Hours before the House Jan. 6 committee commenced its televised hearings into the violent lawlessness by Trump supporters at the Capitol, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sought to blame the Democrats for the violent lawlessness surging across the county.
“As Democrats in Washington abuse their power to attack their political opponents, they are ignoring America’s crime crisis,” he tweeted. “The Democrat Party is for lawlessness and the breakdown of society. While they defund the police, violent crime is skyrocketing in our communities. Enough is enough. ”
McCarthy posted a collection of video clips of violent crimes in New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Los Angeles
“Violent crime is skyrocketing,” the accompanying text repeats.
But McCarthy said nothing about Bakersfield, the California city where he was born and which he now represents in Congress. The murder rate there in 2021 was 11.91 per 100,000, more than double the murder rate in New York City (5.55) and Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco (5.6). The murder rate for Los Angeles is 6.74, also considerably lower than McCarthy’s hometown.
To be fair, Bakersfield’s murder rate is about two thirds of New Orleans’ (30.67) and around half that of Philadelphia’s (22.47). But it is still markedly above that of a great majority of American cities.
And McCarthy can hardly blame the Democrats. Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer of Kern County — which encompasses the city — are both Republicans. Donald Trump won Bakersfield by nearly 10 percent in the last presidential election.
Anyone who seeks to keep the onus on the Democrats can point out that California went for Biden. But a Democrat can then cite the national murder stats in a March report by the center-left think tank Third Way. The report, titled “The Red State Murder Problem,” notes that “in 2020, per capita murder rates were 40% higher in states won by Donald Trump than those won by Joe Biden.”
“Eight of the 10 states with the highest murder rates in 2020 voted for the Republican presidential nominee in every election this century,” the report further observes.
The most recent additions to the murder rate in Bakersfield inlcude Tuesday’s killing of two residents at the California Veterans Assistance Foundation apartment complex on Decatur St. A staffer came upon the victims at 8:40 am and immediately called 911. The Kern County Sheriff’s office responded and determined that the two men had what appeared to be gunshot wounds. One, identified as Timothy Blevins, 63, had retired after a career in the Air Force. The other, who was 62, was not immediately identified pending notification of his family.
A local news outlet ran a photo of a half dozen people huddled in prayer by the yellow crime scene stretched across the complex’s entrance. The foundation released a statement.
“We sympathize and grieve with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in this incident. Veterans are a tight-knit community, and that is especially true for CVAF residents. CVAF intends to provide emotional support and grief counseling for residents, CVAF staff and fellow veterans affected by this trauma. ”
No doubt some of the residents had been in combat. They were now being offered help in coping with killing at home.
Investigators soon identified 80-year-old Guadalupe Mojica as a prime suspect. He is a vet and also resides at the complex.
“They all knew each other,” a sheriff’s spokesperson told The Daily Beast, declining to say what may have triggered the violence.
On Wednesday, Mojica was arrested at a Bakersfield bus stop. He was allegedly carrying a loaded firearm.
Mojica was in the county jail facing two counts of first-degree murder on Thursday as McCarthy tweeted video clips of violent crime in other cities. He does not seem to have said anything publicly about the killings in Bakersfield even though he has repeatedly visited the complex. Last November, he posted a photo on Facebook of himself delivering socks there.
“Thank you to everyone who donated socks! We were able to deliver over 1000 pairs to the California Veterans Assistance Foundation for our Kern County veteran community, ”he wrote.
At 3 pm on Friday, Mojica appeared in Part FA in Kern County Superior Court. He pleaded not guilty to murder aad weapon charges. He agreed to have his arraignment delayed until June 17.
As of Friday evening, McCarthy had not responded to a request seeking to confirm he had uttered not so much as a syllable about the latest horror in his hometown.
On Twitter, he had switched from crime to inflation.
“I call on Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats to hold a prime-time hearing on the out-of-control inflation their policies have created,” he tweeted.
McConnell and McCarthy Had the Chance to Take Out Trump. They Chose Their Careers Over Consciences.
As documented by a tape recording obtained by The New York TimesMcCarthy was so disturbed by the lawless violence at the Capitol that he privately told fellow Republican leaders that he intended to urge President Trump to resign.
“I’ve had it with this guy,” he was recorded saying.
That momentary spasm of actual patriotism was short-lived. The Times revelation sent him scurrying to Mar-a-Lago to deny the truth. He has now become an accessory after the fact by doing everything he can to divert attention from the hearing to what he once rightly considered an actual assault on our democracy.
Meanwhile, with the murder count in Republican ice Bakersfield threatening to exceed last year’s record, you have to wonder if the latest two victims and the suspected killer were all wearing McCarthy-delivered socks.
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