Dems a men­ace to pub­lic safety

The Record (Troy, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Dana Milbank Colum­nist Fol­low Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

So Pres­i­dent Trump is wor­ried there will be vi­o­lence if the Democrats win in Novem­ber.

“They will over­turn ev­ery­thing that we’ve done, and they’ll do it quickly and vi­o­lently -- and vi­o­lently,” Trump re­port­edly told evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tian lead­ers at a pri­vate White House din­ner Mon­day. Cit­ing An­tifa (an­ar­chists, not Democrats) and “some of th­ese groups,” Trump added, “th­ese are vi­o­lent peo­ple.”

His con­cern is en­tirely un­der­stand­able. The Democrats are a men­ace to pub­lic safety. It is time to hit this threat to do­mes­tic tran­quil­ity right be­tween the eyes -- and to arm teach­ers with guns just in case a Demo­crat wan­ders into one of their class­rooms look­ing for trou­ble.

This week, for ex­am­ple, I was sure Demo­cratic Sen. El­iz­a­beth War­ren of Mas­sachusetts was about to cane Repub­li­can Sen. Lindsey Gra­ham of South Carolina on the Se­nate floor (restart­ing the 1856 feud in which a South Carolinian at­tacked Mas­sachusetts Sen. Charles Sum­ner). For­tu­nately, an over­heard re­mark about in­come distri­bu­tion ta­bles dis­tracted War­ren from un­leash­ing Amer­i­can car­nage.

And in the House, there is no more ag­gres­sive a man than 78-year-old Demo­cratic Rep. John Lewis of Ge­or­gia. In Selma, Ala., in 1965, he rammed his head into a state trooper’s club so force­fully he frac­tured his skull.

Even with the de­par­ture of Harry Reid (ama­teur boxer) and Al Franken (high-school wrestler), Chuck Schumer’s Se­nate Democrats are a fear­some cau­cus; you can see it in the way Schumer prac­ti­cally dares Repub­li­cans to dis­lodge his read­ing glasses from the tip of his nose. And Repub­li­cans are quite rea­son­ably in­tim­i­dated by the im­pos­ing lineup of House Demo­cratic lead­ers Nancy Pelosi, 78, Steny Hoyer, 79, and Jim Cly­burn, 78.

Peace-lov­ing peo­ple re­coil at the vi­o­lence Democrats have shown them­selves ca­pa­ble of: Demo­cratic Rep. Greg Gian­forte of Mon­tana was sen­tenced to com­mu­nity ser­vice and anger­man­age­ment classes for as­sault­ing a re­porter on the eve of his elec­tion, and Demo­cratic Rep. Michael Grimm of New York once threat­ened on the night of the State of the Union to throw a re­porter off a bal­cony, say­ing, “I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

Wait -- strike that. Gian­forte and Grimm are Repub­li­cans.

But surely, Amer­i­cans re­call the Democrats’ vi­o­lent rhetoric on the cam­paign trail:

Hil­lary Clin­ton: “Knock the crap out of them, would you? Se­ri­ously, OK? ... I prom­ise you I will pay for the le­gal fees.”

Tim Kaine: “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you.”

Re­mem­ber, too, when Bernie San­ders said he’d like to “see what hap­pens” if his op­po­nent lost Se­cret Ser­vice pro­tec­tion and sug­gested “the Sec­ond Amend­ment peo­ple” should be able to at­tack her ju­di­cial nom­i­nees?

Oops -- my bad, again. Those were all things Trump said.

It was also Trump who twice tweeted images of pre­tend vi­o­lence be­ing done to jour­nal­ists, who tweeted videos pur­port­ing to show vi­o­lence be­ing done by Mus­lims, whose ral­lies were char­ac­ter­ized by peo­ple rough­ing up demon­stra­tors with Trump’s en­cour­age­ment, whose long­time ad­viser threat­ened a “blood­bath” if Trump lost the elec­tion, who him­self sug­gested “you would have ri­ots” and “bad things would hap­pen” if he were de­nied the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion, and who now leads crowds to men­ace the “hor­ri­ble, hor­ren­dous peo­ple” in the press sec­tion.

The man has a knack for blam­ing his op­po­nents for the ex­act of­fense he has com­mit­ted.

The vi­o­lent talk has con­se­quences, and not just in the death threats vis­ited on jour­nal­ists. Civil rights groups re­port a surge in hate crimes, anti-Semitic in­ci­dents and the like since Trump’s rise. Some, such as the Comet Ping Pong pizze­ria gun­man, are clearly tied to con­spir­acy the­o­rists Trump has helped to boost.

One sus­pects Schumer, re­quired to lis­ten to Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell’s daily lick­spit­tle rou­tine on the Se­nate floor, might fan­ta­size about one day turn­ing to his good friend from Kentucky and punch­ing the gentle­man in his hon­or­able nose. But in real life he must con­tent him­self by at­tempt­ing to fell McCon­nell with a with­er­ing turn of phrase. And New York Rep. Jer­rold Nadler, the 5-foot- 4 rank­ing Demo­crat on the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, could be for­given for day­dream­ing about land­ing a round­house kick to the chin of Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Chair­man Bob Good­latte when he abuses pro­ce­dures to si­lence op­po­si­tion. In real life, Nadler can only raise a point of par­lia­men­tary in­quiry.

Trump lawyer Rudy Gi­u­liani, by con­trast, is talk­ing about armed re­bel­lion. If Trump is im­peached, Gi­u­liani an­nounced, from a golf cart in Scot­land, “the Amer­i­can peo­ple would re­volt.”

There is in­deed some­thing re­volt­ing about all this, but it isn’t the Amer­i­can peo­ple.

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