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Update Your Scorecards on Recent Threats of Political Violence

I’m not asking for much, Democrats. I’d just like a handful of elected officials to say something along the lines of, “while we strongly oppose the Trump administration’s agenda, we would prefer those who stand with us to use terms like ’struggle’ or ‘effort,’ because the word ‘jihad’ is frequently associated with violence, stemming back to groups like the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. We have strong views about the president, but we categorically oppose violence directed against him or his supporters.” Apparently that’s too much to ask.

We keep hearing defenders of activist Linda Sarsour insisting that she would never endorse terrorism, that she surely only meant “struggle” or “effort” when she used the term, “jihad.” Of course, she could have just as easily avoided the confusion by using the words “struggle” or “effort.”

From today’s Morning Jolt:

Update Your Scorecards on Recent Threats of Political Violence

In Arizona:

Two men have been arrested for trespassing and one is facing another charge after making a threat during a protest at Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s office in Tucson, authorities said.

Deputy Cody Gress, spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, said Mark Prichard and Patrick Diehl were arrested on charges of third-degree criminal trespass Thursday morning, July 6.

Gress said the 59-year-old Prichard is also facing a misdemeanor charge of threats and intimidation.

“Staffers working at the office indicated one of the protesters had made comments referencing the shooting of Rep. Scalise, which prompted them to call the Sheriff’s Department as well as lock the office doors,” the PCSD said in a news release.

Prichard was told he wasn’t allowed back on the property and was arrested after he “made a point to step back onto the property,” according to Gress.

Jason Samuels, Communications Director for Sen. Flake, said Prichard threatened a staff member and said the following:

“You know how liberals are going to solve the Republican problem? They are going to get better aim. That last guy tried, but he needed better aim. We will get better aim.”

Gress said the 70-year-old Diehl tried to force his way into the office and was immediately arrested.

Say, is this the same Mark Pritchard who wrote to the Tucson newspaper on June 29, “Considering the broken health-care system in the U.S. and the current Republican plan to make it worse. The stage is now set for a people’s plan. Seems that Bernie Sanders, among others, has it right.” In other words, is this another Bernie Sanders supporter making threats against Republican lawmakers?

Then in Springfield, Illinois:

The Illinois Capitol reopened Thursday after being on lockdown for about two hours after a woman allegedly threw a powdery substance in the governor’s office.

A hazardous materials unit was called in, and Springfield fire officials said the substance was found to be not hazardous, although what it was remained unclear.

A few minutes before the House’s 1:30 p.m. scheduled start time, two security guards walked a woman with her arms handcuffed behind her through a hallway in back of the chamber.

As of Thursday afternoon, the woman was still being interviewed by investigators, and no charges had been filed, according to Dave Druker, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office. The woman was expected to eventually be transferred to Sangamon County Jail, though no details were expected to be released on her identity Thursday evening, Druker said.

Meanwhile, over in Chicago:

Activist Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the 2017 women’s march against Donald Trump, called for a “jihad” against the president at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in Chicago over the weekend. Sarsour was a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Sarsour is a supporter of the BDS movement against Israel and opposes bans of sharia. She also is a somewhat frequent MSNBC guest and has appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show.

“I hope that we when we stand up to those who oppress our communities that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad. That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or in the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House,” Sarsour said.

“Better aim”? Thrown powdery substances? “Jihad”? Doesn’t anybody want to, you know, argue anymore?

It’s really awful that the wife and parents of CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski are getting 50 harassing phone calls a day. If you’re one of those mouth-breathers — I know you aren’t, my readers are far too classy to ever do something like this — stop. Even the mafia makes distinctions between “soldiers” and “civilians.” Kaczynski’s family never did anything to you.

But once again we see that on-again, off-again sensibility that angry rhetoric “spurs,” “inspires,” or “incites” violence. Days after that former Sanders volunteer tried to murder as many Republican lawmakers as he could, the Vermont senator did an appearance on Facebook urging his supporters to “stand up and fight back in every way that you can” because under the GOP health-care bill, “there is no question but that thousands of Americans will die.”

Now, think about that. If you really believed the literal meaning of Sanders’ words, and that Congressional Republicans were attempting to kill thousands of Americans . . . wouldn’t a violent or threatening response seem justified?