Democrats have long tried to demonize Republicans for various things. In fairness, the demonization tends to go both ways, with both sides absolutely convinced they’re in the right completely and both sides usually being wrong to some degree or another.
Yet on the topic of political violence, there’s only so much hyperbole I’m willing to do little more than roll my eyes at.
Take this bit from The Guardian I came across earlier today.
Republicans in Idaho have been criticized for “glorifying political violence” after the party hosted Kyle Rittenhouse, the American who shot and killed two people at an anti-racism protest and injured another, as a celebrity guest at a fundraiser.
The 20-year-old was the guest of honor at a Bonneville county Republican party event, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, on 15 April, where an AR-15 style rifle signed by Rittenhouse was auctioned off as part of a fundraiser and people could buy tickets to “Trigger time”: a Rittenhouse-hosted shooting event at a gun range.
The event, amid a prolonged spate of mass shootings – many conducted with AR-15s – suggests a further embrace by Republicans of the most extreme elements of the gun lobby in the US, despite polls showing a majority of Americans, across party-affiliation, supporting some gun control laws.
Rittenhouse was 17-years-old when he traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, from his home in Illinois, armed with an assault-style rifle, in August 2020. Black Lives Matter protests had been taking place in the city after Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer, leaving Blake partially paralyzed.
Rittenhouse joined other armed men acting as a self-described militia and roamed the city, before killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27.
Based on the comments about “political violence” and the way Rittenhouse’s actions were framed, it’s pretty clear where The Guardian comes down on things.
As if there was any doubt.
The problem is that Rittenhouse wasn’t engaged in anything that could reasonably be called political violence.
Those three names they gave? All three had attacked Rittenhouse in some fashion or another. Rosenbaum led a mob that chased Rittenhouse until he was cornered, then he personally tried to take Rittenhouse’s gun away from him forcibly after issuing threats. Huber had already hit Rittenhouse in the head with a skateboard, a weapon that has been used to kill in the past. Grosskreutz, who was only wounded, admitted on the witness stand that he pointed a firearm at Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges against him because he acted in self-defense.
Referring to what happened to him as political violence is a gross misrepresentation of what transpired. Do you know what does qualify, though? The shooting at a bank in Louisville. The killer in that instance carried out his attack in part to try and help push the gun control narrative, as was clear in his own manifesto.
Somehow, when the piece mentions Louisville, they managed to completely fail to note the killer’s stated motivations, all while calling Rittenhouse’s acting in self-defense political violence.
Look, I’ve never pretended The Guardian was unbiased news. I just wish they could figure out how to be a bit sneakier with their bias is all. They’re just embarrassing themselves as they currently stand, but what else is new?