Lawmakers shaken by this week’s shooting at a GOP baseball practice say the toxic political climate needs to change. But there’s little sign that it will.
The calls for unity in the wake of the attack have already given way to finger pointing, with both sides blaming the other’s rhetoric for exacerbating public anger at Washington.
Republicans have cast blame on the left, with one senior member going to the House floor to castigate the “liberal media.”
Democrats say that any discussion about incivility starts with President Trump, who routinely hurled insults during the 2016 campaign and considered paying the legal fees of a supporter accused of punching a protester at a rally.
Trump, for his part, received bipartisan praise for his measured statement in the hours after a gunman shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and three others in a Washington suburb. But a day later, Trump was already tweeting again about “crooked Hillary” and the email scandal that plagued her 2016 campaign.
It’s become a familiar pattern for lawmakers after a tragedy.
After former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot in the head at a constituent event in 2011, members of Congress made a show of bipartisan seating arrangements at the State of the Union a few weeks later.
The political discourse has arguably worsened in the six years since.
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BIO: Dave Cole, is also the Associate Network Leader and Assistant Superintendent at the Northwest Ministry Network.