Senator James Lankford (R-OK) on Thursday tried to equate peaceful protests with the string of attempted bombings that have paralyzed the country since Wednesday.
In the wake of nearly a dozen prominent Democrats being targeted by pipe bombs, Lankford said on Fox News that targeting political rivals with terrorism "is not who we are as Americans," condemning the use of violence as a means to political ends.
But it was Lankford's comparison to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that have sparked some pretty harsh backlash. Lankford charged that activists disrupting Kavanaugh's hearings were just as bad as whoever has been mailing bombs to President Donald Trump's rivals.
"It wasn't appropriate during the hearings to come in and scream at people," Lankford said. "This is not how we should handle our differences."
Watch the clip below:
Unreal -- On Fox News, @SenatorLankford draws equivalency between bombs being sent to prominent liberals and protes… https://t.co/vxzuIORiRa— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1540476355.0
Lankford cited other instances - such as the shooting of a Congressional baseball game and the intimidation of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the 2016 campaign - as other examples of unacceptable behavior.
He also said that blaming Trump and his divisive rhetoric for Wednesday's events is "absurd."
Those who "try to blame President Trump [for the attempted bombings] is absurd," Lankford added. "We didn't try to blame Democrats when a shooter came for Republicans on a baseball field."
Watch the clip below:
Ignoring that Trump publicly encouraged violence against reporters last week, Sen. Lankford claims that "to try to… https://t.co/TwYq3mZGhs— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1540476582.0
Twitter tore into Lankford for the parallels he was drawing.
I don’t like people getting harassed in public places. But those equating that to sending explosive devices, are b… https://t.co/c8AhIhUFE6— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@Ana Navarro-Cárdenas)1540485386.0
The "whataboutism" - in this case, alluding to protests as if they constitute terror, is galling.
@atrupar @SenatorLankford Screams are as dangerous as bombs now? Wow! I'm surprised my computer hasn't exploded bec… https://t.co/GMI4g32Sxn— Lola Gayle (@Lola Gayle)1540476452.0
Free speech includes the right to scream. Screaming does not equal bombing.
@atrupar @AmericaMustVote @SenatorLankford .@SenatorLankford needs to be reminded that protesting our elected offic… https://t.co/rw1vmU8VQa— Proud Liberal🇺🇸🇨🇦🇬🇧🇩🇪🇫🇷 (@Proud Liberal🇺🇸🇨🇦🇬🇧🇩🇪🇫🇷)1540479745.0
@atrupar @everyhumanknows @SenatorLankford So Lankford thinks that protesting and freedom of speech is the same as sending out a bomb?— Banjo (@Banjo)1540477140.0
@atrupar @SenatorLankford big difference between attempted Murder with planted Bombs and people verbally protesting… https://t.co/1JkeFDgjpk— RAY TOPPIN (@RAY TOPPIN)1540476577.0
@atrupar @owillis @SenatorLankford @SenatorLankford is not an honorable man. There is no comparison between protest… https://t.co/wbJd6oy87B— RebeccaSWH (@RebeccaSWH)1540477120.0
@atrupar @SenatorLankford Hey @Foxnews.....Protesting, Yelling Holding Up signs are NOT Illegal. Sending IED Bombs… https://t.co/huZvNrQbwU— Mary Frank (@Mary Frank)1540477104.0
The double-standard applied to the Kavanaugh hearings is even more disturbing when coupled with the way his accusers were treated.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, whose account became public last month and led to her enthralling Senate testimony, has in the weeks since had to abandon her home and hire private security to stave off the barrage of death threats she has received.
Her plight - now twice as a victim - continues to be unacknowledged by Republicans.
@atrupar @owillis @SenatorLankford And death threats to Dr Ford?— nursejill (@nursejill)1540476590.0
@atrupar @SenatorLankford We all know, @SenateDems & @HouseDemocrats, women in the halls of Congress begging you n… https://t.co/DlXS1lCB2G— Celery Caraway (@Celery Caraway)1540479306.0
@atrupar @SenatorLankford Yes, I agree that Kavanaugh shouldn't have been screaming at his hearing.— Problem Seal (@Problem Seal)1540489602.0
The public's disapproval of Kavanaugh and the majority opposition to his confirmation has also been ignored.
@atrupar @owillis @SenatorLankford Maybe pay attention to the clear majority who opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation?… https://t.co/3JB33NW2u3— RebeccaSWH (@RebeccaSWH)1540477236.0
@atrupar @Amy_in_Michigan @SenatorLankford And the fact that he (and the rest of the GOP) ignored the protesters will be their downfall.— like, really demandbetter (@like, really demandbetter)1540479753.0
@atrupar @SenatorLankford Yeah, yelling at people who are about to confirm a guy who is accused of sexual assault t… https://t.co/ZWjdiMPTIG— President Kamala Harris #checkyourracismandsexism (@President Kamala Harris #checkyourracismandsexism)1540483567.0
Kavanaugh is motivating Democrats to vote more than Republicans. With the midterms less than two weeks away, Republicans would be wise to listen.