Liberals responded to these videos with the kind of apoplexy Jane’s Law anticipated they would. Some said these statements amounted to calls to violence or even “civil war.” They didn’t seem to notice that Loesch was denouncing violence, not advocating it. Nevertheless, the equation of speech (lies) with violence is the kind of blurred distinction that has rendered the activist left militant and, in some instances, dangerous.

This intramural conservative debate has been cut short by Rep. Rice, who compelled conservatives to circle the wagons. Her comment was truly reckless, and the only decent thing to do is to demand her censure and insist that the political press probe her fellow Democrats as to whether or not they think that kind of sentiment is legitimate. The fact that those two outcomes are highly unlikely will only heighten conservatives’ sense of grievance and unify the movement against an external threat.