Thuggish Actions

The actions of Antifa are thuggish and deserve to be condemned. The black bloc participants hide their identities while committing crimes such as assault and destruction of property.

For too long progressive politicians and progressive media outlets have turned a blind eye to the crimes of Antifa. As discussed on Tuesday, the Washington Post was the first mainstream progressive media outlet to condemn the black bloc protesters who call themselves Antifa.

As stated in that post:

Any attempts at defending Antifa is reprehensible. The silence from leaders of the Democratic party  on the issue of Antifa violence is ultimately self-defeating. Every time that scenes of masked Antifa thugs attacking people is shown on television it provides a little more quiet support for the Trump administration’s focus on law and order.
Nanci Pelosi
Yesterday Nancy Pelosi was the first Democratic leader to get herself on record opposing Antifa.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemned the “violent actions of people calling themselves antifa” after violence led to arrests at Bay Area protests, in the strongest criticism of left-wing protesters that any Democratic leader has made.

Pelosi’s motivation in finally taking the right path and condemning the actions of the alt-left thugs is unclear. Regardless of why she did it, Pelosi should receive credit for eventually doing the right thing. We can only hope that her fellow Democratic leaders publicly echo her concerns

In politics, no good deed goes unpunished. Nancy Pelosi faced reasonable, and unreasonable, criticism for her condemnation. Pelosi was criticized from the left for her actions:

But her condemnation drew a quick rebuttal from Stephen Jaffe, who is challenging Pelosi from the left in next year’s primary.

That is the ultimate challenge facing Democratic politicians. By pandering to the left-wing of their party Democrats risk alienating moderate swing voters who are crucial to winning power. When Democrats do the right thing they risk primary challenges from their left flank.

Democratic Response

Echoing the criticisms of Donald Trump after Charlottesville there were questions about Pelosi’s statement from Townhall:

Pelosi has more to answer for on this front.  Her unfair smear of the ‘Patriot Prayer’ rally as a white nationalist event directly contributed to its cancellation.  Worse, she specifically called for the gathering to be banned, relying on an embarrassingly ignorant reading of the constitution to justify her authoritarian impulse.  In other words, the former House Speaker slandered a peaceful protest group and advocated using the power of the state to stomp on core First Amendment rights, effectively bear-hugging the dangerous and un-American “heckler’s veto.”

It is good that Pelosi has done the right thing in condemning Antifa. People have the right to be free from physical assault. They also have the right to freedom of speech. Pelosi apparently gets the value of the right to freedom from physical harm. Hopefully, Nancy Pelosi understands that freedom of speech is an equally important. More importantly, we can only hope that Pelosi’s condemnation marks the tipping point for Antifa and they slowly fade into obscurity.


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