Robert Reich Deletes Tweet Calling for Democrats to Smack Kyrsten Sinema Over Her Filibuster Vote
Former labor secretary under Bill Clinton and frequent MSNBC guest Robert Reich on Wednesday suggested that Democratic members of congress should strike Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, for her vote on abolishing the filibuster.
Following the defeat of a proposed change to the Senate filibuster, and the defeat of the Democrat effort to make sweeping federal changes to elections, Sen.Sinema and fellow Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin became trending topics and the objects of rage and garment-rending for hours.
Among the many high-strung tweets, one from frequent MSNBC guest and noted Clinton-era progressive Robert Reich stood out for its directness.
“Tonight, Republican senators lined up to shake Kyrsten Sinema’s hand,” wrote Reich. “Democratic senators should have given her the backs of their hands.”
Reich deleted the tweet, but not before there was a big reaction, and many conservatives responded to him with a screenshot of the now-deleted tweet.
The call for smacking Sinema with the backs of their hands was thankfully not carried out by any Senators in the chamber.
It appears when clicking on the link to the deleted tweet that it was removed by the user, Reich, and not by Twitter for violation of the site’s guidelines, showing only the simple message “that tweet has been deleted.”
Reich’s inflammatory comment comes amid weeks and months of anger directed at the female Arizona senator, including her being stalked in public places, called names, and even chased into a bathroom by activists filming and taunting her.
At the time of this posting Reich has not apologized for the violent imagery in his tweet, instead, he blamed “conservative media” for distorting and misinterpreting his remark.
Last night I deleted a tweet because it was widely misinterpreted and distorted by conservative media. “Back of the hand” is an idiom for rebuke. I wholeheartedly condemn violence against women.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 20, 2022
“Back of the hand” can also be used idiomatically to mean rebuke. But then, so can the word “rebuke.” Reich chose the words he used.
The Democrat has previously been clear about how rhetoric can have consequences. Such as when Rep. Paul Gosar shared an anime parody in which the bad guys had the faces of Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
It’s not just @AOC. Violent threats against lawmakers are on track to double this year.
Until those at the highest levels of government are held accountable, no one in political life will be safe.
By the way, censure is not enough for Gosar. He should be expelled.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) November 18, 2021
Or after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a ““little communist from New York City,” and “not an American,” and joined a Trump rally crowd in chanting “lock her up.”
Leave it to Kevin McCarthy to be more outraged about Liz Cheney telling the truth about a presidential election than Marjorie Taylor Greene inciting violence against her colleagues.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) July 26, 2021
Folks, this is not complicated. If you spout vile conspiracy theories and incite violence against your colleagues, you do not belong in Congress.
Expel Marjorie Taylor Greene.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) June 1, 2021
In those cases, Reich was clear that the implications of rhetoric are the responsibility of the person speaking. Still, at this time Reich has taken no responsibility for his own violent imagery.
This post will be updated should he ever change his mind.
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