Celebrity Bette Midler endorsed political violence on Wednesday, saying that Americans should “be more grateful” for the man who assaulted Rand Paul while he was mowing his lawn two years ago, according to The Daily Caller.
In a Tweet, Midler criticized Paul’s foreign policy in regards to the Kurds in Syria, after Paul had previously criticized the Kurds for taking out their frustrations on U.S. soldiers. In response, Midler said that this served as “a good reminder for all of us to be more grateful for the neighbor who beat the shit out of Rand Paul.”
The incident took place in November 2017, when Rene Boucher, who was Paul’s next-door neighbor, suddenly tackled the senator while he was mowing his lawn. The assault resulted in Paul suffering from six broken ribs and “a pleural effusion, which ultimately led to pneumonia.” In the following surgeries that were required, part of his lung had to be removed.
Following the assault, Paul was awarded nearly $600,000 in damages. Boucher was originally sentenced in federal court to only 30 days in prison, but the sentence was later vacated and remanded to a lower court for resentencing, as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that his sentence was not harsh enough.
In addition to the assault, Paul has been harassed in public by protesters on several occasions, including most recently by a woman who shouted in his face in a California diner. Paul was also among the Republican members of Congress who were shot at in the 2017 Congressional baseball shooting, where six people were injured, including then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.