It’s about time. On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) finally condemned “looting, starting fires, or rioting” and said such actions “should be prosecuted.”
For the past several months, many Democrats have either ignored, downplayed or even excused the rioting, looting, and violence that too often accompanied anti-police protests accross America. Now, however, they’re changing their tune.
Taking to the House floor for a brief speech on Thursday, Speaker Pelosi attempted to draw the distinction between legitimate demonstrations and violent lawlessness — a line that she and many of her ideological comrades in Congress, the media, and blue cities and states have deliberately blurred over the past four months.
Incredibly, she then proceeded to accuse her Republican colleagues of being the ones who’ve been unable to draw that distinction.
Pelosi finally speaks out
In her speech, Speaker Pelosi said, “We support peaceful demonstrations, we participate in them, they are part of the essence of our democracy. That does not include looting, starting fires, or rioting. They should be prosecuted. That is lawlessness.”
“I’m very proud that Joe Biden has presented the clarity that, making a distinction that I don’t think our colleagues quite understand but the American people do and a poll released today said that the American people support congressional Democrats over President Trump in terms of dealing with the issue of crime in our country for all of their misrepresentations,” Pelosi added. Watch:
Speaker Pelosi: “We support peaceful demonstrations. We participate in them. They are part of the essence of our democracy. That does not include looting, starting fires, or rioting. They should be prosecuted. That is lawlessness.” pic.twitter.com/Xq89RLR70f
— The Hill (@thehill) September 17, 2020
Reaction to the polls
It is unclear exactly which poll Pelosi was referring to in that speech, but the New York Post recently reported on a poll showing that public opinions of the Black Lives Matter group and anti-police protests have shifted.
A plurality of likely voters, 48 percent, viewed the demonstrations in places like New York City, Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin as being mostly violent riots, as compared with 40 percent who viewed those events as being mostly peaceful protests.
Gowdy blasts Pelosi
Meanwhile, former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) dismissed Pelosi’s remarks as too-little, too-late in an interview on Fox News on Thursday. “You can be 100 percent behind law and order and law enforcement, or you can be, in her case, 100 days behind them,” he said.
Alluding to the shifting poll numbers on the subject, Gowdy further noted that it has taken “10,000 arrests, $2 billion in property damage and a couple of cops fighting for their lives to finally figure out that the numbers weren’t on her side.”
In the end, while Pelosi’s belated condemnation of rioting and looting may be deemed acceptable by her allies in the media, those on the right who have been calling out the destruction and violence from the get-go are less than impressed.