House

Scalise: Clinton, Holder comments on civility a ‘direct threat to our democracy’

Greg Nash

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise on Thursday slammed comments made by prominent Democrats, saying they will incite more harassment and violence and calling them “a direct threat to our democracy.”

The Louisiana Republican took particular aim at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) in a Fox News op-ed.

“Despite the continued reports of politically motivated threats or violence, Democratic Party leaders have worked to keep this anger burning and incite even more harassment and violence,” Scalise wrote.

Clinton said Tuesday that Democrats cannot be civil towards Republicans, while comments from Holder emerged on Wednesday in which he said Democrats should “kick” Republicans who “go low.” Walters, meanwhile, made comments earlier this year encouraging progressives to harass members of the Trump administration.

“Beginning with my own near-death experience at the hands of a deranged shooter who sought to assassinate a baseball field of Republicans, there is a growing list of violent or threatening actions taken against conservatives by Democrats,” Scalise, who was seriously wounded when a gunman opened fire at a Republican baseball practice last year, wrote.

“As a survivor of a politically motivated attack, it is tragic to think this is an acceptable state of political discourse in our country,” Scalise added.

“I refuse to stand for this and I will continue to call for an end to it. A healthy, strong democracy is not possible if anyone lives in fear of expressing their views.”

He also wrote that when Democratic leaders like Holder “call for violence,” it is a “direct threat to our democracy.” 

“I hope he and others think long and hard about the world they are creating and the impact they are leaving on this country.”

Scalise and others on the right have expressed fears that progressives’ rhetoric could lead to violence.

“I really worry that someone is going to be killed,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told a local radio station earlier this week.

Some on the left have pushed also back against the most recent comments.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) ripped Clinton’s remarks as “ridiculous” on Tuesday, while former first lady Michelle Obama (D) pushed back against Holder’s version of her slogan “when they go low, we go high.”

“Do you want them afraid of their neighbors? Do you want them angry? Do you want them vengeful?” she asked Thursday.

Tags civility death threats Eric Holder Eric Holder Heidi Heitkamp Hillary Cinton Hillary Clinton Incivility Maxine Waters Michelle Obama Michelle Obama partisanship political polarization Rand Paul Representative Maxine Waters Representative Steve Scalise Senator Heidi Heitkamp Steve Scalise tribalism Violence
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