In the wake of recent rhetoric by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) regarding the supposed “insurrection” on Capitol Hill earlier this month, some critics are bringing up apparently contradictory remarks she made nearly a decade ago.
Pelosi is facing scrutiny over her 2011 comments lauding protesters who stormed the Wisconsin state capitol building in 2011, according to Fox News.
A tale of two protests
Nevertheless, she led an effort in the House to impeach then-President Donald Trump, calling him a “clear and present danger” to the United States after some of his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Democrats by and large have decried the act, though Pelosi’s 2011 comments painted a different picture of so-called insurrectionists.
She commended Wisconsin protesters at the time for occupying the state’s capitol building over Act 10, a proposal targeting collective bargaining rights among public union workers.
The scene was similar to that of the pro-Trump riot in D.C. earlier this month, according to The Sun. Wisconsin protesters forced their way into the building by smashing doors and windows before camping out at the location for weeks in an effort to “kill the bill” introduced by then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 10, 2011
“It’s not unique to have protesters”
Lawmakers also reportedly received death threats — and GOP legislators had to be evacuated through tunnels by local police. At the time, however, Pelosi praised those involved in the takeover for an “impressive show of democracy in action.”
In recent days, her critics have zeroed in on those comments in an attempt to portray her as a hypocrite. Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen, for example, wrote in a recent column that “in other words, Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it.”
On the other hand, some supporters have said that the two incidents are incomparable based on the assertion that the Wisconsin protests were mostly peaceful.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-MI) wrote: “Here you know they stormed Nancy Pelosi’s office, put their feet up on her desk. It’s very different, very disrespectful. It’s not unique to have protesters. These aren’t protesters. These are vandals. These are criminals.”
Pelosi presided over the delivery of an article of impeachment to the Senate earlier this week against the former president.