As far as some Democrats are concerned, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) cracked a joke about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that was so horrible, it should result in his immediate resignation, the Washington Examiner reported.
The calls came after the California Republican was gifted a large gavel by members of Tennessee’s Republican congressional delegation, after which McCarthy reportedly joked that he’d hit Pelosi with the gavel.
What’s going on?
The gavel, which was customized with the phrase “Fire Pelosi,” was given to the Republican leader at a dinner event. Graciously accepting the gift, according to a local media reporter, McCarthy joking spoke of the restraint it would take to not strike Pelosi with the gavel upon returning to Congress.
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“It will be hard not to hit her with it, but I will bang it down,” McCarthy said, according to a Tennessean journalist.
McCarthy’s statement, which was clearly a joke, given the novelty size of the large gavel, was apparently taken quite serious by a number of Democrats, starting with Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), who demanded McCarthy offer an apology.
“Don’t you think America has had enough political violence? You should never be encouraging or threatening or joking about causing violence to anyone, including the Speaker of the House. You need to apologize for your statement, or resign.,” Lieu tweeted.
Melodramatic Democrats respond
A growing list of Democrats followed Lieu’s lead, expressing sheer outrage and disgust that McCarthy even remotely joke about any type of violence against the speaker, calling for his resignation as the only reasonable response to such an action.
“America has suffered enough violence around politics. @GOPLeader McCarthy is now a would-be assailant of @SpeakerPelosi. He needs to resign,” tweeted Rep Eric Swalwell, who legitimately does need to resign given that he’s been compromised by a Chinese hooker spy.
Right on queue, other Democrats joined in and used the backdrop of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to paint McCarthy as a violence-pushing maniac, including Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI).
“Language like this led to violence and death at the United States Capitol. @GOPLeader knows his words carry weight. He must apologize immediately,” Dingell tweeted.
One can argue whether or not McCarthy’s joke was in bad taste, but the key takeaway is that it was clearly a joke; nothing more, nothing less. Those demanding his resignation knew that such ludicrous calls would gain them a few minutes of media attention.