In federal courtroom in San Francisco on Tuesday, David DePape tearfully informed a jury how he had been radicalized by far-right conspiracy theories he had devoured on YouTube podcasts.
He would hear all day, he mentioned, and in the end got here to imagine the form of baseless political quackery that has come to outline a wing of MAGA — theories about LGBTQ “groomers,” so-called white surrogates and imaginary pedophile rings within the Democratic Get together and Hollywood.
Ultimately, he got here up with a success checklist — Tom Hanks, former Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Bernie Sanders, Hunter Biden, California Governor Gavin Newsom. And Nancy Pelosi.
Happily, the previous speaker wasn’t residence final October when DePape broke in with duct tape and a hammer. However it was her husband Paul. On Monday, Paul Pelosi testified that he “wakened in a pool of his personal blood” after DePape assaulted him. DePape testified that he really believed he had killed Paul till he learn the state’s cost towards him from jail: “Tried homicide.”
As DePape’s chilling and troubling testimony unfolded on one coast, it was a special form of freak present on the opposite.
In a Senate listening to, Senator Markwayne Mullin challenged Teamsters President Sean O’Brien to a struggle — an precise bodily struggle wherein they each rose from their chairs — till Sanders intervened.
Within the Home, Tim Burchett accused Kevin McCarthy of elbowing him within the kidney in retaliation for voting to question McCarthy final month. McCarthy denied the declare, saying: “If I needed to hit any person, they’d know I hit them.”
In one other Home listening to, James Comer angrily informed Jared Moskowitz that any accusation that he had loaned his brother cash was “bullshit,” telling Moskowitz, “You appear like a smurf.”
And on Twitter, Marjorie Taylor Greene went after Darrell Issa for voting to kill her movement to question a Cupboard secretary, calling him a “p—-.”
The name-calling and playground taunts had been dangerous sufficient from elected officers. Inappropriate, inappropriate and unprofessional, for positive. Sadly, we have now gotten used to that. However the Republican violence and violent rhetoric in Congress is a brand new nadir for a physique that has sunk deeper and deeper into the stinking muck of Washington.
The jokes in Congress had been so dangerous that even Fox Information host Laura Ingraham known as it “an entire and utter embarrassment.” This at a community that has had its share of latest embarrassments and has been accused of inciting and inspiring violence time and time once more.
It is worse than embarrassing although. It’s sick. And it’s the direct results of a morally bankrupt president and the complicit and power-hungry political celebration and bloodthirsty media machine that fed his overwhelming ego.
Politicians and presidents earlier than Donald Trump had been actually no angels. However Trump ushered in a brand new form of ugliness. From admitting to sexually assaulting ladies – additionally recognized in authorized phrases as “assault” – to threatening journalists, encouraging his followers to assault opponents, calling his opponents nasty names, parading his hateful and open bigotry round within the guise of patriotism and After all, Trump incited a violent riot on Jan. 6, turning the presidency right into a unending WWE cage match with “I acquired subsequent.”
With the decorum gone, the vindictive insurance policies adopted. So did a punitive coverage wherein exterminating heretics turned much more necessary than profitable converts, and wherein Republicans determined to be recognized extra by who they hated fairly than what they stood for. Punishing turned extra helpful than ruling. Threats turned the traditional technique of doing enterprise. Issues like civility, decency, empathy and compassion turned synonymous with wokeism.
So is it any marvel that the pure evolution of this revenge tradition would see a deeply disturbed conspiracy theorist, gassed up by far-right media personalities, go and attempt to assault the folks he was informed to hate? (DePape is much from the one one, by the best way. Mass shooters in Buffalo, El Paso, and whilst far-off as New Zealand have all been tied to Trump, and far-right rhetoric and conspiracies.)
Is it actually that stunning that elected officers would find yourself threatening one another, difficult political enemies to fistfights, and even controlling them within the halls of Congress? Not after Trump made the hallmark of his presidency pitting People towards People and even Republicans towards Republicans. Not after Trump made each political struggle private.
The place wouldn’t it go if not right here?
There is a motive all these Republicans felt fully snug behaving this manner in public, with cameras rolling, within the Home of the Individuals of all locations, with out disgrace or worry of being disciplined — as a result of Trump led them right here.
So the place will we be in one other Trump time period? It might probably solely worsen.
SE Cupp hosts “SE Cupp Unfiltered” on CNN.