Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) facing criticism over a tweet in which she issued a “call to arms” after the recent leaking of the abortion decision from the Supreme Court. In the aftermath of the firebombing of a pro-life office and the doxing of Supreme Court justices, the “call to arms” was alarming for many, particularly given the violent protests in Chicago in prior years. I do not believe that Lightfoot is encouraging anything other than peaceful advocacy. Yet, it is striking how virtually identical language has been used by Democrats to seek the disqualification of GOP members and criminal charges against figures like Donald Trump. Indeed, such rhetoric featured greatly in the second impeachment of Donald Trump.
Ligthfoot declared “To my friends in the LGBTQ+ community—the Supreme Court is coming for us next. This moment has to be a call to arms. We will not surrender our rights without a fight—a fight to victory!”
Democrats have been criticized for the use of inflammatory rhetoric in the past. One of the most notable and shocking incidents was in March 2020 when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stood in front of the Supreme Court to threaten Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh by name: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
During the Trump impeachment, managers replayed the comments of Trump from prior years to show how his words fueled divisions, critics were pointing to similar statements from the managers themselves. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the leading impeachment manager, was chided for using “fight like hell” in a 2019 interview with The Atlantic — the very words replayed repeatedly from Trump. He also used that phrase repeatedly in prior years to ramp up his supporters in fighting for Democratic control of Congress.