It’s getting repetitive. Back on February 24th of this year, the newly-elected House Speaker Tillis boasted in this way to a meeting that was reported by the Sanford Herald:
Still, Tillis promised to “gut-punch” Gov. Bev Perdue on her spending priorities.
Then today WRAL reported on yet another meeting at the General Assembly where Speaker Tillis spoke again:
But if Republicans want to go after a specific member, Tillis said, “Gut-punch ‘em, hit ‘em in the jaw, doesn’t matter to me.”
And this is the guy who got all bent out of shape about decorum in “his” House when the leader of the NAACP disrupted a session there last week by talking about God and education? Well Mr. Speaker, it’s my House too. The last time I looked, we weren’t some two-bit dictatorship of a country where violence is routinely used for political gain.
This is my North Carolina – down home, the old North State – where we might have our differences but we work together to solve problems and get things accomplished. It might be fun and “down home” for some leaders to routinely allude to violence as a way of achieving goals but that’s certainly not how we got to be a great state.
In any case, such language speaks more to the weaknesses and insecurities of the person spouting the rhetoric than any actual threat. There’s more to real leadership than talking tough and promising vengeance. We had a swaggering, tough-talking guy in a flight suit spout more than enough of that sort of rhetoric for eight years. And we all know who actually got the criminal at the end of the day. Tillis might want to revisit his remarks next time he thinks about “gut-punching” the opposition.