With so much attention being given to “civility” in the current political environment and Republicans accusing Democrats of dangerously inciting anger among its base, former Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent comments played perfectly within the narrative that Democrats had become a radicalized mob.
In case you missed it today, video of Holder speaking to a small group of Georgia Democrats showed him rejecting Michelle Obama’s famous “when they go low, we go high” line, telling them they needed to be tougher when it came to combating GOP voter suppression tactics.
“Michelle always says, ‘When they go low, we go high,'” Holder said last weekend. “No. No. When they go low, we kick ’em. That’s what this new Democratic Party is all about. We’re proud as hell to be Democrats, we’re willing to fight for the ideals of the Democratic Party.”
If that was all he said, that would definitely be a pretty damning quote as it could be construed that he was suggesting physical violence against Republicans. But, a short time later, Holder wanted to remind the group of something.
“Now, when I say, you know, ‘we kick ‘em,’ I don’t mean we do anything inappropriate,” he said. “We don’t do anything illegal. But we’ve got to be tough and we’ve got to fight for the very things that John Lewis, Martin Luther King, Whitney Young, all those folks gave to us. That stuff can be taken away. That’s what they want to do.”
But when Holder’s comments were first reported on Wednesday, a large number of media outlets — many of them conservative-leaning — didn’t include that bit of context. Context that would soften Holder’s remarks significantly.
While The Washington Post, Talking Points Memo and CNN eventually included the additional comments made by Holder in their write-ups, the following sites and publications initially did not — Newsweek, Fox News, The Federalist, The Washington Times, Hot Air, Twitchy and The Daily Caller.
Considering that the YouTube video that caused the firestorm included Holder’s full remarks, one wonders why all those outlets didn’t catch what Holder said shortly after his “kick ’em” comments. Was it because they were all in a rush to post an incendiary quote that would feed into a current narrative and fuel more controversy?
Maxine Waters incites violence against @realDonaldTrump’s cabinet.
Cory Booker pleads for activists to “get up in the face of some congresspeople.”
Hillary Clinton says “you cannot be civil with” Republicans.
Now Eric Holder wants the mob even angrier. pic.twitter.com/IF91FDD321
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 10, 2018
You have other party leaders saying Michelle Obama was wrong when she said "when they go low we go high." But rather when they go low "we kick them." This is not who we are.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) October 10, 2018
No, it couldn’t be that. Not at all.