Blame Trump for the Fist Fights on Capitol Hill
In San Francisco federal court on Tuesday, David DePape tearfully told a jury how he’d become radicalized by far-right conspiracy theories he’d devoured on YouTube podcasts.
He’d listen all day, he said, ultimately coming to believe in the kind of baseless political quackery that’s come to define a wing of MAGA — theories about LGBTQ “groomers,” so-called white replacement, and imaginary pedophile rings in the Democratic Party and Hollywood.
Eventually, he came up with a hit list — Tom Hanks, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hunter Biden, California Gov. Gavin Newsom. And Nancy Pelosi.
Thankfully, the former speaker wasn’t home last October, when DePape broke in carrying zip ties and a hammer. But her husband Paul was. On Monday, Paul Pelosi testified that he “woke up in a pool of his own blood” after DePape assaulted him. DePape testified that he actually believed he’d killed Paul, until he read the state charges against him from jail: “Attempted murder.”
As the grisly and troubling testimony of DePape played out on one coast, on the other it was a different kind of freak show.
In a Senate hearing, Sen. Markwayne Mullin challenged Teamsters President Sean O’Brien to a fight — an actual physical fight, where they both stood up from their chairs – until Sanders intervened.
In the House, Tim Burchett accused Kevin McCarthy of elbowing him in the kidney in retribution for voting to oust McCarthy last month. McCarthy denied the allegation, saying, “If I would hit somebody, they would know I hit them.”
In another House hearing, James Comer angrily told Jared Moskowitz that any accusations that he’d lent his brother money were “bulls–t,” telling Moskowitz, “You look like a Smurf.”
And on Twitter, Marjorie Taylor Greene went after Darrell Issa for voting to kill her motion to impeach a cabinet secretary, calling him a “p----.”
The name calling and playground taunts were bad enough coming from elected officials. Unseemly, unbecoming, and unprofessional, to be sure. We’ve sadly grown used to that. But the violence and violent rhetoric of Republicans in Congress is a new nadir for a body that’s been sinking deeper and deeper into the fetid muck of Washington politics.