Maxine Waters has decries the Tea Party protests as “outrageous” and supported the demonstrably false media meme that Tea Partiers are a dangerous group. But lost in her rhetoric in how scary those dastardly Tea Partiers are for showing up with signs and waving flags, is the fact that Waters supported “outrageous” behavior — in the form of riots — back in 1992, when she stood to gain political clout from it.
“The Tea Party emerges as not only outrageous, but they have turned up the volume in ways that even Code Pink have not been able to do,” Rep. Maxine Waters said the other day on MSNBC. A video (warning: some adult language) from Breitbart.tv has been making the rounds interspersing quotes from that MSNBC interview with clips from a 2007 “antiwar” rally where Waters fulminated about then-President Bush and other members of his administration.
The Breitbart video very effectively makes the case that Waters is guilty of hypocrisy. Her behavior at the rally is at least as unattractive as her description of the tea partiers’ conduct. On the other hand, so what? When has a politician ever complained about the other side’s incivility without being guilty of hypocrisy?
But a look further back into Waters’s history reveals her hypocrisy to be far worse than is typical. The last time America experienced political mob violence–the Los Angeles riots of 1992–Waters was there offering excuses and justifications.
There are some similarities between the events that triggered the L.A. riots of 1992 and the anti-ObamaCare protests of 2010. Both were triggered by governmental decisions that struck a significant proportion of the population as unjust. And in both cases, the procedures that led to those decisions seemed to the dissenters to have been rigged. The officer-defendants in the Rodney King beating had successfully sought a change of venue from downtown Los Angeles to Simi Valley. The jury that acquitted them was mostly white. As for ObamaCare, that ugly process is fresh in everyone’s minds, so we won’t rehearse it.
There was one big difference, though: While the anti-ObamaCare protests were boisterous–perhaps even “outrageous,” as Rep. Waters says–they were not violent. There were a scattering of phone threats and acts of vandalism on both sides, but nothing even remotely resembling a riot.
The tea-party protesters are angry, and as Maxine Waters said in 1992, it’s OK to be angry. But she has no business lecturing anyone on political civility.
Color me unsurprised. A far left politician is worried about the serfs getting out of line at Tea Parties across America, because, well, they’re not doing as they’re told, or something. But the same far-left politician was not only apologizing for but encouraging violence on a major scale to further a political agenda not even 20 years ago.
The left regards violence, intimidation, and suppression of dissent as valid political tools, and is willing to employ those tools while claiming that their opposition is guilty of their crimes. Threatening a conservative with violence is fine, but a conservative voicing his opposition to the government is oppression.