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Kevin McCarthy Joking About Hitting Nancy Pelosi Is Gross and Not Funny

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is handed the Speaker's gavel by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

In no way, shape, or form is it okay or funny for Kevin McCarthy to joke about hitting U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with a gavel. This unnecessary joke was made during a GOP fundraising event that included members of the Tennessee congressional group. During the Statesmen’s Dinner portion, McCarthy could be heard saying, according to CNN, “I want you to watch Nancy Pelosi hand me that gavel. It will be hard not to hit her with it, but I will bang it down.”

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And because, of course, it was a Republican crowd, the room, filled with about 1,400 people and donors, burst into laughter as if his threat of violence was hilarious. It was made even worse when you take into consideration that the oversize gavel given to him, that prompted the response, also was labeled with the words “Fire Pelosi,” according to the Huff Post. The words and laughter were recorded by Main Street Nashville reporter Vivian Jones.

If the roles were reversed, Pelosi would be dragged through the mud—no, correction. She would be dragged through the coals, with Republicans demanding that she step down. But since it’s a Republican politician saying it, other Republicans are quiet as a church mouse and not condemning him for threatening violence against Pelosi in a public forum. And if we are to stop men like him from joking about hitting women, then all political parties have to come together as one and denounce it.

A part of me shouldn’t be surprised that Republicans laughed at the thought of hitting a woman just because they don’t like her and she’s in their way. After all, these Republicans are the kind who voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and who love Donald Trump despite the man facing multiple accusations of abusing women. But a tiny and naive part of me lives on and can’t understand why anyone would go out of their way to threaten violence against a woman with no fear of repercussions. But again, these are the people who think the January 6 insurrection was a friendly little tour through the Capitol.

Democrats, on the other hand, were quick to denounce McCarthy, as we all should, from Representative Eric Swallwell of California, who called for McCarthy’s resignation, to Representative Ted Lieu, who said McCarthy should apologize. Now, other politicians have to step up and let us know that they have Pelosi’s back and that threats of violence will not be allowed anywhere in the U.S. government.

Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s assistant, also spoke out against McCarthy and his dangerous words by saying that “someone who was a target of the January 6th assassination attempt from fellow Trump supporters is irresponsible,” and he’s absolutely right. In addition, we should be treating McCarthy’s words with the same critical eye that we do when talking about the January 6 insurrection and domestic terrorist attack. The insurrectionists and Trump supporters wanted to kill her then, and I can’t imagine how this idea is going to evolve now that one of their own joked about violence against her.

Others on Twitter also agreed that McCarthy had gone too far.

(image: Erin Scott/POOL/AFP via Getty)

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.

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