Attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband shows violent escalation of rhetoric painting her as enemy No. 1

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Just a little over two weeks ago, the country got a fresh look at the violence Rep. Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress faced on Jan. 6, 2021, as newly released footage showed the House speaker imploring national security officials for help and calculating ways lawmakers could return to work to certify President Biden’s election.

On Friday, violence came to Pelosi’s doorstep in a different form when her husband, Paul Pelosi, was violently attacked at their San Francisco home while the speaker remained in Washington, D.C.

Both incidents drove home the extent to which Pelosi has been the subject of political and personal attacks over two decades in Democratic Party leadership, from everyday political protests and politicking to sexist and anti-Semitic vitriol.

In 2018, she “starred” in one out of every five GOP-made ads. But over the last few years, punctuated by the Jan. 6 attack, the threats of actual violence
appear to have escalated.

During the U.S. Capitol attack, insurrectionists ransacked Pelosi’s office, and many posted messages and videos on social media saying they were targeting her specifically. “We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the frickin’ brain,” one woman who was sentenced to 60 days in prison earlier this year said
in a self-recorded video
during the attack. Others cried out “Oh Naaaaancy,”
as shown in footage
aired during former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, and demanded Capitol Police present her to the mob.

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