Politicians often dare . . . too much.
But what did Rep. Ted Lieu dare to be last week?
Candace Owens’ appearance before the House Committee on the Judiciary caused quite a stir. The subject was hate crimes and white nationalism, and she offered a wider perspective: “We’re not talking enough about political hatred in this country, we’re not talking enough about conservative activists being attacked. . . .”
Needing to undermine that message, the Representative from California’s 33rd congressional district dared do the dirty deed.
“Of all the people the Republicans could have selected” to appear before the hearing, Rep. Lieu said, “they picked Candace Owens. I don’t know Miss Owens; I’m not going to characterize her. I’m going to let her own words do the talking.”
By now you’ve almost certainly listened to what he did*: play a 30-second clip from a long interview of the conservative activist then ask some other hearing invitee to explain how dangerous her statement was. The 30 seconds completely elided the original context, implying, absurdly, that the African-American activist was a supporter of Hitler and white nationalism.
Ms. Owens responded in justified high moral dudgeon. And Rep. Lieu came out looking . . . as Owens put it, “unbelievably dishonest.”
What was he thinking?
Scott Adams saw only two possibilities: “What Ted Lieu attempted (and failed) to do Candace Owens is not politics, it’s just despicable.” Lieu is either “one of the worst people who’s ever lived” or he is, in line with so many other #NeverTrumpers, “experiencing actual hysteria.”
Unfortunately, Washington partisans regularly make evil and insanity hard to distinguish.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* “The most-watched C-Span Twitter video from a House hearing ever,” says Rush Limbaugh.