Host John Dickerson said on “CBS Mornings” that there may be violence in response to Tennessee Republicans’ decision to expel State Rep. Justin Jones (D) and State Rep. Justin Pearson (D) for participating in a gun control protest that led to activists storming the state Capitol building.
After a transgender shooter killed six people in a Christian school in Nashville and protestors disrupted the session at the Capitol building, some viewed the events as an attempted insurrection by the Democrats.
Rather than remaining neutral during the heated events, Jones and Pearson joined the protestors.
On Monday, the lawmakers were stripped of their committee assignments for participating in the protest, and on Thursday, they faced an expulsion vote. While Jones and Pearson were expelled, Rep. Gloria Johnson (D) narrowly escaped expulsion, falling short by one vote.
The differential treatment received by Jones and Pearson, who are Black, in comparison to Johnson, who is White, during the expulsion vote did not go unnoticed by their colleagues, as some are blaming racial motives.
The GOP supermajority expelled the two lawmakers, leaving about 140,000 voters in primarily Black districts with no representation in the House. https://t.co/pvrgRGSZsm
— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) April 9, 2023
House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) has dismissed accusations of racism as a “false narrative.”
On “Fox & Friends” Friday morning, Sexton stated that Johnson was not expelled along with her colleagues because she had distanced herself from the protesters. Sexton added that Johnson’s attorney presented various instances proving that she was not an active participant.
According to Dickerson’s statements on CBS Morning, Republicans should expect retaliation from the left for expelling their colleagues, as he said “punching back” was the only logical response.
He said, “Politics needs some cartilage. It needs some give. It can’t be totally brittle.”
According to the anchor, there were other options available for Republicans to discipline the Democratic lawmakers for their breach of decorum and insubordination, but they went with the most extreme option.
Dickerson said, “When you go to the maximalist, when you kick them out, that’s brittle. There is no give. When there’s no give, the only way the other side gets to respond is by punching back. And so when you lose those interim steps, all you get is response and response and response. And you know where that leads, right? That leads to violence.”
He continued, “We’re at a moment where, more on the conservative side but on both sides, you have people who think, ‘This system isn’t working. We’ve got to effect change outside of the system through violence.’”