When former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot, the tragedy became an occasion for lecturing conservatives on supposed incivility. It was intemperate tea party rhetoric, we were assured, that had caused a deranged man to pull the trigger.
Well, how’s this tweet for incivility:
May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases.
That was a tweet from Allan Brauer, elected communications chair of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, to Amanda Carpenter, a speech writer for Senator Ted Cruz (and also a respected author and just all around nice person).
What had Amanda done?
Carpenter had tweeted:
GOP beat gun control, changed Obama’s mind on Syria, is holding the line on amnesty. We can defund ObamaCare.
When the twitter world began to take note of Mr. Brauer’s—em—intemperate tweet, he was not apologetic:
I’m being attacked on Twitter for wishing one of Ted Cruz’s pubic lice to experience the pain her boss is inflicting on Americans.
If a GOP communications director had tweeted anything remotely comparable about a top Democratic speechwriter, it would be a big story.
The story of Brauer’s tweets will probably never get out of the blogosphere, but it deserves attention.
What should worry us even more than Brauer's apparent personal vileness is that he is merely echoing the utter contempt that higher ups in his party have for anybody who disagrees with them. For example, I attended a conference earlier this week at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a think tank with Obama administration ties. Nobody batted an eye when former speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of “preying” on people.
This is now standard rhetoric, and I have to say it comes mostly from the other side of the aisle. Sarah Palin was almost accused of being accomplice to murder when, shortly before a deranged man shot former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Palin included Giffords on a “target list” of politicians Palin wanted defeated.
But when the Obama campaign accuses Mitt Romney of killing a woman in a campaign ad, nobody in the Democratic Party speaks out against this smear. This is the tone of contemporary politics. Unlike Sarah Palin, who merely employed rough-and-tumble campaign rhetoric, Brauer isn't going to lectured endlessly for his lack of civility by an outraged press. Here (as reported in National Review) is how a higher up in California's Democratic Party responded:
Tenoch Flores, spokesman for the California Democratic Party, told Yahoo! News political reporter Chris Moody that such rhetoric “lets fringe characters” like Ted Cruz “off the hook” and that it was “never acceptable to wish physical harm against political opponents, regardless of how objectionable their policy priorities are.”
Sadly, nastiness is no longer fringe in the Democratic Party.
This Just In: Brauer's resignation was requested and accepted by California Democrats, something that will stop the story from moving out of the blogosphere, if it ever was, given the media's propensity to overlook such behavior from Democrats. No word yet on whether Nancy Pelosi has apologized for saying Republicans prey on people.