Following Attempted Political Assassination, Rift Between Parties Shows No Signs Of Mending

Printed from:

Dust from the political fallout following a left-wing gunman’s failed attempt last week to mow down a crowd of Republican congressman as they practiced at a Virginia field in preparation for the annual Congressional Baseball Game is still settling, and developments over the past several days appear to indicate that any sense of goodwill between the GOP and Democrats is all but gone.

One GOP congressman who apparently laid the bulk of the responsibility for the attack at the feet of the Left was Iowa U.S. Representative Steve King, who claimed that “the violence is appearing in the streets, and it’s coming from the Left — people that cannot accept the results of the election are determined to try to take this country down.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, asked Thursday if the shooting of U.S. Representative Steve Scales (R-Louisiana), who is still undergoing treatment but is expected to recover, “could be used against Democrats politically” since some have suggested “vitriolic rhetoric from the Left being in some way to blame,” proceeded to unload on Republicans.

“I think that the comments made by my Republican colleagues are outrageous, beneath the dignity of the job that they hold, beneath the dignity of the respect that we would like Congress to command,” the California Democrat said. “How dare they say such thing? How dare they?”

On Friday the Daily Caller reported that the shooter, who once volunteered for self-described socialist and Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, and had posted inflammatory remarks on social media regarding Republicans, had in his possession at the time of his death a “hit list” of GOP congressmen he wanted to kill.

The list reportedly included the names of House Freedom Caucus members, a group that features some of the most conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Several users belonging to one of the Facebook groups that the shooter, James Hodgkinson of Illinois, was a member of — dubbed “Terminate The Republican Party” — later appeared to celebrate the attack, with one particular post drawing headlines:


Meanwhile, Pelosi delivered her comments on the same day that the New York Times editorial board produced a piece regarding the attempted mass-murder, and rehashed the 2011 shooting of then-Arizona U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, a Democrat. The shooter in that incident, Jared Lee Loughner, was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, but that did not prevent the Times from directly drawing a link between the tragedy and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s decision to use images of sniper crosshairs on Democratic districts Republicans were seeking to claim in the 2012 elections.

In the column, titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” the editorial claimed that “the link to political incitement is clear,” connecting Loughner’s apparent motive to Palin’s congressional race map. The editorial further doubled-down on its claim, and regarding the recent attack on Scalise by a man who was proven to be driven by politics, puzzlingly added that “although there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack, liberals should of course hold themselves to the same standard of decency that they ask of the right.”

The Times was forced to later retract the claim, which even the Washington Post had awarded “Four Pinocchios,” its worst truthfulness rating.

The attempted political assassination of Scalise is now being used in a campaign ad against Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is currently locked in a high stakes bid to claim the Georgia congressional district vacated by Republican Tom Price after President Donald Trump tapped Price to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The 30-second ad released over the weekend, titled “Stop The Violent Left” and produced by the Principled Leadership Project PAC, claims that “now the unhinged Left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans.”

The ad features the sound of gunfire and images of threatening mail sent to GOP lawmakers and the controversial photo released by comedienne Kathy Griffin holding aloft Trump’s decapitated head.