House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has attacked Republicans as traitors in order to continue the ruthless rhetoric of the past four years on both sides. Despite the desire for greater voter unity, Pelosi has tried to capitalize on these divisions rather than closing them, while other Democrats are calling for blacklists and retaliation. The Speaker has now doubled these attacks, claiming that the need to increase security is due in large part to the “enemy within” with regard to the Republican ranks. As with her previous behavior as spokesperson, Pelosi continues to refuse to acknowledge any obligation to the institution to seek consensus and reconciliation.
Pelosi stated Thursday that there is clearly a need for a “supplement” [budget] for greater security for members when the enemy is in the House of Representatives – a threat members are concerned about in addition to what is happening outdoors. “
Such language obviously inspires many who want to portray opposing voices as traitors and rebels. It’s been a rhetorical build-up for years as more leaders and academics delve into the politics of personal destruction. The idea is to avoid reacting to actual positions by labeling the opposition as actual traitors, criminals, and threats. It is the signature of this age of anger in American politics.
Members are right to debate the question of whether Members are carrying legal weapons in Congress or on the floor of the House. Pelosi referred directly to such a member. There was also criticism of a member for her inflammatory statements on social media. Far enough. These problems can be fixed. Yet, even when faced with ruthless allegations against a member who reportedly showed his own family at Congress, Pelosi has doubled the rhetoric of treason for Republicans in general. It’s exactly the kind of rhetoric many of us condemned when used by former President Donald Trump.
I commended President Biden for speaking out about the need to end the language of division and personal discrimination. Recently he reiterated the call and said that politicians must “remove the vitriol” and stop “the ad hominem attacks on each other”. He disapproved of people who “do something that you disagree with about the other person’s personality or lack of integrity, or who are not decent lawmakers and the like. So we have to get rid of that. “
I like Biden’s performance as president. However, when the President made these comments, Speaker Pelosi was dealing with the very critical language he condemned. It won’t end unless Biden calls out to the people in his own party and calls for that rhetoric to be cut. His words continue to be drowned out by the words of his own party’s leadership.