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Former Democratic Labor Secretary Robert Reich was torched after attempting to blame conservative media for a now-deleted tweet he sent out Wednesday stating that Senate Democrats should give Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) the “backs of their hands” because she blocked nuking the filibuster.
“Tonight, Republican senators lined up to shake Kyrsten Sinema’s hand,” Reich wrote in his tweet. “Democratic senators should have given her the backs of their hands.” He deleted the offensive tweet but not before conservatives got a hold of it and excoriated him for it.
Reich served under former President Bill Clinton and is a talking head who appears frequently on MSNBC. He claims the tweet was simply an idiom and not a call for violence against Sinema.
He took to Twitter hours later, explaining why he deleted the tweet, “Last night I deleted a tweet because it was widely misinterpreted and distorted by conservative media. ‘Back of the hand’ is an idiom for rebuke. I wholeheartedly condemn violence against women.” He has not appeared to have directly apologized for the tweet.
Senators gather to shake Sinema’s hand pic.twitter.com/IG68kurQiA
— Acyn (@Acyn) January 20, 2022
Last night I deleted a tweet because it was widely misinterpreted and distorted by conservative media. "Back of the hand" is an idiom for rebuke. I wholeheartedly condemn violence against women.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 20, 2022
Sinema has faced constant threats of violence since she took a stand saying she would not support nixing the filibuster. She has been stalked in public places, had slurs hurled at her in public, and has had activists confront her at an airport, on a plane, and chase her into a bathroom filming and taunting her.
Conservatives pushed back hard after Reich’s vicious tweet.
“Just admit it… you hate women, conservative media, and women IN conservative media,” conservative journalist Beth Baumann tweeted.
Just admit it… you hate women, conservative media, and women IN conservative media.
— Beth Baumann (@eb454) January 20, 2022
“Only one ‘idiom’ here,” author Carol Roth snarked.
Only one “idiom” here.
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) January 20, 2022
“‘Back of the hand’ is an idiom to strike someone in the face with it,” noted Newsbusters deputy managing editor Nicholas Fondacaro.
“Back of the hand” is an idiom to strike someone in the face with it.
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) January 20, 2022
First Amendment lawyer Ari Cohen took first prize, however, for dragging Reich over the incendiary tweet: “Nobody misinterpreted or distorted anything. Take some f***ing responsibility.”
Nobody misinterpreted or distorted anything. Take some fucking responsibility.
— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) January 20, 2022
Reich has previously criticized heated political rhetoric, hypocritically stating that it can have consequences. He aggressively went after Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for his anime depicting an attack on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
“It’s not just @AOC. Violent threats against lawmakers are on track to double this year. Until those at the highest levels of government are held accountable, no one in political life will be safe. By the way, censure is not enough for Gosar. He should be expelled,” he tweeted.
It’s not just @AOC. Violent threats against lawmakers are on track to double this year.
Until those at the highest levels of government are held accountable, no one in political life will be safe.
By the way, censure is not enough for Gosar. He should be expelled.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) November 18, 2021
He also attacked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for calling Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a “little communist from New York City” and “not an American.”
“Leave it to Kevin McCarthy to be more outraged about Liz Cheney telling the truth about a presidential election than Marjorie Taylor Greene inciting violence against her colleagues,” Reich stated.
Leave it to Kevin McCarthy to be more outraged about Liz Cheney telling the truth about a presidential election than Marjorie Taylor Greene inciting violence against her colleagues.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) July 26, 2021
“Folks, this is not complicated. If you spout vile conspiracy theories and incite violence against your colleagues, you do not belong in Congress. Expel Marjorie Taylor Greene,” he demanded.
Folks, this is not complicated. If you spout vile conspiracy theories and incite violence against your colleagues, you do not belong in Congress.
Expel Marjorie Taylor Greene.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) June 1, 2021
Reich was joined by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) in his vocal disgust with Sinema. She asserted that Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) don’t care about blacks and minorities in an interview last weekend.
(Video Credit: MSNBC)
Reich is a professor at the University of California-Berkeley. Not only is he frequently on MSNBC, but the left-wing economist has also made appearances on CNN as well. Liberal networks look to him as an expert on political and economic matters. They appear to be giving him a pass on his hateful rhetoric towards Sinema.
It remains to be seen if Reich will take any responsibility for his own words in this instance.
Others blasted Reich for the tweet as well:
Big man… pic.twitter.com/ae5Z2M5qj9
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) January 20, 2022
“Kyrsten Sinema is the sort of inspiring LGBT woman who must be slapped around by her party if she fails to follow the demands of a white man,” writes @RBReich
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) January 20, 2022
What are Democrats supposed to do to Sen. Sinema with "the backs of their hands," @RBReich? pic.twitter.com/XFJyU0d1Sc
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 20, 2022
Hey little lady… if you don't vote my way we're just gonna have to smack you around a bit until you fall in line and do what you're told." – @RBReich's inner thoughts?
— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) January 20, 2022
This is @RBReich saying Democrats should assault a female senator because the democrat party is the… champion of women. Uh huh. pic.twitter.com/glADJoRvYp
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) January 20, 2022
Here’s @RBReich encouraging people to batter a Senator. A female Senator, no less. Deleted with no apology or acknowledgement. pic.twitter.com/VM9ORFTFQU
— Jonathan Greenberg (@JGreenbergSez) January 20, 2022
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