Friday, June 16, 2017

Blaming “heated political rhetoric” is the most useless response to a shooting - Vox

Blaming “heated political rhetoric” is the most useless response to a shooting - Vox

The attack on Rep. Steve Scalise and his fellow members of Congress Wednesday had Democrats and Republicans alike pointing their fingers at a familiar bugaboo: Washington’s heated political rhetoric.

The only thing both sides could not agree on was how to partition the blame.

Many Republicans condemned Democrats and the “liberal media” for promoting a combative tone against the GOP. They pointed to raucous town halls, protests in the streets, and, of course, that controversial photo of Kathy Griffin holding a bloodied, beheaded figure of Trump. "The rhetoric has been outrageous: The finger-pointing, the tone, the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump,” complained Chris Collins, a Republican representative from New York.

The New York Times editorial board, in turn, reminded readers of a time when the shoe was on the other foot: After the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords, many on the left unfairly blamed the Tea Party for promoting violence against its political foes.

“[When] you stoke these flames, and you go to public meetings and you scream at the elected officials, you threaten them — you make us expendable you make us part of the cannon fodder,” Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva told Mother Jones. Others condemned Sarah Palin, whose Super PAC had produced a map showing Giffords’s congressional district beneath a pair of white crosshairs.

  

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