After the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Congressman Goodlatte posted the following tweet:
And that, apparently, is that. What’s infuriating is that Goodlatte– as chair of the House Judiciary Committee– is in a unique position to do something more.
The Hill reports:
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are calling for an emergency hearing focused on the “unprecedented” white supremacist-inspired violence in the U.S.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary panel, and Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) sent a letter Monday to Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) asking him to hold a hearing to examine recent hate-inspired violence, saying it is the panel’s duty to look into such matters.
The Democratic lawmakers pointed to three recent incidents from last week: 11 people killed by a gunman in a synagogue in Pittsburgh; more than a dozen explosive devices sent to prominent Democratic political figures; and the deaths of two African-Americans in Kentucky who were shot and killed by a gunman who allegedly tried to carry out a larger-scale attack at a predominately black church.
“In the past week, our nation has borne witness to three acts of terror,” the lawmakers wrote to Goodlatte. “This groundswell of violence includes both the largest attempted mass assassination of prominent political figures in American history and the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history. Each of these acts was carried out by an individual understood to espouse white supremacist views.”
“Whether it manifests itself as racism or anti-Semitism or xenophobia, white supremacy is white supremacy,” they added. “In its modern form, it motivates a fluid and particularly virulent form of domestic terrorism. It must be stopped.”
The lawmakers also chided Goodlatte for failing to hold a hearing on the matter sooner, stating that they requested a hearing on white-supremacist violence after the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. last year.
There is a “cost to this inaction,” they wrote, pointing to a rise in incidents of antisemitism in the U.S.
A Republican House Judiciary Committee aide told The Hill that “there are no hearings planned at this time.” The aide also noted that the House passed a resolution this year condemning hate crimes.
(You can read the Democrats’ entire letter here.)
Toothless resolutions are nice. But it seems a serious investigation of the far right’s role in inspiring domestic terrorism is not exactly a priority for many Republicans. So there will be no hearings. And Bob Goodlatte will finish out his 26 years in Congress by once again putting party ahead of country.