I’m told Nick Freitas is a hell of a guy. From what I’ve seen of him, I’m inclined to agree.
Freitas is a delegate in the Virginia Legislature, which last year flipped to the GOP along with that state’s three statewide positions in last year’s elections. He’s now in the majority and the Legislature has been in session for a few days, and Freitas has noticed what’s inescapable.
Namely, the name-calling.
We’ll let him tell that story. Freitas cut loose on the floor of Virginia’s House of Delegates Wednesday after watching a cavalcade of slurs and calumnies issuing forth from his colleagues on the Democrat side, and here’s what that was like:
No one should be under the illusion that Freitas’ demand for civility and respect will be requited. It won’t. But his speech was a highly encouraging moment nonetheless. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Why won’t the speech, which is going viral, change anything? Because today’s Democrats simply aren’t those kinds of people. Nasty and brutish is all they have left in their short time as a governing party, and as politics to them holds the central place that religion and morality hold for folks of a more traditional bent, they think they’re justified in a nonstop verbal (and otherwise) war of attrition.
For all the talk about right-wing extremism and Jan. 6, the last time anybody seriously threatened the life of anybody in Congress it was Rand Paul’s left-wing neighbor who put him in the hospital. And the time before that was James Hodgkinson.
Horrible people these are, obsessed with a political ideology which at every turn demands action to control the lives of others. What else underlies critical race theory, climate change nutbaggery, trans activism, Jan. 6 overreaction, socialized medicine, Branch Covidian lockdowns and mandates, abortion (lest you think that one is about freedom, consider the interest of the unborn in question), and the other current sacraments of the modern Left?
And it doesn’t take a James Hodgkinson.
Let’s talk about Kyrsten Sinema. She’s a Democrat. She happens to be one of the few Democrats left who isn’t obsessed with all her party’s political fetishes, which is not to say she’s much of a conservative. But when Sinema took the quite practical position that killing the Senate filibuster is a stupid idea, which is correct even from a Democrat perspective given the very likely prospect of Republican control in the Senate less than 12 months in the future, she found out just how awful the Left’s cult of power can be.
There was the incident in which braying loons, some identifying (barely) as male, chased her into a women’s restroom at Arizona State University to berate her for failing to vote for the Build Back Better lunacy or kill the filibuster to secure its passage. Similar Hodgkinsons-in-spirit followed her to Tucson, where she was to officiate a wedding, and disrupted the ceremony with vulgar chants and shouting to the horror of the bride and her parents.
And lest anyone think this is simply the work of basement-dwelling losers: oh, but no.
Robert Reich isn’t a basement-dwelling loser, though it might feel that way given his minuscule stature and Twitter obsession. Reich was the labor secretary in the Clinton administration, during which time the mass migration of American jobs to China’s Communist-run sweatshops and slave-labor camps hit full flower. Since then he’s been treated as something of a minor éminence grise within what passes for the Democrats’ economic intelligentsia, though it’s somewhat doubtful anybody truly cares what he says.
Nevertheless, earlier this month when Sinema once again voted to save the filibuster Reich put on his Hodgkinson mask and, lacking a rifle small enough for him to handle, used his Twitter account to take shots at her.
“Tonight, Republican senators lined up to shake Kyrsten Sinema’s hand,” Reich bellowed, at least digitally. “Democratic senators should have given her the backs of their hands.”
People noticed, of course, and Reich quickly scurried for whatever subterranean warren was within traveling distance. The tweet came down.
It should have been over at that point. Cooler heads should have prevailed. Members of Sinema’s party should have recognized it was time to calm the hell down.
Did they? Of course not. This happened:
Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff under the Obama administration, told the hosts of “Pod Save America” in an episode released on Jan. 13 that Sinema was a “c**t.” Mastromonaco was referring to a speech Sinema gave on the Senate floor arguing that eliminating the filibuster to ram through Democrats’ election legislation would “worsen the disease of division” in American politics.
“She talks about the ‘disease of division,’ She gave the speech as Joe Biden was on the way up to the Hill,” Mastromonaco said. “It’s the shittiest, grossest, most disrespectful thing she could’ve done. I think she’s a c**t. That’s what I have to say.”
The comment elicited a laugh from the hosts, who also served in the Obama administration.
Mastromonaco went on to mock Sinema for her political positions, accusing the senator of pretending to be a “maverick” in the vein of Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.
“It was so many layers of asshole-ness, like you know that she played a combative video game before she went down to the Senate floor, and was like, ‘You are a maverick. You are a maverick!’” Mastromonaco said. “And bitch, you’re not a maverick, okay. No, you’re trash.”
This is what they do to their own people who don’t fall in line. And again, it isn’t just the losers with nothing to do. This is what “responsible” Democrats, who get jobs in government and hold power, will put out there in public.
What they say about Republicans is the verbal version of what came out of Hodgkinson’s rifle that day when he tried to assassinate the GOP’s congressional baseball team, before the Capitol Police turned out his overheated lights.
It’s fun to watch Freitas clearly, if passionately, refute and rebuke this smarmy, hypocritical assault on the motives of Republicans with whom Democrats disagree. Everybody knows the name-calling and harassment is an attempt at intimidation. Given that racism or bigotry are somehow now the worst sins a human being can commit in our society today, free and easy accusations of same are so injurious that many Republicans will run for the hills as soon as they are so accused.
And the more the nice-guy country-club GOP politicians retreat in tears from this bullying, the greater the incentive to turn up the volume even louder.
Freitas has signaled that he’ll take an eye for an eye, rhetorically speaking, for those slurs. That’s a standard he’s going to be hard-pressed to bear for the next four years unless he gets help from his colleagues. Hopefully that will happen.
It needs to, if the GOP expects to be worthy of the majority voters seem certain to afford it in Congress come November.
Remember, Freitas’ speech was a defense not of his fellow legislators but of his constituents. Freitas’ district is small-town and rural, and his people are Republican voters and Trump supporters who are looked down upon by the big-city types in Alexandria and Richmond, and many of the college-town types as well. The accusations — mouth-breathing rednecks, QAnon nuts, etc. — that the woke sophisticates of the urban areas, many of which are rapidly devolving into hellscapes despite all the money and advantage they could ever have in comparison to the little towns, heap on Freitas’ constituents have gotten very old.
For too often, Republican politicians from places like Culpeper, Virginia, where Freitas is from, have spent their time apologizing for their unwashed-rube constituents. Freitas’ speech recognized that all of these accusations made in the House of Delegates are really made against the constituents of the Republicans elected to represent them in that chamber, and he rightly took offense on behalf of the people.
Good for Freitas. But he has to know that his fight for civility and decency has only just begun.