Greg Gianforte’s physical assault of a reporter this evening may be nearly unprecedented for a Congressional candidate, but it’s hardly atypical for where the Republican Party is going. That his team just doubled down on it, openly lying about what happened makes it even worse, but again, alternative facts.
Gianforte campaign statement on events tonight. pic.twitter.com/PZGEIO8Ao9
— Lauren Fox (@FoxReports) May 25, 2017
Beating up journalists is a hallmark of dictatorships. Combine this with Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross’ wistfully longing for the U.S. to have Saudi levels of political protest and of course Trump demonizing the media and this sort of thing becomes almost inevitable. The question is not whether reporters will continue to be assaulted. Republicans–lunatics in the base if not candidates or office holders–will probably keep doing this as they turn their backs on democratic values. The question is whether voters will hold them accountable. Winning as a Democrat in Montana is tough, but not impossible. Gianforte was probably a little bit ahead. After tonight, if he’s not driven to defeat by Montana voters, then it’s a sign that half the nation basically doesn’t care about assaulting journalists, although I have also heard that probably 2/3 of the votes for the election have already been cast, suggesting one of the problems with early voting systems.
…And here’s more detail.
Fox News crew's report on Montana R Greg Gianforte's thuggery — beating up a reporter — makes a mighty solid case for arresting this thug. pic.twitter.com/dVbjgmUPSv
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) May 25, 2017
Gianforte should be arrested. But the sheriff is a Gianforte donor, so of course not.