Tag Archives: Steve Scalise

Wake up, Congress, to greater civility

Ted Cruz believes this past week’s shooting at a baseball practice that wounded several of his fellow Republicans should be a “wake up call” for members of Congress.

The Texas U.S. senator is right, of course. He almost seems to state the obvious, that the tenor and tone of current political discussion has been filled with too much poison.

Five people were hurt in Alexandria, Va., while practicing for Congress’ annual charity baseball game. The shooter was angry at Donald J. Trump and, apparently, at GOP U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who was wounded by a rifle shot from the gunman. Scalise’s condition is improving and for that we all are grateful.

The gunman died in a shootout with police.

“We may disagree on whether the federal government should have a simple flat tax or a massively confiscatory federal income tax, but those differences should not lead to demonization, vilification and personal attacks,” Cruz said in remarks to supporters.

But that’s what we’ve been hearing. It goes back many years. It’s been a bipartisan mantra. Democrats and Republicans point at each other across the aisle on Capitol Hill and question each other’s motives for whatever it is they seek to accomplish.

Politics used to be a noble calling. That’s not the case these days. It has become a contact sport. Some suggest politics has turned into a blood sport.

The dips*** shooter in Alexandria exemplified the danger of letting our emotions get the better of us.

‘Madman’ to calm it down?

It doesn’t hurt as much as you might think to say something positive about someone who’s behaved quite repulsively for longer than I can remember.

Ted “Motor City Madman” Nugent, the fiery guitarist/rock singer known to spew hate, has decided to forgo his disgusting past.

The guy who once called Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and referred to Hillary Clinton as a “worthless bitch” says the shooting this week that injured several people practicing for a congressional charity baseball game has forced him to rethink his ways.

He said he is going to eliminate the hate speech that has peppered many of his political remarks.

Nugent vows to be more respectful

This is another positive outcome from the shooting that injured GOP House whip Steve Scalise and four others. Scalise and his Republican colleagues were practicing for the game they played congressional Democrats when a gunman opened fire.

Nugent said: “At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me that I just can’t use those harsh terms. I cannot, and I will not.”

Perhaps the “Madman” has been part of a greater societal problem. Political adversaries have become enemies. The political venom has been spewed from both sides of the political aisle. Members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats — have spoken in the past two days of burying the raw animosity. I welcome that expressed change of heart, too.

So it is, then, that a musician with something of a political following of his own has weighed in with a vow of relative civility in the wake of a story that has dominated the headlines of late.

I hope it sticks.

There goes ‘unity’

That was a brief respite from the calls for “unity” in the wake of that terrible shooting in Alexandria, Va.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sat together and pledged to put bitterness aside. They sought to honor wounded colleague Steve Scalise, the GOP House whip.

Democrats and Republicans prayed together after their charity baseball game Thursday. They hugged each other. Democrats won the game and then gave the trophy to Scalise, who is recovering from his serious gunshot wound.

All is good, yes? Hardly.

Now comes the Republican in Chief, Donald J. Trump, who launched a Twitter tirade. He wonders why Hillary Clinton isn’t being investigated; he calls special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president’s connection with Russian government officials a “witch hunt.” Indeed, he calls it the worst witch hunt in American political history.

And to think he did that while calling for “unity” in a recorded message delivered before the start of the charity baseball game.

Congressional shooting produces a glimmer of hope

It’s only a glimmer, a flicker, a slight flash of light.

It might not last past the first serious floor debate in either chamber of Congress. However, the two leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives are saying something about unity, about common good, about patriotism and love of country.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today pledged to get the House to work more closely together, to set partisanship aside whenever possible. Their pledge came in the wake of that frightening shooting in Alexandria, in which House GOP whip Steve Scalise was injured critically by a gunman who wounded four others before being shot to death by Capital police officers.

A ‘kumbaya’ moment?

Dear reader, we have entered a dangerous time in American political history. The shooter reportedly was highly critical of Donald J. Trump; he also reportedly had some sort of hard feelings against Rep. Scalise, who appeared to be his primary target at that baseball practice field where Republican lawmakers were preparing for their annual charity game against Democratic colleagues.

As near as I can tell, this about the only good thing to come from this terrible event. I am praying, along with the rest of the nation, for the victims’ full recovery. Yes, the police responded with valor and gallantry; the lawmakers who rushed to Rep. Scalise’s aid also performed heroically.

I will await the outcome of Ryan and Pelosi’s pledge to work together, to put the bitterness aside, to argue civilly but maintain respect for each other’s side, their point of view … and appreciate the other’s love of country.

What a shame, though, that it took an even such as this to possibly make them reach this point.

Speaker rises to the need to calm an edgy nation

Paul Ryan has taken a lot of hits of late over some of his political missteps.

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, though, today delivered comments containing precisely the correct political tone in the wake of the shooting in Alexandria, Va., involving Republican members of Congress.

House GOP whip Steve Scalise was injured in the shooting. He will recover fully and the nation should be grateful for that — and for the recovery of the other individuals who were wounded.

“An attack on one is an attack on all of us,” Ryan said in a House floor speech. “We feel so deeply about the things we fight for and believe in. At times, our emotions can get the best of us,” he added.

Ryan also said, “I ask each of you to join me in resolving to come together…to lift each other up…and to show the country—show the world—that we are one House.”

The shooter is dead. The authorities are investigating what might have motivated him to apparently take aim at Scalise, who was standing at second base during a baseball practice, for crying out loud.

The political rhetoric of late has gotten extremely overheated, overblown and overstated by pols of all stripes, persuasions and philosophies. It well might be that the shooter’s actions this morning was a terrible result of that rhetoric.

Speaker Ryan has sought to calm his House colleagues. The president offered his own words of support and encouragement to the families of those who were wounded by the shooter.

Let us all calm down, take a deep breath and try to reflect on what we all have in common: the love of our country.

Mayhem pre-empts policy debate — for now

An incident involving the national pastime, a baseball game practice, has delivered us a reprieve from the partisan battles that have roiled Capitol Hill.

For the immediate future, Republicans and Democrats are speaking as members of a single political party.

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise is injured from a gunshot wound inflicted by a shooter who opened fire on the GOP baseball practicing for a charity game scheduled for the weekend against the Democratic team; he is one of five victims wounded in this senseless act.

I don’t know about you, but I find it utterly incomprehensible that an act like this could occur in such a setting. Then again, this is 21st-century America in a time of terrible political division and rancor.

We don’t know whether politics motivated the shooter. Authorities haven’t yet established any kind of motive to what this individual did.

There is no little news to be gleaned from this event. One positive element is that Rep. Scalise and the other victims are going to make a full recovery from their wounds.

The other could be that it likely has spared us, if only for a limited time, from the angry political rhetoric that has produced such a toxic atmosphere in our nation’s capital.

Is all hell breaking loose in D.C.?

WASHINGTON — I had intended to post this blog as a comment about the political divisions that roil inside the building pictured here.

Those divisions seem to belie the calm and serenity we saw while strolling along Capitol Hill. We came up on the Capitol Building at sunset and just, oh, took it all in.

Then came the news this morning that five people were injured in a shooting at a park in Alexandria, Va. One of the victims is U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the Republican Party’s congressional whip, the No. 3-ranked member of the House of Representatives.

We have heard as well that Scalise’s injury is not life-threatening, which is good to hear.

In some manner or form, the picture here juxtaposed with the events this morning perhaps give even more credence to the notion that all hell appears to be breaking loose near the halls of power.

My goodness! This has to stop!

The shooting took place reportedly where Republican members of Congress were practicing for the annual baseball game that occurs between GOP members and their Democratic colleagues. It’s a good-time charity event. It is viewed as a bipartisan event that enables lawmakers to have some pure fun away from the rough and tumble of the political battles.

Now this event has been sullied by senseless violence.

I’m going to pray for the victims of this act. I believe I’ll also say a prayer or two for our great nation.

Scalise needed to be in Selma

If there was one member of the congressional leadership team who needed to be in Selma to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, it was Louisiana U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.

He should have been there. He should have sought to make amends for a significant error in judgment some years ago, before he became a Republican member of the House of Representatives.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/steve-scalise-skip-selma-march-conference-116232.html?hp=lc3_4

Scalise had the bad taste in 2006, prior to his election to Congress, to accept a speaking engagement before a group founded by noted Ku Klux Klan grand lizard David Duke.

Scalise, who’s now the House majority whip, has since expressed regret over attending the Duke-sponsored event.

Where was he the day of the Selma commemoration? He was in Sea Island, Ga., attending an American Enterprise Institute conference, along with some other key conservative thinkers and politicians.

One of them attending the AEI event was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who also took time to attend the rally on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

McCarthy was one of a handful of key Republican politicians to attend the Selma event; another key Republican in Selma was the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, who was there with his wife, Laura.

Scalise, who still has some damage to repair from the fallout from his David Duke speech all those years ago, missed a chance to demonstrate that he really doesn’t subscribe to the views held by the KKK.

 

Speaker gets past this rocky road

House Speaker John Boehner has had more fun than what he experienced the past couple of weeks.

It’s been like, well, herding cats. His Republican caucus all but went into apoplexy over a plan to fund the Department of Homeland Security. The TEA party wing of the caucus remained dead set against it. Other Republicans joined with Democrats to fund DHS until September.

Without the money, DHS would have had to shut down; 30,000 federal employees would have been furloughed.

Crisis is averted. For now.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/234467-house-approves-dhs-funding

The speaker’s difficulty with his the TEA party cabal is far from over. I’ll just suggest that his fear will be that they’ll be so angry with him they might try to launch an intraparty insurrection to get Boehner removed from his post.

Who would get the gavel? Louie Gohmert, the East Texas chucklehead? Would it be Steve Scalise, the majority whip from Louisiana who once spoke to a David Duke-sponsored outfit?

My hunch is that Boehner will survive any possible rebellion.

But the vote to fund DHS now allows the House of Representatives to get on with more serious matters. Lawmakers ought to focus on things such as, oh, a budget, infrastructure legislation, some national security issues. You know, the stuff to which they all signed on to do on behalf of all Americans.

I’m glad the deal was struck. Boehner actually worked with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the despised former speaker. That, by itself, might be cause for the TEA party wing of the GOP to break out the pitchforks and torches.

Isn’t governing fun, Mr. Speaker?

David Duke's name is pure poison

Steve Scalise must not have gotten out much before he was elected to Congress in 2008.

There can be no explanation for his not understanding that any organization associated with someone named David Duke would be pure poison, toxic and a group to avoid at all costs.

He didn’t hear the news about Duke, apparently. He must not have known that Duke is a (former) Ku Klux Klansman, a hater of blacks and Jews and someone whose ideas about anything under the sun are anathema to the principles of inclusion.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/steve-scalise-white-supremacy-group-reaction-113872.html?hp=b1_l2

Scalese spoke to a EURO Organization ostensibly about taxes when he served in the Louisiana state legislature in 2002. He now says he “regrets” speaking to the group. He says is now that the country has learned of the House majority whip’s speaking to the group.

Did he disavow the white supremacist group’s world view the moment he learned of David Duke’s association with it? Gosh, I haven’t heard that he has done that. Has anyone else heard such a thing?

Scalise is now in damage-control mode, trying to fend off the critics who condemn his speech.

The single question I have is this: Did he know that David Duke was the group’s founder when he agreed to speak to its membership?