2016 Election

The Cold Civil War Just Got Warmer


- June 14th, 2017
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The Republicans want to kill poor people; they want to throw grandma off a cliff; Republicans want dirty water and polluted air; Republicans want to deprive little schoolchildren of lunches; Republicans want to send your kids to war; Republicans are greedy, no-good, swindling weasels who prey on the weak and downtrodden.

That’s the popular narrative the Left (along with their cronies in the news media and pop culture) have shoveled down America’s throat since the 1930s. Just let former President Barack Obama detail it for you:

Since the election of Donald Trump, American cities and university campuses have been set ablaze in a wave of protest, hate, and violence. A well-funded and organized national “resistance” movement has been formed to push back against the supposed “fascism” of the President and the Republican Party. Meanwhile, powerful Democrats from Chuck Schumer to kooky Maxine Waters continue pushing the narrative that Trump is out to burn down our hallowed republic and replace it with his own cult of personality (never mind the fact that Democrats continue venerating actual anti-republican leaders, like FDR, who died early in his unprecedented fourth term in office).

Then, of course, there is the media. Last week, CNN’s resident “geopolitical expert” (who hasn’t written a good book since publishing his first in the 1990s, by the way), Fareed Zakaria, raved about a repulsive (taxpayer funded, of course) play depicting the assassination of President Trump in New York City. Celebrities from Madonna to Kathy Griffin have publicly fantasized about murdering President Trump (and written it off as “art”).

Meanwhile, CNN and MSNBC hold court every day—without a break—on how criminal Trump and his team are. Trump can do nothing right. In fact, they’ve even taken to criticizing the President’s eating habits.

As this has occurred, claims that were once reserved for the fringes of polite society; accusations of the kind that usually are left in the toxic miasma that is America’s election cycle have now become the basis of a full-blown counterintelligence and criminal investigation into the president and his top campaign aides. Trump and his aides stand accused of colluding with Russian intelligence to dump salacious emails hacked from the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign at politically inconvenient times during the 2016 presidential election. The investigations into Trump and his top aides are entirely politically motivated. More importantly, these claims are based on the unsubstantiated opposition research of a former British MI6 spy, Christopher Steele, paid for by GOP opposition groups during the primary.

The president has been the subject of the worst kind of character assassination. More damagingly, he has had to endure countless leaks about his personal habits and classified meetings that have been taken out of context and shown in the worst light imaginable. Then, of course, there’s been the endless character attacks on Trump’s family and key Trump Administration officials, such as Stephen K. Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.

The Left is out for blood.

Angelo Codevilla and Michael Walsh speak often about an ongoing cultural, “cold civil war.” Political scientists have long talked about the increasing prevalence of Americans politically “self-sorting”; we hear the ceaseless lamentations of public intellectuals decrying the loss of moderation in politics. Blue Dog Democrats are extinct and liberal Republicans are on their way out, too, because America’s political discourse has become so terribly vile. We’ve become balkanized. The election of Donald Trump has only exacerbated this negative trend. Yet, it is the Left that continues to play up the rancor and division rather than the Right. They have impugned and politically assassinated the Republicans for years and now, in many cases, they are stopping just short of actual violence directed against Rightists everywhere.

Today, in the overwhelmingly liberal Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, Republican Congressmen were practicing for the big Congressional baseball game scheduled for tomorrow night. I have been attending the baseball game between Congressional Republicans and Democrats, since I was first hired to work on the Hill in 2013. It was one of the few moments each year of true bipartisanship. Yet, the Left has made everything so toxic that now even that has moment must be tainted.

Why?

According to U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), as he left baseball practice Wednesday morning he was approached by a man walking in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. The man, identified as Illinois-resident James Hodgkinson, inquired if it was the Republicans or Democrats practicing on the baseball diamond. DeSantis told Hodgkinson it was the GOP team practicing. Within minutes of DeSantis’ departure, Hodgkinson returned with firearms, took cover in the dugout, and fired upward of 100 rounds at the unsuspecting congressmen.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is a man with whom I’ve had some interaction. He is gracious and a good leader. I don’t always agree with him, but he is an excellent party whip. He took a bullet and, had it not been for his Capitol Police detail being on scene, it is possible that all of the congressmen practicing on the diamond would have been murdered by the shooter. We don’t know yet for sure if the shooting was politically motivated, but given the fact that the now-deceased gunman’s Facebook page featured Bernie Sanders, that both Rep. DeSantis and U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are on record as saying the shooter inquired which party’s team was practicing—and after reviewing the months and years of toxic political discourse directed at the Right by the Democrats and the media (the same thing, in my book)—does anyone seriously doubt that the shooter was a deranged Leftist?

When Representative Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot in the head in 2011 by a madman, the Left immediately pounced on the fact that Sarah Palin had made disparaging comments about Giffords’ politics before that shooting. Most wrongly assumed that Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot Giffords, was one of those conservative nuts “bitterly clinging” to his “guns and religion.” It turned out that Loughner was a Leftist. The man who killed Democratic President John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, was also a Leftist. How much do you want to bet that the man who shot Steve Scalise in Alexandria is a Left-winger as well?

It’s telling that, after the Giffords shooting, the media not only used that incident as a cudgel to bash the “dangerous” rhetoric of Republicans at the time, but they also used it as an excuse to politicize the event and push for greater gun control laws. I see no Republican leader turning this event into an excuse to push a political agenda.

What’s more, Democratic leaders are not insisting quite so vociferously on more restrictive gun control laws as they were when Giffords was shot. Could it be that, on some level, given that Republicans support the Second Amendment, Democrats are keeping mum because they think that Republicans deserve this level of violence? Their rhetoric on other issues indicates that, at the very least, the Left’s threshold for outrage over violence directed against Republicans is far higher than it is for non-Republicans.

Even when leaders, such as Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, do cite the attack as an excuse to tout the necessity for more restrictive gun laws in America, he does it as a way to diminish the severity—and political nature—of the attack. McAuliffe pointed to the fact that gun violence is something that Virginians (specifically Alexandrians like myself) must face at higher levels than the national average every day. Of course, McAuliffe does little to acknowledge that both Virginia and Alexandria have been outposts of the Democratic Party for many years. They’ve had their way with these localities and yet, here we are.

If Codevilla and Walsh are correct that the United States is in the midst of a cold cultural civil war, and if the attacker was, as appears likely, a deranged Leftist, then I believe that the cold civil war is getting warmer. It’s a sad day for America.

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