Left-wing Hollywood director-actor Rob Reiner declared on Tuesday that “democracy is being lynched by a racist liar” — a direct reference to impeachment remarks made by President Donald Trump.
“Democracy is being lynched by a Racist Liar,” the When Harry Met Sally director wrote.
Democracy is being lynched by a Racist Liar.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) October 22, 2019
Reiner’s political assessment followed President Trump’s Tuesday morning tweet, in which he called the Democrat-led impeachment effort a political “lynching.”
“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching,” Trump wrote.
So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2019
Trump’s tweet — specifically, his use of the word “lynching” — drew angry responses from several 2020 candidates as well as notable Democrat lawmakers.
Beto O’Rourke (D) took the opportunity to smear the president as a “white supremacist,” while Sen Kamala Harris (D-CA) used the political fallout to refer to Trump as a “reprehensible stain.”
The legacy of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and suppression is alive and well in every part of this country—including in the White House where the president is a white supremacist. https://t.co/q4rCTuQRon
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 22, 2019
Lynching is a reprehensible stain on this nation's history, as is this President. We'll never erase the pain and trauma of lynching, and to invoke that torture to whitewash your own corruption is disgraceful. https://t.co/XOlsazwwRL
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 22, 2019
Lynching is an act of terror used to uphold white supremacy. Try again. pic.twitter.com/TcDR01XelB
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 22, 2019
Lynching is a horrific stain on our country's history, and it is beyond disgraceful for Donald Trump to invoke one to avoid being held accountable for his crimes.
Nobody is above the law, not even the president of the United States.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 22, 2019
However, Democrats seemed to forget that their own House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) used similar terminology to describe the impeachment effort against former President Bill Clinton in 1998. At the time, he accused the GOP of “running a lynch mob.”
“I am the president’s defender in the sense that I haven’t seen anything yet that would rise, in my opinion, to the level of impeachable offense,” Nadler said at the time. “I wish we could get this over with quickly.”
“In pushing the process, in pushing the arguments of fairness and due process the Republicans so far have been running a lynch mob,” he added.
This is not the first time the terminology has been used to describe issues in the political realm. In 2015, CNN featured an op-ed titled, “Benghazi hearing: The high-tech lynching of Hillary Clinton.”
— CNN Opinion (@CNNOpinion) October 23, 2015
“And Then the Breitbart Lynch Mob Came for Me,” a 2017 piece from Foreign Policy reads.
In 2016, the Washington Post featured an op-ed titled, “Comey caves to a lynch-mob mentality,” which claimed that Republicans had become a “lynch mob.”
“Republicans had become a lynch mob, demanding frontier justice, and they howled in outrage when Comey refused to participate in the hanging, accusing him of unfairly rigging the election when all he had done was his job,” the piece reads, later assessing that conservatives “have succumbed to the same lynch-mob mentality that Comey caved to that now threatens the integrity of our electoral process.”