Are Chuck and Nancy overplaying their hand on political violence?

Earlier this week, Chuck Schumer tweeted:

Make no mistake: Despicable acts of violence and harassment are being carried out by radicals across the political spectrum—not just by one side. Regardless of who is responsible, these acts are wrong and must be condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. Period.

Today, President Trump did just what Schumer prescribed. In response to news that packages containing explosive devices were mailed to several high-profile Democrats, Trump condemned “these despicable acts” and called for national unity. “I want to say at these times we have to unify and send one very clear and strong message that acts of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump declared.

How did Schumer respond? He issued a statement, along with Nancy Pelosi, essentially rejecting the president’s call. The two top congressional Democrats stated:

President Trump’s words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence.

They then recited standard-issue Democrat talking points in a dishonest attempt to support of their assertion that Trump condones violence. They claimed, for example, that Trump “express[ed] support for the neo-Nazis who killed a young woman in Charlottesville.” This is a bald-faced lie.

I don’t know how all of this will sort out politically, but it may be that Schumer and Pelosi are overplaying their hand. Their unwillingness to unite behind Trump’s healing words, or at least to accept them, might turn off moderates and swing voters who yearn to see the olive branch extended.

In other words, it might cause them to see Schumer and Pelosi for what they are — hyper-partisan jerks with even less class than Donald Trump.

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