Rep. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the DNC posed with a pro-Antifa book on Twitter Wednesday, saying the book would “strike fear in the heart” of the president.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 3, 2018
I don’t know if Rep. Ellison meant to endorse the book or if this was just his way of calling the president a fascist. Either way, this is a pretty extreme comment. Fox News points out that even Nancy Pelosi has made efforts to distance the party from Antifa:
In August, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., condemned what she called the “violent actions of people calling themselves Antifa” and distanced them from the Democratic Party.
“You’re not talking about the far left of the Democratic Party — they’re not even Democrats,” Pelosi told the Denver Post editorial board. “A lot of them are socialists or anarchists or whatever.”
Pelosi is partly right. Antifa members aren’t all Democrats, most of them are fringe anti-capitalists. But saying they’re not the far left of Pelosi’s party is a pipe dream. If nothing else, the fact that Ellison is embracing this book shows the far left is a lot closer at hand than she believes.
As you’ve certainly heard by now, the willingness to embrace violence to achieve political ends is Antifa’s distinctive feature. That’s something they’ve demonstrated numerous times in 2017. The Antifa handbook isn’t just a descriptive text, it’s also an endorsement of the group’s tactics by author Mark Bray who previously worked as the PR person for Occupy Wall Street. Bray believes the “liberal” position on freedom of speech is a mistake and instead supports violent confrontation.
Needless to say, if any elected official on the right had taken a selfie with a book promoting political violence, that person would be asked a lot of questions by the media about their commitment to the American system of government. Does Ellison think people should embrace violence? Does he support freedom of speech? Will anyone even ask him?