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Republicans Are Literally Laughing at the Pelosi Attack

The violent attack left Paul Pelosi with a skull fracture. Republicans somehow find that funny.

Donald Trump and Kari Lake go in for a hug. They are smiling.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Donald Trump and Kari Lake

Since the attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband last week, Republicans have shown themselves to be even crueler and more conspiratorial than expected. As Paul Pelosi recovers from a skull fracture, Kari Lake, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and countless others have mocked the violent attack.

Arguing that schoolchildren should have as much armed protection as lawmakers, Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake took the opportunity to off-handedly joke about the attack.

“Nancy Pelosi—well, she’s got protection when she’s in D.C. Apparently her house doesn’t have a lot of protection,” she said on Monday, spurring zealous laughter and applause from the audience. Disturbingly, even the event moderator—Lionel Lee, an ER doctor in Arizona—shook in laughter at the violent assault.

Other Republican reactions involved memes making light of attempted murder on a member of Congress’ spouse.

Representative Clay Higgins shared an anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory that the man who attacked Pelosi was actually a gay prostitute:

Ever the chaser of his father’s approval, Donald Trump, Jr. posted a crude photo of a hammer and men’s underwear on his Instagram, with the caption “Got my Paul Pelosi Halloween costume ready”—echoing Higgins’ anti-LGBTQ smear:

Conservative blogger Matt Walsh called it “absurd” to describe a man—whose blog featured antisemitic comments, concerns about anti-white racism, and pleas to former President Donald Trump to choose Tulsi Gabbard as his VP—as “some kind of militant right winger.” Senator Ted Cruz, who spends more time owning liberals online than doing his actual job, reposted Walsh’s tweet, calling it “truth.”

Donald Trump also waded into the attack, saying it was “a terrible thing.” He then went on to the more predictable conservative hits—that the attack embodies violent crime in cities “far worse than Afghanistan,” and that police officers don’t have enough dignity and respect to save this “out of control” country.

Whether they spread conspiracy, make light of violent assault, or simply do not engage with reality, these reactions are all deeply alarming. Because these are not comments from people on the fringe. They are from elected officials, candidates, and popular media figures—those at the very core of the Republican Party.

Elon Musk Brings Election Denier Mark Finchem Back to Twitter

Finchem, who wants to oversee voting in Arizona, has a penchant for conspiracy theories.

Mark Finchem, the Republican nominee for Arizona secretary of state
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Elon Musk has let Mark Finchem, a far-right conspiracy theorist running for Arizona secretary of state, back on Twitter.

Finchem had complained Monday on Facebook that Twitter had blocked his account. His plight caught the attention of Jenna Ellis, a Newsmax contributor and advisor to former President Donald Trump. She quickly called on Musk to do something about it.

“Looking into it,” Musk replied. Within an hour, Finchem was back online.

“We are back! Thank you @elonmusk for stopping the commie who suspended me from Twitter a week before the election. Twitter is much better with you at the helm,” Finchem tweeted.

Musk has owned Twitter for all of four days and has already wreaked havoc on the platform. After completing his $44 billion purchase on Friday, he promptly fired several top executives.

On Monday, he also fired the entire board of directors, leaving himself the sole decision-maker.

Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” had promised Twitter would not become a “free-for-all hellscape” under his leadership and that there would be a review board for content moderation and allowing banned accounts back online.

Considering he seems to be the entire board now, the results of those reviews leave something to be desired.

Finchem is one of the most hardcore conspiracy theorists running in the midterms. A 2020 election denier, he also embraces many conspiracies that even most MAGA Republicans won’t.

He has accused former Vice President Mike Pence of plotting both a coup to topple Trump and to steal the presidency in 2024. Finchem has also said he is a member of the Oath Keepers.

If he wins, he will have massive influence over elections in a crucial swing state.

Since Musk took over, Twitter has been awash with racist, antisemitic, homophobic, and transphobic hate speech.

The social media research group National Contagion Research Institute said that in the 12 hours since Musk bought Twitter, use of the n-word increased almost 500 percent.