Thursday, June 15, 2017

He who lives dies.. etc

As the saying goes: He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.   This is of course a phrase comes from the Bible Matthew 26:52 King James Bible: Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Now I don't know this Scalise dude nor give one flying fuck about him other than he was another GOP asshole who was pro Second Amendment, spoke to the KKK and was also from the South, a quality that already sets my hair on end.  Does that mean he deserves to be shot? No.  He needs to be voted out of office but if this man stays after this I question his sanity.  But his history in the Legislature both State and National tells me he was a professional Politician and his work in Congress was to preserve his work in Congress.  Did the shooter even know this dude? Doubtful as I had never heard of him until he was shot. Go figure.  Isn't that normally the case?

But my favorite was a Representative from Alabama, Gary Palmer, who said if he was packing heat versus a Baseball Glove things might have been different.  At that point Charlie Rose who was interviewing him on CBS This Morning, goes "What?!!" And he confirms that had he had a gun he could have helped the Capitol Police, who were already outgunned thanks to the type of weapons the shooter had and injured yet still took the shooter down, do their job.  Yes and they could have hit a home run too had they not been injured.

Then we have the blame game. Yep called that one.  I heard that douche CNN Anchor, Jake Tapper, refer to the shooter as "liberal extremist" which is clearly the left version of "alt-right" thereby allowing the Republicans to point fingers and lay blame on Democrats for the maniac who took a gun to a park to kill. So was the Reagan shooter, John Hinkley, Jr.  also a Democrat?   Well he was obsessed with Jodie Foster, French Speaking, Ivy League Educated Lesbian.  Yeah that was it he was a "liberal extremist."

I have not heard Wayne LaPierre come out with his patented bullshit blaming Autism, Video Games, Heavy Metal or whatever crosses his dim mind but perhaps he is busy covering up more bullshit that the NRA does to encourage dipshit like Scalise and Trump to tout defending the Second Amendment. The joke is that Trump has no more shot a gun unless it is shaped like a golf club in his life so I wonder if he even gets what is going on  as he was back Tweeting like the nut job he is as it is always about him.   Even people playing Baseball and having fun is not something he understands so toning down the rhetoric I don't think so.  

Again he who lives by the sword... 

Shooting Is Latest Eruption in a Grim Ritual of Rage and Blame

By ALEXANDER BURNS
THE NEW YORK TIMES
JUNE 14, 2017


The violence has come regularly for years, in one politically charged spasm after another. A member of Congress shot through the head in Tucson. Assaults on the Holocaust Museum, a Planned Parenthood office and the Family Research Council, a socially conservative group. Gunmen targeting black churchgoers in South Carolina, Indian immigrants in Kansas and police officers in New York and Texas.

The attempted slaughter of Republican lawmakers on a baseball diamond outside Washington was less an aberration than the latest example of a grim trend, widely remarked upon by leaders in both parties, but never slowed or stopped.

And with lawmakers, legislative aides and Capitol police officers hospitalized on Wednesday, a process of mourning and recrimination unfolded as a kind of familiar ritual, with a somber statement from the president and bipartisan denunciations of violence quickly giving way to finger-pointing and blame on social media.

Even high-level gestures of conciliation, including from President Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders, did little to blunt the sense that America’s civic culture is consumed with anger and breaking down — though mental illness sometimes makes it impossible to say exactly what leads to violence.

To survivors of past attacks, the shooting in Virginia — perpetrated by a 66-year-old former Sanders supporter who expressed rage over Mr. Trump’s presidency — came as a sign that the worst might still be ahead.

Former Senator John C. Danforth, Republican of Missouri, said the violence reflected a contagion in America’s political culture, in which adversaries were treated as “people to be destroyed.” He said Mr. Trump and Democratic leaders, as well as the news media, all deserved blame.

“We are inundated by rage,” Mr. Danforth, who is an ordained minister, said in an interview. “It’s not just practicing politicians. It’s the demand from the base of the two parties, and it is in large part encouraged by the media.”

Mr. Danforth, 80, issued a searing rebuke to his own party in 2015, after the suicide of a state officeholder, Thomas Schweich, who had been the target of brutal personal attacks. In a eulogy Mr. Danforth warned, “Words can kill.” But he acknowledged ruefully on Wednesday that practitioners of that brand of politics seldom paid a price for it.

“It apparently works,” he said. “It wins elections, wins ratings.”

Ron Barber, a former aide to Representative Gabrielle Giffords who was wounded in the 2011 shooting that nearly killed her, and then briefly replaced her in Congress, said Wednesday’s attack brought back “terrible memories” for him. After his own election in 2012, Mr. Barber recalled, people left messages at his office threatening to punch or kill him.

“Fast-forward to 2017, and I’m sorry to say, it gets worse,” said Mr. Barber, a Democrat. “What happened in 2016 was a presidential campaign that I think really ramped up the anger and vulgarities that we see directed at members of Congress.”

That toxicity does not emanate only from politicians, Mr. Barber said. “I am on Facebook and I see things there that I couldn’t imagine anyone saying about another person,” he said. “We’ve seen an increase in racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia. It’s time for all our leaders, from the president on down, to say, ‘Stop.’”

Voters on the left and the right described themselves as shaken and fearful of what might happen next. Among conservatives, the shooting appeared to confirm a belief that liberal opposition to Mr. Trump had taken a sinister turn, veering into outright violence. For liberals, the attack stirred concern about the potential for extremism on the left, and deepened a sense — dating from Barack Obama’s presidency — that ordinary partisan conflicts had taken on more menacing overtones.

In Fairhope, Ala., B. J. Middleton, a retired police officer, said the explosive political atmosphere recalled the time of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Mr. Middleton, 78, who supports Mr. Trump, said he increasingly feared “violence coming from the left.”

“I was there for the riots and what happened to Dr. King, and I’ll tell you, it feels like we’re building toward something again,” Mr. Middleton said.

Kayla Winner-Connor, a graduate student in Los Angeles, said she was dismayed but not surprised by Wednesday’s violence.

“I hate to say that — everything we’re hearing seems really extreme and it has been polarized for a while, but now it is dangerous,” said Ms. Winner-Connor, who said she was not a supporter of Mr. Trump. She added, “His agenda feels so wrong and I feel an emotionally charged response, but this is spawning some extreme reactions.”

Hope that the political system would self-correct seemed to compete with cynicism about the idea that things might even be salvageable. Kari Duma, 45, of Tucson, said she was skeptical that the country would hear Wednesday’s gunshots as a “wake-up call.”

“How many wake-up calls do we need?” she asked. “The thing is, people are not afraid to attack other people because of politics and beliefs.”

There is a long history of political bloodshed and assassination in the United States, sometimes carried out by ideological actors and at other times by people who are mentally unstable. Gunmen have killed four presidents and shot at several others, and killed Dr. King, Robert F. Kennedy and the pioneering gay politician Harvey Milk.

Mentally ill people have targeted members of Congress before, too, including Ms. Giffords and Allard K. Lowenstein, a former antiwar activist who was murdered in his office. In 2003, a member of the New York City Council, James Davis, was shot to death on the chamber’s floor by a political opponent.

The apparent violent turn in national politics, and the disappearance of traditional rules of civility, also come as mass shootings — usually targeting nonpolitical civilian targets, in schools and public places — are on the rise.

Some question the correlation between violence and political rhetoric, stressing that gunmen who attack political targets are often unstable or angry for unrelated reasons.

George Brauchler, a Colorado district attorney who prosecuted James Holmes, who killed 12 people in an Aurora movie theater in 2012, said he was inclined to view the gunman outside Washington on Wednesday chiefly as “evil.”

“I don’t know that politics facilitates that or if it’s just an excuse for it,” said Mr. Brauchler, a Republican who is running for governor. “It’s not like, in the absence of a political issue, this guy would have lived a law-abiding life.”

Among politicians and voters on Wednesday, there was at least a visceral link between the latest violence and a long-running disintegration of civic norms, which has left candidates and commentators freer than ever to stoke hateful impulses with little fear of consequences.

In 2011, the shooting of Ms. Giffords by a mentally ill assailant came during a convulsive political period, when a bitter debate over health care yielded a wave of threats against lawmakers. Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate, drew sharp criticism for having posted a graphic online that showed cross hairs over the districts of several members of Congress, including Ms. Giffords — though no connection to the crime was established.

Mr. Trump has been an unabashed dabbler in provocative rhetoric, goading attendees at his rallies to rough up protesters, and suggesting last summer that “Second Amendment people” could take action if Hillary Clinton were elected. He was unapologetic during the campaign for comments that critics said verged on incitement.

But Mr. Trump has not had a monopoly on caustic language. Activists on the left have accused the president of “treason,” a crime that can carry a death sentence, and compared him to Hitler. The comedian Kathy Griffin recently apologized after posting a video in which she brandished a prop version of Mr. Trump’s bloody and severed head.

Frank Keating, who was the governor of Oklahoma when antigovernment militants bombed a federal building there in 1995, killing 168 people, said figures of public authority needed to be more sensitive to the impact of their words on “unstable people.”

“There are people that are right on the edge, partisans in both parties, that could — would — do terrible things if that trip wire is tripped,” said Mr. Keating, a Republican. “The rhetoric needs to come down about 17 notches.”

Voters on both sides of the political divide shared that sentiment. In New York City, Bill Ryan, 60, a Democrat who supported Mr. Trump, said the rhetoric of anger was getting “louder and louder.”

“It lights a fuse with these freaking fanatics who go out and start shooting people on a baseball field,” Mr. Ryan said.

Christine Quinn, the former speaker of the New York City Council, who witnessed the shooting there in 2003, said the guardrails around political behavior had vanished.

“You see presidential candidates, now the president of the United States, joking about violence,” said Ms. Quinn, a Democrat. “Clearly, we see evidence here that it’s reverberating on all sides, and the reality is that we have a tone now where there is no cap on it.”

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