‘Riot Is the Voice of the Unheard’

Tea-party foe Maxine Waters once made excuses for real political violence.

James Taranto
The Wall Street Journal

“The Tea Party emerges as not only outrageous, but they have turned up the volume in ways that even Code Pink have not been able to do,” Rep. Maxine Waters said the other day on MSNBC. A video (warning: some adult language) from Breitbart.tv has been making the rounds interspersing quotes from that MSNBC interview with clips from a 2007 “antiwar” rally where Waters fulminated about then-President Bush and other members of his administration.

The Breitbart video very effectively makes the case that Waters is guilty of hypocrisy. Her behavior at the rally is at least as unattractive as her description of the tea partiers’ conduct. On the other hand, so what? When has a politician ever complained about the other side’s incivility without being guilty of hypocrisy?

But a look further back into Waters’s history reveals her hypocrisy to be far worse than is typical. The last time America experienced political mob violence–the Los Angeles riots of 1992–Waters was there offering excuses and justifications.

The L.A. riots began on April 29, 1992, after a jury returned a not-guilty verdict in the trial of four Los Angeles policemen charged in connection with the videotaped beating of Rodney King. By the time the riots wound down, six days later, 53 people had been killed and thousands injured.

Maxine Waters was a freshman representative from California’s 29th Congressional District (now the 35th), which covers areas of southern Los Angeles where the rioting was centered. Her own district office was burned to the ground. She quickly emerged as an advocate on behalf of the rioters.

The article continues at the Wall Street Journal.

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