,
        Chris Shays of Connecticut,
        Peter Smith of Vermont,
        Alan Steelman of Texas,
        Bill Whitehurst of Virginia,
        Dick Zimmer of New Jersey,
        and Jim Walsh of New York.

        LaHood, Morella, and Leach all took jobs in the Obama Administration (and Leach changed his party registration years ago). Shays, Schneider, Quinn, Greenwood, Gilchrest, and Peter Smith were a chronic problem for party whips, at least as troublesome as Susan Collins (and the same could be said of Morella and Leach). This was true of Clinger, Zimmer, Kukendall and Walsh as well to a lesser degree. Inglis was knocked out in a primary in 2010 over his plumping for open borders and climate-scaremongering. Dent, Bartlett, and Coleman are lobbyists. Kolbe took up gay advocacy. Quite a number of these characters are ancient, or have been out of office for an extended period of time, or both. Wm. Clinger’s 91 years old and left Congress 23 years ago; Mickey Edwards and Coleman left 27 years ago; Claudine Schneider, Steve Bartlett and Peter Smith left Congress 29 years ago; Alan Steelman’s been gone from Congress for 43 years. Several of them left the Republican Party years ago (Leach, Connie Morella, Wayne Gilchrest).

        So, the muh principles crowd recruits a bunch of people who’ve been out of circulation for a decade or two or three and were commonly unco-operative with the Republican caucus when they were in circulation.

    3. The only one not on the payroll that anyone has ever heard of is Charles Fried. I last remember having to be conscious of Fried when he was announcing he’d vote for Obama because he was just appalled with Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin had 11 years under her belt as a public executive. Obama, Biden, and McCain had zero between them. This is the quality of the man’s judgment.

    4. Why would Anyone vote for a man who has mental acuity problems to fill the most powerful position in our country? Would any business hire him to be their CEO?
      President Trump has a record of accomplishment for the American people, that no one can deny. Republican Non Trumpers are the Swamp, trying to hold onto power and money. Just like the Democrats. They want to use the taxpayers money to pad their pockets and their friends!
      Vive laTrump!🇱🇷

  4. Based upon the comment strings that emerge on virtually any topic, including this one, raised on this site over the last couple of years, I believe it fair to say that the good ship Civility set sail some time ago.

    1. I emailed Turley about it, asking him why he has a Civility Rule if he’s not going to enforce it, but he never responded.

        1. On the contrary, Mespo, he’s had Darren remove a bunch of comments that I reported to him, including two that threatened him and his wife.

          Your ongoing insults and imaginings say more about you than me.

    2. If you want it, then give it. Model good behavior and others will follow. You are pretty decent Mikey

    3. “…the good ship Civility set sail some time ago.”

      Roughly 1789.

      Thus far, Professor Turley has been a patriotic American.

      1st Amendment

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  5. Name calling is part of the ever devolutionary political landscape – only the media and how they spin and sin win.
    Nonetheless, Joe Biden lying and using the Charlottesville hoax as part his platform and campaign launch is an immediate reason for his and all of his handlers disqualification from the election. He is willfully lying to stoke even more social, economic and political unrest. This is off the charts evil.

    1. What “Charlottesville hoax”?

      And if Joe Biden lying “is an immediate reason for his and all of his handlers disqualification from the election,” is Donald Trump lying *also* “an immediate reason for his and all of his handlers disqualification from the election”?

  6. What Turley says here is given. More importantly, the opportunity that these squalid (and unimaginative) utterances afford is an instructive view onto this overheated rhetoric, which includes “treason”, “terrorist”, “enemy of the state [or people]”, etc. It is so transparent that all of this terminology, whether or not it refers to a bona fide legal definition or status, is simply a collection of unanswerable smears of one’s political opponents whose job is to preemptively negate any possible legitimate response. The terms are hopelessly subjective; their arbitrary quality should automatically invalidate them and redound to the permanent discredit of anyone who flings them – again, regardless of whether the word in question has legal status (“treason” is the quintessential case in this respect). Words characterizing a person’s words or actions as having a criminal political status, which then are assigned criminal liability based on that status rather than on the act, should never be legally authorized in a free society, not that we live in a free society anymore, but we should (in case we forgot that part).

  7. While Professor Turley initially provides the full Pelosi comment in context, he later mischaracterizes it as Pelosi calling Trump and her colleagues “domestic enemies” when she clearly limited her charactization of them as “domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring or Constitution”. I find this type of problem often in Professor Turley’s articles and urge him to be more careful in his writing.

    1. It is sloppy and disconcerting Citizen, and it’s hard to imagine a law professor at a reasonably reputable law school could dim enough to be that sloppy regularly without intent.

    2. I observe these lawful homeowners stood up to intimidation in their neighborhoods in Kenosha. They were merciful and fired warning shots. MESSAGE RECEIVED BLM BYE BYE

      Pelosi enourages riot, looting, and intimidation. And she has the gall to call Republicans “enemies of the state”

      She’s not very careful., Why should everybody be careful but her? No, careful is what you guys want, but never give, ever spewing forth a vomit of bile and invective.

    3. he later mischaracterizes it as Pelosi calling Trump and her colleagues “domestic enemies” when she clearly limited her charactization of them as “domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring or Constitution”.

      LOL! Wow. And when Pelosi concluded: Enemies of the state. She was talking about what, New Jersey? The state of the Democratic party? The Deep State? The state of her disinformation campaign? Certainly not the United States, right?

      Keep trying.

      1. The full comment from Pelosi that Professor Turley provides us does not include “enemies of the state”. Therefore, he has given us no written context or source for the quote and makes it impossible for the reader to evaluate and analyze it. I urge Professor Turley to provide proper context and source information for quotes in future articles.

        1. I urge Professor Turley to provide proper context and source information for quotes in future articles.

          I’m concerned you’re a citizen at all, with the right to vote in this country. You’re actually blaming JT for your apparent failure to verify anything you read. Context is everything. If you don’t do your own due diligence, then your brain is fertile territory for disinformation. Here is the last portion of her statement:

          “They’re doing everything they can [to] suppress the vote with [their] actions: scare people, intimidate by saying law enforcement will be there, diminish the role of the postal system in all of this. It’s really, actually shameful. Enemies of the state,”

          1. Thanks for providing the context that Professor Turley fails to provide. Enemies of the state is over the line but the rest of the paragrapgh is fine and goes to her focus on voting. By the way, I agree with your assessment that state does not refer to NJ!

            1. Thanks for providing the context that I failed to get.

              FIFY. Come on, take some ownership over what gets seeded in your brain. This is Civics 101.

              1. My last word on this is that I continue to belive that Professor Turley’s artcle should have provided the context that OLLY and the video clip provided. Thanks.

      2. Pelosi is a lifer statist.

        Therefore the State takes precedence over We the People.

        Which is the exact opposite of the core principles enshrined within the Constitution.

        Therefore this entire corona canard, combined with the BS Antifa/BLM Marxist movement is a wet dream come true for her. Of course, she is also one of the principal engineers and enablers of said “movement”.

        Which in reality is nothing more than sedition. But John Durham’s on that.

        1. Pelosi is a lifer statist.

          Of course and she has plenty of company. They have a lot in common with the tyrants that pushed us to war in the 18th century. And they have their loyalists that ignorantly believe a people that have a taste for freedom, liberty and a security of rights will passively accept their loss.

  8. Dear Mr. Turley, I think maybe you are ready to start seeing the light. The other side has been accusing Trump left, right and centre of divisiveness and hate speech since Day One, when in fact they are the ones practising such things. What Pelosi said and did yesterday is just a few degrees more in amplitude than what has been going on for years now.

    The solution is for Americans to stop voting in hacks who work for oligarchs and globalist/corporatist big business interests all tied together now with a bloated, entrenched Administrative State which clearly thinks itself far superior to mere elected officials, including any voted into the White House by the people.

    All this hatred is engineered on purpose. They have gone way past the point of no return. They cannot discuss policy because what they do and want to do has little to do with any talking points they serve up to get votes. So they offer emotion, and the most accessible emotions are negative, aka character assassination.

    The world where both sides are honourable with honest disagreements is an ideal which hasn’t existed in reality for a very long time. I know it’s hard to accept this for any decent person like yourself, but we all have to wake up. Both sides are corrupt and rotten in many ways. But wouldn’t it be nice if more elected officials were answerable to the people and the constitution, were honest and intelligent, and actually worked to clean up so much of the mess that now pollutes the entire body politic.

  9. Re the BLM Antifa terrorists, anarchists, arsonists that the Democrats refuse to condemn —–

    “Is there one single Republican congressman who would introduce a Bezos tax to pay for the reconstruction of riot-damaged businesses with a tax on lefty foundations, big tech and the banks? There’s a path to national prominence here if anyone has the gumption to seize it.” @j_arthur_bloom

    1. Anon I am 100% on board with a penalty tax on Silicon valley for enhancing the riot and anarchy. I would however favor a corresponding distribution along fairer UBI lines.

      Spending it only on the urban enclaves will just be more self directed graft and pork for the local Democrats who failed. A national UBI would be a better idea, a fair one, with no strings, however small. Let the normal people dip their beaks and not just the losers and their handlers. For once.

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