Earlier this week, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on white supremacy, allegedly to examine “how anti-democratic extremist groups threaten democracy.”
The hearing had a pretty blatant left-wing bent and the intentionality behind it clearly meant to dress down the Right and paint its members as extremists. All of the witnesses there were invited by Democrats, and Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace was one of the only right-wing members who appeared.
But in a brief five minute exchange, Mace proceeded to bring the figurative house down on the heads of those there to testify when she quickly pushed the conversation in the opposite direction.
If you step into my kitchen you better be able to handle the heat 🔥 pic.twitter.com/c0eNqHsiDC
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) December 13, 2022
Mace began her questioning by asking the witnesses whether rhetoric is one way to inflict harm on American democracy. They all agreed it was.
Next, she asked if rhetoric on social media and rhetoric targeting officials with violence are threats to democracy. Again, they all said yes.
Then, having her soon-to-be-victims of internet records right where she wanted them, Mace circled the wagons.
Pulling out cardboard reprints of tweets made by one of the witnesses, Alejandra Caraballo of Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, Mace proceeded to read one of the most hypocritical things you’ll ever see.
“The six justices who overturned Roe should never know peace again,” Alejandra Caraballo tweeted. “It is our civic duty to accost them every time they are in public. They are pariahs. Since women don’t have their rights, these justices should never have a peaceful moment in public again.”
Deadpanning, Mace asked Caraballo if she believed her own tweet was a threat to democracy. Caraballo faltered and said she wanted to provide context to her statement.
Mace was having none of it.
“Do you believe your rhetoric is a threat to democracy when you’re calling to accost a branch of government, the Supreme Court,” Mace asked.
“I don’t believe that’s a correct characterization of my statements,” Caraballo said.
“Did you not tweet that?” Mace said. “That you thought Supreme Court justices should be accosted?”
Mace went on to point out that Justice Kavanaugh did have an actual threat against his life during the same time period as her tweet, and reminded everyone that political violence can be found on both the Left and the Right. Mace even went on to recount her own experiences with political violence, saying her car had been keyed, her house graffitied and broken into, and she herself was “accosted in the street.”
“I carry a gun everywhere I go in my district,” Mace said while lamenting the price of private security.
Mace finished, saying, “I look forward to working with anyone, Republican or Democrat… to address these threats from within and without, and I look forward to inviting more people who actually know what they’re talking about to our witness panels in the 118th Congress.”
Absolute queen energy.
Caraballo blocked Mace on Twitter after the exchange, which, given her record of making violent threats against politicians online, is probably in the best interest of Mace.
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) December 14, 2022
She also blocked me, which is odd as we’ve never had an exchange to my memory.
Watching Nancy expose this kind of blatant hypocrisy does spark joy. But more importantly, it’s a needed reminder that violence, and especially violent rhetoric, can be found across the ideological spectrum. While the media harps on about January 6th, the same alarmism is never applied to Antifa, left-wing activists burning private businesses, or the Bernie Sanders fan who shot at members of Congress a few years ago during their practice for the congressional baseball game.
Violence isn’t a political weapon. It should be condemned across the board by all people. And while speech is not violence, speech calling for violence against others should be taken seriously and addressed as it can lead to violent actions being taken.
Mace did an excellent job exposing these realities. The next time there’s a hearing on such issues, maybe the hosts should invite people outside their echo chamber.
If not, Nancy Mace might be there to fumigate it.