Democrats Block Resolution Condemning Mob Violence
Thursday afternoon, Democrats killed a resolution aimed at curbing mob violence. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the bill after a man in Utah was mobbed then shot by a group of rioters. The non-binding resolution offered a statement of support for peaceful protesters and law enforcement who do their job well, while condemning violence and the desecration of monuments across the country.
“A non-binding resolution is the tiniest first step of a response,” Lee read as he introduced it. “We need to do much, much more… but in this divided political moment,… showing that Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats are able to speak with one voice against woke mob violence and in defense of equal justice and civic peace would be a welcome step.”
The resolutions itself states that the country was “founded on universal principles of freedom, justice, and human equality.” It also acknowledged that “throughout our nation’s history, Americans have struggled to realize those ideals … but nonetheless made greater progress toward them than any nation on earth.”
The intended bipartisan resolution swiftly ran into problems. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) spoke directly after Lee to kill the bill. “The resolution reeks of supremacism. Reeks of supremacist views. And it seeks to mischaracterize overwhelmingly peaceful protests across the nation.”
Menendez then offered to support the resolution on one condition: if it condemned President Trump. He stated that if a sentence was added condemning “politicians who incite violence, especially President Trump,” the resolution would be acceptable. He then attacked the president for retweeting a video of two homeowners pointing firearms at a mob that stormed the gates to their private neighborhood.
Lee attempted to compromise, saying he was willing to include the section about any politicians without the specific attack on the president. Menendez refused to budge, the resolution died, and the floor took an explosive turn.
People are being shot! Businesses are being looted. Innocent Americans are being attacked and threatened. Lives are being ruined. Communities are burning! And democrats refuse to condemn mob violence. pic.twitter.com/9moGpQ6MbC
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 2, 2020
“I don’t know whether to be outraged or just embarrassed for the senate,” Lee said. Staring down the Democratic senator who had killed the resolution, Lee said “they can’t say mob violence is bad without bringing up the president…People are being shot. Business looted. Lives are being ruined. Communities are burning. Whose side are you on?”
After Menendez complained that accusing them of covering for the mob was unbecoming of the legislative body, Lee shot back, “It is unbecoming to accuse another senator of supremacy.”
Lee, full of anger, then gave a several minutes long condemnation of the institutions enabling the violence. The indignant exchange ended with the Utah senator going off on the country’s addled education system and its government backing. “The mob hates America on America’s dime. It’s time to cut their allowance.”
Jonah Gottschalk is an intern at the Federalist. He studies Modern History and International Relations at the University of St Andrews.