The right wing’s capacity for false equivalency was demonstrated again, this time by Bill Ryan’s letter Aug. 4 (“Putting the Shoe on the Other Foot”). Ryan was commenting on a Gary Horton column where Horton made the sensible statement that the Capitol rioters will be forever associated with Trump Republicans. Evidently, this offended Mr. Ryan, who equated this attempted violent overthrow of the U.S. government with James T. Hodgkinson, a left-wing advocate who shot and seriously wounded Republican Whip Steve Scalise and four others. I assume the intent of this comparison is to show tit for tat.
Well, let’s unpack this a little, shall we? What have Republican lawmakers said about the Capitol rioters? Rep. Andrew Clyde called them “normal tourist visitors.” Rep. Louis Gohmert said it couldn’t be an “armed insurrection,” no firearms were confiscated (totally ignoring that more than 140 police officers were beaten and injured). Rep. Paul Gosar called them “peaceful patriots.”
On the other side, regarding Hodgkinson, Gabby Giffords, herself seriously wounded by a right-wing nut job, expressed deep sympathy to Scalise and the other victims. Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom Hodgkinson had volunteered for, was horrified by these actions and expressed condolences to the victims.
So I ask, Mr. Ryan, where is the equivalency? No, Mr. Ryan, I think Mr. Horton nailed this one on the head quite accurately.