Supporters of President Trump, the most uncivil man to sit in the Oval Office in modern times, love to complain about a lack of “civility” on the left. They do so, gleefully and shamelessly, while reveling in Trump’s bullying tactics and Mitch McConnell’s obliteration of longstanding Senate norms.
Just last night on Justice with Jeanine Pirro, Trump credited his disgusting mockery of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford with helping to get Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination through the Senate:
Judge Jeanine and Trump both credit his attack on Dr Ford at a rally with helping get Kavanaugh over the finish line pic.twitter.com/oaCBDO9soG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 7, 2018
“I thought I had to even the playing field,” the president said of his choice to make fun of a sexual assault victim (whose most traumatic memory of being attacked was the two men’s laughter) in front of a roaring crowd.
Brett Kavanaugh indulged in his own bit of incivility during his teary breakdown in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He accused Democrats of conspiracy to get revenge against him for his role in the Clinton impeachment and he threatened reprisal against them, saying “what goes around, comes around.” Those were not outbursts, they were in his prepared remarks. When a female Senator whose father is an alcoholic asked if he had ever been intoxicated to the point of memory loss, he twice shot back with “Have you?” As we all know, that man is now on the Supreme Court.
In the wake of the massive outpouring of anger following Kavanaugh’s confirmation, author Chuck Wendig tweeted about why playing the “civility” game is a losing proposition for Democrats right now.
There are times to be civil, but this is not one of those times:
Stealing a Supreme Court seat, obstructing an investigation into a president accused of obstruction of justice, purging the Justice Department of anyone who might criticize you, calling the media the enemy of the people, rejecting reported facts, and threatening your political opponents with prosecution and jail time is not normal and we don’t have to behave as though it is.
Wendig was also careful to distinguish between ‘uncivil’ behavior and violence:
Of course, this won’t stop Republicans from saying any calls for fighting back equate to calls for violence. They did the same thing when Maxine Waters urged supporters to press public officials on why they were locking migrant children in cages. Pretending that your victims are your bullies is part of this entire ridiculous Republican charade.
He was also careful not to distinguish between Trump and GOP:
Trump has enjoyed more support from Republicans than any GOP president in recent years, including Bush after 9/11. That hasn’t changed for his entire presidency.
Finally, he called the cries for ‘civility’ what they are: the tactics of abusers.
Both McConnell and the nominally “Never Trump” Republicans will say that opposition to Kavanaugh “united” the Republican Party around Trump, but this is pure gaslighting. The “Never Trump” contingency was mostly made up of elites in the media and thus enjoyed overrepresentation in the national conversation. Telling the people you’re bullying that them fighting back is what’s making you bully them is straight-up sociopathic. They want their opponents to think any action they take to stop them is actually helping them. The reverse is true. Don’t believe them and keep fighting.