At least Missouri voters have found a symbol of unity in this fractious times. After posting to Facebook a wish that someone would assassinate Donald Trump, state legislator Maria Chappelle-Nidal has suddenly found politics a lonely forum indeed. Leaders of both parties, including Republican Governor Eric Greiten and Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, have demanded Chappelle-Nadal’s resignation:
Two days after President Trump once again blamed “both sides” for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Democratic state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal went on her personal Facebook page Thursday morning to vent.
“I put up a statement saying, ‘I really hate Trump. He’s causing trauma and nightmares.’ That was my original post,” she told the Kansas City Star.
The Facebook post received many responses, Chappelle-Nadal said, and to one she replied, “I hope Trump is assassinated!” …
Calls for her resignation came from Republican Gov. Eric Greitens and Missouri’s Democratic Party chairman, Stephen Webber, while a statement by Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh said that, “There is too much rancor and hate in today’s political discourse, and Sen. Chappelle-Nadal should be ashamed of herself for adding her voice to this toxic environment.”
Well, she should be ashamed. And, Chappelle-Nadal tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, she is. A little, anyway. But not enough to resign her position:
“I didn’t mean what I put up. Absolutely not. I was very frustrated. Things have got to change,” Chappelle-Nadal told the Post-Dispatch. “It was in response to the concerns that I am hearing from residents of St. Louis. I have deleted it, and it should have been deleted, but there is something way more important that we should be talking about.”
She added later: “I am not resigning … What I said was wrong, but I am not going to stop talking about what led to that, which is the frustration and anger that many people across America are feeling right now.”
No one asked her to “stop talking.” She can talk all she wants as a private citizen. Her own party has asked her to give up her public office, which voters entrusted to Chappelle-Nadal with the expectations that she would act responsibly with that public trust. Instead, Chappelle-Nadal cheerleaded for an assassination, which goes against the very fabric of self-governance to which her office owes its existence, just because she doesn’t like someone who won an election.
Congressman William Clay, a fellow Democrat, put it best. “(C)alling for the assassination of the President is a federal crime. … (She is) an embarrassment to our state. She should resign immediately.” Chappelle-Nadal is an embarrassment to self-governance and self-discipline. If she had any shred of remorse, she would not just resign from this office, but pledge never to run for another one. The very fact that she doesn’t feel the need to resign makes her unfitness for office even more obvious. If her fellow Democrats can’t convince her to resign, then her colleagues in the Missouri legislature need to act to expel her.