November 2, 2022

Paul Pelosi Attacked

The man accused of bludgeoning U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband with a hammer after breaking into the couple's home threatened to take her hostage and break her kneecaps if she lied under his questioning, according to a federal criminal complaint filed on Monday…

“Paul Pelosi, who was initially left unconscious from the attack, later told police that he was asleep when a stranger, armed with a hammer, crept into his second-floor bedroom and awakened him, demanding to speak with his spouse… Authorities said police officers arriving at the Pelosi home saw [David] DePape and Pelosi struggling over a hammer. As the officers shouted at both men to drop the tool, DePape yanked the hammer away and struck Pelosi in the head before officers subdued DePape and took him into custody.” Reuters

See past issues

From the Left

The left argues that right-wing violence is a serious problem, and that it is exacerbated by GOP rhetoric.

“‘In the course of the interview, DePape articulated he viewed Nancy as the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party,’ the complaint says. DePape also said he wanted Nancy Pelosi to admit to some ‘truth,’ although the complaint doesn’t detail precisely what he believed that truth to be. What we do know is what DePape indicated was animating him in the weeks before the attack…

“[His recent blog posts] included 2020 election denialism along with coronavirus and Jan. 6 conspiracy theories. DePape has also trafficked in QAnon narratives and expressed bigoted views toward minorities and transgender people.”

Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“Since 2010, white supremacists have committed 17 lethal attacks killing 77 people, or slightly more than half the killings attributable to all domestic violent extremists during that period… According to an April 2021 tally by The Washington Post and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, right-wing extremists have since 2015 been involved in 267 plots or attacks and 91 fatalities. The comparable figures for left-wing extremists are 66 and 19…

“A study released this past summer by the University of Maryland reached back to 1948, thereby capturing the era of left-wing turbulence in the late 1960s and early 1970s—the Weather Underground, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and so on. Yet even this longer timeline showed the likelihood of right-wing violence to be nearly double that of left-wing violence… Political violence enjoys much greater social sanction on the right than on the left.”

Timothy Noah, New Republic

“The same day as the Pelosi attack, a man pleaded guilty to making death threats against Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). Two days earlier, three men who were motivated by right-wing, anti-lockdown hysteria after covid-19 hit were convicted of aiding a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). In August, another man died after attacking an FBI office because he was so upset about the bureau’s search of Mar-a-Lago… There is little doubt about what is driving political violence: the ascendance of Trump…

“The former president and his followers use violent rhetoric of extremes: Trump calls President Biden an ‘enemy of the state,’ attacks the FBI as ‘monsters,’ refers to the ‘now Communist USA’ and even wrote that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has a ‘DEATH WISH’ for disagreeing with him. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has expressed support for executing Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats… That type of extremist rhetoric used to be confined to fringe organizations such as the John Birch Society. Now it’s the GOP mainstream, with predictable consequences.”

Max Boot, Washington Post

From the Right

The right argues that the assailant was clearly mentally ill, and pushes back against the claim that he was motivated by GOP rhetoric.

The right argues that the assailant was clearly mentally ill, and pushes back against the claim that he was motivated by GOP rhetoric.

“The press and Democrats have brushed right by the evidence of the attacker’s mental illness and portrayed the assault as a quasi-MAGA operation… DePape believes that he was being targeted by invisible forces. In its review of what DePape wrote on his blog the week before the attack, the Washington Post found that he thought ‘that an invisible fairy attacked an acquaintance and sometimes appeared to him in the form of a bird.’…

“He also believed that he was being targeted by law enforcement manipulating the 4chan message board. Apparently, before DePape’s posts would load, readers would see an image of someone wearing a giant inflatable unicorn costume…

“This is not the picture of a man radicalized by election denial or right-wing conspiracy theories. Instead, it shows someone already disturbed and dangerous before he posted anything favorable about Jordan Peterson or Peter Navarro… It’s not clear what election denialism has to do with any of this. It’s just something that progressives hate (for understandable reasons), and so they presume it bears some responsibility for DePape’s crazed violence.”

Rich Lowry, National Review

“If Republicans are to ‘blame’ for the lone, deranged Pelosi attacker, then Democrats ought to equally take the blame for the assassination plot against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in June. The impending court decision on abortion reportedly motivated the man from California to travel to Kavanaugh’s home, where he was thankfully arrested before carrying out his plan. The rhetoric on the left against conservative Supreme Court justices was at a fever pitch in the weeks before and after the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade…

“Then there's Rep. Steve Scalise. Scalise was critically injured in a 2017 shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice by a man who identified as an avid supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and as someone who viewed former President Donald Trump as a ‘traitor.’  Again, at that time, there was no concerted outcry from Democrats about violent political rhetoric, nor did we have the media handwringing, tying political beliefs so directly to the assault. Rather, it was portrayed as an isolated incident by someone who was not in his right mind. “

Ingrid Jacques, USA Today

“Here is what Democrats did after the Scalise attack: They condemned the violence. They wished Scalise well. They praised law enforcement. And they moved on. They did not concede that their rhetoric might have contributed to Hodgkinson's actions… Their response to the baseball shooting is a model of how Republicans can respond to the Paul Pelosi attack today.”
Byron York, Washington Examiner

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please email us at if you continue to have issues!