Thursday, June 15, 2017

Beware of GOP Calls to “Tamp Down” Criticism of Trump in Wake of Shooting

A lot of things about Wednesday’s shooting at a congressional Republican baseball practice felt reminiscent of the 2011 assassination attempt on Rep. Gabby Giffords that left six people dead including a congressional staffer. Like six years ago, the most prominent leaders of both parties issued a call for unity from both sides of the aisle, for example. Most notably, though, there was a vocal, immediate, and familiar outcry about political rhetoric. Specifically, there were sometimes vague assertions from conservatives that overheated political language—and media coverage—was to blame for James T. Hodgkinson’s assault that sent Rep. Steve Scalise, one congressional staffer, and multiple others to the hospital with injuries. These calls mirrored complaints from liberals at the time of the Giffords assault that overheated political rhetoric might be to blame for Jared Lee Loughner’s attack

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