Jose Diaz is a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives. Sunday someone left a death threat on his Facebook page and, with the recent shooting of Republican lawmakers in mind, Diaz reported the threat to police. From the NBC Miami:
“I’ll kill your ass and you better not show up to the next rec meeting,” the post read, according to an arrest report…
St. Felix was later arrested at his home. After his arrest, St. Felix admitted he made the threat and said he “is fed up with the Republican party,” the arrest report said.
The “rec meeting” mentioned in the threat was actually a reference to the 2017 Lincoln Day Dinner, a Republican fundraiser scheduled for tonight. The headline speaker at the event this year is Kellyanne Conway.
Mr. St. Felix appeared before a judge today and was given a $500,000 bond. His attorney argued that St. Felix had a mental condition and that the bond amount was unfair because her client was not working. The judge replied that St. Felix was already out on bond on another charge of making a similar threat against a public servant. From 7News Miami:
In bond court, 7News learned Felix was out on bond after threatening another public servant and has a history of making threats.
“One of the previous cases involved a called threat to Miami Gardens Police Department,” said a prosecutor, “so it was an extremely serious threat that was done at that time.”
Rep. Diaz told 7News, “It’s impossible to see that sort of threat and not think immediately of Virginia, what happened to Congressman Scalise.” He added, “He was in public. He thought he was safe, and he wasn’t.”
This is exactly the sort of situation Democrats once said we needed to be concerned about, i.e. a disturbed individual who seems to be tuning into the rhetoric he is hearing in the media and channeling that into threats against lawmakers. And you don’t have to look far for unhinged Democratic rhetoric. For example:
Forget death panels. If Republicans pass this bill, they're the death party. https://t.co/jCStfOaBjy
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 23, 2017
I’ve read the Republican “health care” bill. This is blood money. They’re paying for tax cuts with American lives. pic.twitter.com/298DLguNiM
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 22, 2017
And this is just what is coming from the “responsible” leadership of the party. The rhetoric coming from many rank and file Democrats is a lot less restrained. So, two weeks after an attempted assassination of Republicans, are we still concerned about the tone of our political rhetoric? Or does that only interest us when Republicans can be blamed?