When the 118th Congress got underway, one of the first actions of the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives was to remove the magnetometers that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi had had installed outside the House chamber following the January 6th attack.
After Tuesday’s events on Capitol Hill—when deposed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy allegedly sucker-elbowed a fellow Republican who called it “a clean shot to the kidneys” and Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) dared a witness in a Senate hearing to a fistfight—maybe it’s time to bring those magnetometers back.
Remember when, back in September, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) referred to Republican infighting as a “civil war” and everyone understood him to be speaking metaphorically? Maybe not so much.
Before Tuesday’s unhinged Republican behavior recedes from memory, it’s worth emphasizing one aspect of it that has been underappreciated in the press coverage: that it didn’t happen in a void, but rather fits into larger patterns in the world of Donald Trump.
Time and again, Trump has issued permission slips to those who practice violence. His fascination with the use of force, including by violent militias like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, is well documented. Tuesday’s events can only really be understood in that larger context of Trump and violence. [Continue reading…]