GLENN: Listen to Tucker Carlson interview a -- a -- a progressive who put out a tweet as a columnist, right after the shooting last week, with the #HuntRepublicans.
TUCKER: People were horrified, of course, by last week's assassination attempt on Republican members of Congress, which wounded five people and nearly killed House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
But most people, apparently, does not include some people, including New Jersey Democratic strategist Jim Devine. After the shooting, Devine tweeted this, quote, we are in a war with selfish, foolish, and narcissistic rich people. Why is it a shock when things turn violent? #HuntRepublicanCongressmen.
After many people objected, Devine did not back down. He followed up by tweeting this: I'm sorry if my HuntRepublicanCongressmen hashtag hurt the feelings of any G.O.P. snowflakes. But you have not engaged in civil discourse, end quote.
We invited Jim Devine to come on the show, and remarkably, he agreed. He's brave at least. Jim Devine joins us tonight.
So, Jim Devine, under what circumstances is it morally acceptable to use violence for political ends?
JIM: It's never -- it's never acceptable to use violence for political ends, except perhaps in the most extreme cases like George Washington and those guys. The fact of the matter is, we do with ballots in this country what they do with bullets elsewhere. And it is not uncommon in politics that we use the language of war. We talk about fierce rhetoric. We talk about the crusades. And so on. You were on a television program. And I don't know what your body count was, when you were on crossfire. I assume that there were no real casualties there.
GLENN: Stop. Stop. What is he saying there?
PAT: It's ludicrous.
GLENN: He's saying that we're used to this. We're used to this. This is violent rhetoric, sure. War rhetoric, but there was no body count on crossfire. So he is accepting CNN's crossfire. CNN's crossfire.
And saying that there was no body count.
STU: And also, by the way, retroactively mocking every Democrats' position in 2011. Retroactively saying, "That was completely fine." What do you mean? It was on crossfire. You guys, was there any body count there?
STU: Now, that was the exact opposite position they took when it was thought initially that a Republican may have shot a congressperson. Of course, that wound up not being true. But when they thought it was true, they said it was about the violent rhetoric. It was.
GLENN: Violent rhetoric. We got to stop the violent rhetoric. Okay.
VOICE: You know what, stop. You know what, I want to have a reasonable conversation. I want to demagogue this.
But in the hours after, five people were shot, including the House Majority Whip, you sent out a tweet that said hunt Republicans. I mean, it was clearly a reference to the assassination attempt against Congressman Scalise. It's hard to imagine how you could justify writing something like that.
JIM: In the immediate aftermath of the shooting at the Sandy Hook school, we heard people say, "This is not the time to talk about gun violence." We've heard lots of things follow this.
PAT: What does that have to do with it?
GLENN: Stop. Yeah, what does that have to do with it? In the immediate aftermath, we don't make policy decisions. That's when you're emotional. You don't -- you find out exactly what's going on.
PAT: You make terrible decisions when you're super emotional.
GLENN: Do we need to talk about the Duke lacrosse team?
PAT: Come on.
GLENN: When things are at an emotional high, you make really bad decisions and you destroy people's lives. That only makes sense. You don't strike out in anger.
STU: This also seems like when you have your quarterback and he gets hurt and then your backup comes in and he gets hurt and then your third string guy comes in and he get hurt, and then you have to have the punter be quarterback for the rest of the game. That's this guy's role of the Democratic Party. He is not good at this.
TUCKER: But that's not what you were saying. You were encouraging gun violence. Wait. Hold on. You were encouraging gun violence.
JIM: Absolutely not. Oh, no, absolutely not. I've never encouraged gun violence, and I stated --
TUCKER: What did you mean by that? And put down that paper. I'm talking about you, not some other paper. I mean, please.
JIM: But this is what's been out there.
TUCKER: But put that down. I'm not interested in what other people --
JIM: We see stuff like this. This is not an uncommon thing --
TUCKER: That's great. But we're not -- okay.
So your excuse apparently is other people have done it. That's not an excuse. I'm here to ask you about something that you wrote, and why don't you explain it?
JIM: It's not an excuse. What I'm saying is that for too long, Republicans in this country have failed to distinguish the differences between politics and war. And a lot of Democrats have failed to see the similarities. So you guys either have to tone down the rhetoric, or we have to step up.
TUCKER: So by saying hunt Republicans --
JIM: Hunt Republicans.
TUCKER: -- there's nothing wrong with that?
JIM: Sarah Palin put the crosshairs on Congress. I'm just saying hunt Republicans.
GLENN: Okay. Stop. Stop.
PAT: Oh, jeez.
GLENN: Here's the difference. Here's the difference: This -- Sarah Palin did that before. He did this within hours of someone attempting to assassinate. He wasn't a shooter. He's an assassin.
PAT: Sarah Palin's implication too was target these districts for election purposes. His implication is hunt them down and shoot them. Because that happened right after the shooting.
GLENN: Target the district is different than hunt Republicans.
PAT: Unbelievable. Yeah.
GLENN: What? How do you hunt? You hunt with a gun. What was that guy doing? He was hunting. He had a list of people he was trying to kill. He was an assassin. That's like after Oswald, you say, "Hunt Soviets. Hunt Russians in America. Hunt -- hunt Republicans then."
You -- what are you talking about? You don't use that after someone has attempted to assassinate someone.
STU: Yeah. It's obviously -- the timing there is crucial. I mean, the Sarah Palin thing -- and, by the way, Democrats were also using maps with targets with them at the exact same time.
GLENN: It doesn't matter. I know. But it's been so overdone. And the press here and the Democrats -- and this is your point, I think, is we all know this.
GLENN: We all know this.
STU: Yeah. It's an obvious thing. Both sides have always done it. This guy's point -- even his ridiculous point that the Democrats need to start doing it more isn't even valid. It's all a bizarre justification.
My guess is he, at the moment, tried to do something controversial so he would get attention. Because we're in that age, right? The social media age, where here's an unknown punter-level quarterback trying to make a name for himself in the Democratic Party.
GLENN: That is an insult to all punters.
STU: It is. It is.
But that's why I said punter-level quarterback. Punters are fine.
GLENN: No, no, no.
It's -- that is an insult to all punter-level quarterbacks.
STU: Okay. This is the water boy --
GLENN: Yeah. Oh, my gosh.
PAT: Oh, wow. Wow.
GLENN: Holy cow. This guy is not even in the stadium. He has not seen a football.
GLENN: He thinks football is soccer. That's how far away he is.
STU: And this is a guy who thinks saying something like this will make him brave so he can get on television.
STU: And stand out from the other 9,000 Democratic consultants out there. But this is not --
GLENN: But he is a guy -- he is speaking a different language. And I don't think he's speaking American. He might be speaking English, but he's not speaking American.
So the question is, why is he doing this? I don't know.
Is this healthy? No.
How do we respond? That is what has tripped me up for the last probably four years. You have been asking me: Glenn, how do we get out of it?
And I've given you platitudes. I've given you, "Well, stick by your principles." And, quite honestly -- and I've said this to you before, I've given up hope. I mean, I've been lying to you, when I'm saying, "Well, there's a way out. We're going to -- been lying.
Because I know there is. I just haven't been able to find it. I don't know what it is.
I have been doing a lot of studying and a lot of soul-searching in the last eight months. The last four months, I've really gone to work and buckled down and -- and got up off the floor and said, "Okay. Enough is enough." The -- the -- the answer is surrender or find a new way to live. And I knew I didn't want to surrender. I've been here before.
As an alcoholic, I was down on the floor in my apartment that smelled like soup. And I was broke and out. And I was on the floor. And I thought to myself, "I'm either going to die and commit suicide, and I'm done, or I'm going to stand up and start again."
And I didn't have any idea when I stood up, what it was going to take. And for a long time, I didn't know. I've done it again. And this time, I am at the beginning of really knowing exactly where we need to go. And I want to share some of that with you when we come back.