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Pollak: Don’t Believe the Disavowals, Democrats Have Been Harassing Opponents for Years

Chuck Schumer sits with Nancy Pelosi, both smiling.
AP/Evan Vucci

Democrat leaders scrambled Monday morning to distance themselves from the incendiary comments made by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) over the weekend, calling for the public to “harass” member of the Trump administration.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — who hopes to reclaim the Speaker’s gavel if Democrats win the midterm elections in November — tweeted that Waters’s comments were “unacceptable” — though she blamed Trump for provoking them.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) declared, in a speech on the Senate floor: “”No one should call for the harassment of political opponents, that’s not right, that’s not American.”

The fact is that confronting or harassing opponents has been a staple of left-wing “community organizing” since the 1960s, when such tactics were perfected by Saul Alinsky. And under the influence of Barack Obama and others, the Democratic Party has increasingly embraced such tactics.

It was Obama who said on the campaign trail in 2008 that his supporters should confront their friends and neighbors: “I want you to argue with them, and get in their face.”

During the push for Obamacare, President Obama’s deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, told Democratic Senators to “punch back twice as hard” if they were questioned during town hall meetings about the merits of the legislation.

Obama’s allies in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) marched hundreds of protesters onto the front lawn of a Bank of America executive in 2010, terrifying his teenage son, who was home alone. Pelosi and Schumer said nothing.

Rep. Waters does not seem to be taking Pelosi and Schumer’s criticism seriously — nor should she. She told a press conference on Capitol Hill on Monday afternoon that the Democrat leaders were not “really criticizing me as such.” She repeated that claim later, on MSNBC, when she told Chris Hayes that Pelosi and Schumer “don’t really say I’m out of line,” and that they were just looking for “a way to talk about civility without attacking me or anybody else.”

These are tactics the left has championed and the Democratic Party came to embrace — as long as they worked.

The difference now, post-2016, is that the “deplorables” have shown they can defend themselves — at the ballot box.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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