The Pelosi Attack
The assailant planned to smash her kneecaps with a hammer unless she told "the truth." MAGA thinks it's funny.
Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi.
They hate her because, first, she’s a woman, and they hate women. Oh, they like their own women just fine: Kari Lake of Arizona, with her soft lighting and her lies; QAnon groupie Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia; Colorado’s 2A dimwit Lauren Boebert; and Ginni Thomas, the nutjob wife of Clarence Thomas. But they only like their women because the Kristi Noems of the world put a feminine face on hard-right, patriarchal policies that lead inescapably to the subjugation, ill health, and death of women.
They hate her, too, because she’s an attractive woman. They simply don’t know how to process that an 82-year-old can look better (and have had less work done) than the Gen X banshee now dating FPOTUS’s namesake son. It’s no coincidence that the women MAGA hate the most—Pelosi, Kamala Harris, AOC, Gretchen Whitmer—are all so striking.
They hate her because she’s from San Francisco, and therefore checks the boxes: liberal, California, coastal elite, hippie, gay-friendly.
Most of all, they hate her because she’s really fucking good at her job. As Speaker of the House, she manages to keep a big-tent party united; she knows just which buttons to push to lure in recalcitrant members. She was instrumental in passing Obamacare, as well as every major piece of legislation in Biden’s tenure. She was the politician most successful in standing up to Trump—and it’s not particularly close. She knew just what to say without going over the line (“With him, all roads lead to Putin.”). She invented a clap for him, and called him out in that White House meeting room. She impeached him—twice—and outmaneuvered an overmatched Kevin McCarthy in forming the January 6th Committee. During the four years of absenteeism during the Trump presidency, she represented the United States abroad, providing reassurance to our allies. She continues to do that with Biden in the White House, visiting Ukraine and Taiwan. And during the insurrection itself, she was the picture of sangfroid, compassion, and coolheaded leadership. In short, Nancy Pelosi is a powerful force for good in the blighted swamp that is our nation’s capital. She is the antithesis of MAGA.
So: Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi. They really hate her. And they are trained to hate her. Every attack ad for every GOP candidate running in every election features her face, her name. Here’s a more extreme recent example, where a House candidate not-so-subtly suggests a double meaning to the phrase “Fire Pelosi”:
To the GOP, Nancy Pelosi is the personification of what they hate about Washington (or, rather, what they are told to hate about Washington). The only Democrat who has been the target of sustained hatred for a longer period of time is Hillary Clinton.
Combine the disinformation and lies MAGA pumps into the discourse—much of it designed to stoke anger at Democrats like Pelosi—with a pervasive gun culture; sprinkle in a global pandemic, in which the federal response was politicized by Trump, Pence, and Kushner; boil it in a stewpot of Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon and Laura Ingraham; and serve it hot at Trump rallies and churches around the country, and is it any wonder that political violence is the result? It’s almost like they’re trying to achieve that result.
In Michigan, the plot to kidnap, rape, and execute Whitmer was foiled before it could come to fruition. But it was a legitimate plan, well thought out, and likely would have succeeded had the FBI not infiltrated that group. In D.C., there was an apparent attempt to assassinate then VP-Elect Kamala Harris; pipe bombs were planted at DNC headquarters, and she was at DNC headquarters when they were found. At the besieging of the Capitol on January 6, a contingent of insurrectionists was expressly trying to kill Mike Pence and Pelosi both; that would have left Trump lickspittle Chuck Grassley first in line to the presidency.
And now, in San Francisco, there was another attempt to harm Nancy Pelosi. There’s been a shit-ton of disinformation and lies fire-hosed into the discourse about what happened to her husband, Paul, during the October 28 home invasion by David Wayne DePape. According to the prevailing MAGA conspiracy theory, Paul Pelosi was injured in a gay BDSM sex tryst gone wrong. Shamefully, some of this horseshit was advanced by the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk.
Yesterday, the Department of Justice charged DePape with assault and attempted kidnapping. The Affidavit in Support of Application For Complaint and Arrest Warrant is worth quoting at length, to set the record straight:
At 2:31 a.m., San Francisco Police Department (“SFPD”) Officer Colby Wilmes responded to the Pelosi residence, California and knocked on the front door. When the door was opened, Pelosi and DEPAPE were both holding a hammer with one hand and DEPAPE had his other hand holding onto Pelosi’s forearm. Pelosi greeted the officers. The officers asked them what was going on. DEPAPE responded that everything was good. Officers then asked Pelosi and DEPAPE to drop the hammer.
DEPAPE pulled the hammer from Pelosi’s hand and swung the hammer, striking Pelosi in the head. Officers immediately went inside and were able to restrain DEPAPE. While officers were restraining DEPAPE, Pelosi appeared to be unconscious on the ground. Officers removed a cell phone, cash, clipper cards, and an unidentified card from DEPAPE’s right shorts pocket. DEPAPE provided officers his first and last name. After officers asked DEPAPE if he had an ID on him, DEPAPE said it might be in his backpack on the back porch and later stated his backpack was near the broken glass. When officers removed DEPAPE from Pelosi’s residence, police body worn camera footage showed a glass door that appeared to be laminated glass, broken near the door handle. San Francisco Police Department recovered zip ties in Pelosi’s bedroom and in the hallway near the front door of the Pelosi residence. In addition, law enforcement searched DEPAPE’s backpack at the Pelosi residence, and they found, among other things, a roll of tape, white rope, one hammer, one pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and a journal.
What happened was, this dirtbag used a hammer to smash his way into the house, destroying the fancy frosted glass. He later bludgeoned Paul Pelosi with said hammer while the police watched.
In his interview with law enforcement, conducted in the back of the ambulance,
Pelosi stated he had never seen DEPAPE before. Pelosi was asleep when DEPAPE came into Pelosi’s bedroom and stated he wanted to talk to “Nancy.” When Pelosi told him that Nancy was not there, DEPAPE stated that he would sit and wait. Pelosi stated that his wife would not be home for several days and then DEPAPE reiterated that he would wait. Pelosi was able to go into the bathroom which is when he was able to call 9-1-1. Pelosi stated that when the officers arrived, that was when DEPAPE struck him with the hammer.
DePape’s confession is even more harrowing:
DEPAPE stated that he was going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her. If Nancy were to tell DEPAPE the “truth,” he would let her go, and if she “lied,” he was going to break “her kneecaps.” DEPAPE was certain that Nancy would not have told the “truth.”
The “truth,” according to DePape, is presumably whatever bullshit the MyPillow Guy was spewing—that was the last thing he posted on Facebook before this went down. This piece of shit was radicalized by all the MAGA propaganda.
In the course of the interview, DEPAPE articulated he viewed Nancy as the “leader of the pack” of lies told by the Democratic Party. DEPAPE also later explained that by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions. DEPAPE also explained generally that he wanted to use Nancy to lure another individual to DEPAPE.
Let’s say it again: DePape was going to smash her kneecaps with a hammer. That was his intention. Imagine if she were home and this had happened! Because she could easily have been home, and this could easily have happened.
DEPAPE stated that he broke into the house through a glass door, which was a difficult task that required the use of a hammer. DEPAPE stated that Pelosi was in bed and appeared surprised by DEPAPE. DEPAPE told Pelosi to wake up. DEPAPE told Pelosi that he was looking for Nancy. Pelosi responded that she was not present. Pelosi asked how they could resolve the situation, and what DEPAPE wanted to do. DEPAPE stated he wanted to tie Pelosi up so that DEPAPE could go to sleep as he was tired from having had to carry a backpack to the Pelosi residence.
The exhausted kidnapper was planning on a long-term hostage situation.
Around this time, according to DEPAPE, DEPAPE started taking out twist ties from his pocket so that he could restrain Pelosi. Pelosi moved towards another part of the house, but DEPAPE stopped him and together they went back into the bedroom. While talking with each other, Pelosi went into a bathroom, where Pelosi grabbed a phone to call 9-1-1. DEPAPE stated he felt like Pelosi’s actions compelled him to respond.
DEPAPE remembered thinking that there was no way the police were going to forget about the phone call. DEPAPE explained that he did not leave after Pelosi’s call to 9-1-1 because, much like the American founding fathers with the British, he was fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender. DEPAPE reiterated this sentiment elsewhere in the interview.
Yeah, he was fighting tyranny by braining the octogenarian husband of the Speaker of the House. Sure, pal. Tell it to your cellmate.
DEPAPE stated that they went downstairs to the front door. The police arrived and knocked on the door, and Pelosi ran over and opened it. Pelosi grabbed onto DEPAPE’s hammer, which was in DEPAPE’s hand. At this point in the interview, DEPAPE repeated that DEPAPE did not plan to surrender and that he would go “through” Pelosi.
DEPAPE stated that he pulled the hammer away from Pelosi and swung the hammer towards Pelosi. DEPAPE explained that Pelosi’s actions resulted in Pelosi “taking the punishment instead.”
That’s what really happened. And whatever the press might say, this was domestic terrorism, because a U.S. citizen did it to another U.S. citizen, for political reasons, and it’s terrifying.
Meanwhile, Republicans are publicly mocking Pelosi:
And that’s just what I found in a cursory Twitter search this morning.
There have also been numerous calls to release the cop’s body camera footage, because the conspiracy theorists think, geniuses that they are, that Paul Pelosi, his assailant, the San Francisco police, the FBI, and the DOJ all came together to cover up some kinky hanky-panky because Nancy Pelosi is Satan.
The subtext is clear: the GOP, which is now the MAGA party, approves of political violence—as long as the violence is against Democrats. Keep that in mind when you vote.
Photo credit: Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi led a U.S. congressional delegation to Ghana from July 28-31, 2019 to commemorate the “Year of Return” and mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. Official U.S. Embassy photograph by: Archibald Sackey and Courage Ahiati.
Thank you for highlighting Claudia Tenney, the least effective and laziest member of the NY Assembly until Republicans in rural Central New York made her the least effective and laziest member of the House, so lazy and ineffective that she lost after one term, only to be returned to the House by "winning" an election by 100 votes, in part because her opponent had no stomach for a long court battle. She is a horrible person and will be an ongoing lazy and ineffective member of Congress in this next term as she is likely going to win in a district that she doesn't live in, but is full of angry white rural male MAGAs who only care about owning the libs and loving their Trump.
I'm beyond horrified at all things maga but this attack was despicable and those laughing about it are sub human pos. I've been off twitter since Saturday and wow, do I feel better. Thanks Greg, another awesome piece of writing! Btw we love love love your book 'Empress'.