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Right Wing Rhetoric And Conspiracies Almost Killed Paul And Nancy Pelosi
It's not a funny headline, because it's really not funny at all.
Hello, and welcome to the third article we are doing on the fact that Paul Pelosi was attacked by a violent lunatic who wanted to kill Nancy Pelosi and was fueled by right wing conspiracies and rhetoric — both extreme and mainstream. (Not that there's much of a difference these days.)
There will be more, because it is something we very much need to keep talking about. We need to keep talking about it both because the assassination attempt was a symptom of a larger disease of poisonous right wing rhetoric and conspiracy and because the Right is not going to stop pushing their own narrative of the situation.
So let's get caught up, shall we?
On Twitter, Nancy Pelosi addressed the attack with the following missive:
Sadly, a violent man broke into our family home yesterday morning, demanded to confront me and brutally attacked my husband Paul. Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop. We are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving.
Please know that your prayers and warm wishes are a comfort to our family and helping Paul make progress with his recovery.His condition continues to improve.
We are also comforted by these words from the Book of Isaiah: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
She also sent a similar letter to her colleagues in Congress.
Turns Out He Had Zip Ties
According to a source who spoke to CNN, DePape "had with him a bag that contained multiple zip ties, among other things." Who knows what he was planning to do with those. Incapacitate her? Kidnap her? There are a lot of possibilities and all of them are horrifying.
His Ex Says He Suffered From Delusions
Gypsy Taub, DePape's ex and the mother of two of his children, has told the press that he was not well.
"He is mentally ill. He has been mentally ill for a long time" said Taub [...]
Taub told ABC7 News that she and DePape met more than 20 years ago. Together they raised their two sons and her daughter until about seven years ago.
She described a time DePape returned home after disappearing for a year.
"He came back in very bad shape. He thought he was Jesus. He was constantly paranoid, thinking people were after him," Taub said. "And it took a good year or two to get back to, you know, being halfway normal."
Taub also said that DePape wasn't particularly political when she was with him, but that she herself is very liberal and very much admires Nancy Pelosi.
Taub herself was recently incarcerated for attempting to kidnap a 14-year-old boy.
His Stepdaughter Has Accused Him Of Abuse
This is a little murkier. The only two outlets reporting on this are FOX and The New York Post and they are reporting on a blog post from DePape's stepdaughter that no longer exists and from which I cannot find any screenshots.
Via New York Post:
Gonzalez described DePape as someone who “did genuinely try to be a good person,” but added “the monster in him was always too strong for him to be safe to be around.”
She said her mom met DePape — whom she describes as her “father” — in Maui while pregnant with her. The couple moved to the Bay Area shortly after Gonzalez was born.
They split in 2014, when Gonzalez was 13. Gonzalez said her mother “kicked David out because of his toxic behavior.”
Six months later, Gonzalez’s brother Nebosvod started to remember their father “physically and sexually abusing me and my brothers, which started when we were very young and continued until around 2008, when [Gonzalez] was 7,” she recalled.
Although their mother filed a police report accusing DePape of abuse “the case was not managed properly, so nothing was done about it,’ wrote Gonzalez.
She claimed she and her younger brother Daniel also “started getting memories of his abuse.”
She also says that she still loves him and that he was “never violent, yelled or even swore.”
From what we know about trauma and memory , people are more likely to remember traumatic events, particularly if they happened repeatedly, thus PTSD. That is all I am saying on the subject.
”Elsewhere on Twitter ...
Yesterday, the "maybe they were secret gay lovers having a typical gay hammer fight!" theory was just some nonsense on the QAnon message boards, today it is the official Republican line on the story and being tweeted by Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, at Hillary Clinton.
Clinton tweeted, correctly, that "[t]he Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories. It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result. As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow."
In response, Musk tweeted "There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye." and shared an article from a random blog with 737 followers on Twitter, with the headline "The Awful Truth: Paul Pelosi Was Drunk Again, And In a Dispute With a Male Prostitute Early Friday Morning."
Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake pointed out on Twitter that [t]he outlet Musk is linking to here “reported” in 2016 that Hillary Clinton had died and been replaced on the campaign trail by a body double." If Musk trusts their reporting so much, then we have to ask — why is he tweeting at what he must believe is a full-on pod person?
Despite being presented as "The Awful Truth," it is all wild speculation, which is a very different thing from "the truth." It's literally just "This one person I talked to thinks this is what actually happened, though they have no actual connection to the case and are basing this theory on facts they got wrong."
Unfortunately, it doesn't matter. The Right is desperate to get this narrative out there and they will push it whether they think it's true or not because they want to muddy the waters and insulate themselves from any power the story might have to damage them. They are already responding to every mention of the assault on social media with variations on the " Actually he was a left-wing activist who was having some sexy gay hammer fight time with a drunk Paul Pelosi" narrative. They're trying to kill two birds with one stone here — demonize the LGBTQ community and limit the amount of damage this story will do to what they believe is their image.
We need to be louder and more persistent than they are. Because these are the exact same kinds of conspiracies that led David DePape into the Pelosi home early Friday morning. They are dangerous. They are going to get more people hurt and they are not going to go away if we just ignore the whole incident or blame it on DePape being a mentally unwell lone wolf. He may have issues with drugs and mental illness, but this is literally part of the problem with this rhetoric. It doesn't mix well with people with tendencies towards who already suffer from delusions.
That is what matters here . Nancy Pelosi was nearly assassinated by a man who was brainwashed by right wing conspiracies, who was so poisoned by them that he turned violent and attacked someone with a hammer. Let's not forget it.
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