Political Tensions Rise After Congressional Baseball Practice Shooting

That didn’t last long.

President Trump’s call for unity in the wake of a shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice crumbled beneath the weight of partisan politics on Thursday.

“Democrats have absolutely NOTHING to offer our country,” read a caustic campaign blast from “Team Trump” — sent hours after the President expressed hope that the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) could bring harmony to a fractured nation.

“We’ve had a very, very divided country for many years and I have a feeling that Steve has made a great sacrifice but there could be some unity being brought to our country. Let’s hope so,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

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The email isn’t nearly as empathetic.

Oh look-A #Colorado state rep fundraising off today's shooting. You make me vomit, @PatrickForCO & I'm a GOP donor. #scaliseshot #CoPolitics pic.twitter.com/R6lvrdEt4h

— Dave Maney (@davemaney) June 15, 2017

“After their BILLION-DOLLAR election loss, all Democrats have done is OBSTRUCT President Trump and maniacally scream the word “RUSSIA” until they’re blue in the face,” the plea reads.

The gunfire that erupted early Wednesday, the trigger pulled by a Republican-hating Bernie Sanders supporter, has exposed the deepening divides between liberals and conservatives, according to some lawmakers and scholars.

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) said Trump’s own political rhetoric is “partially to blame for demons that have been unleashed,” citing angry constituents in his home district.

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Sanford, speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said he’s asked irate voters at town halls why they act so uncivil toward each other.

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (left) sent out the fundraising email hours after the shooting.

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (left) sent out the fundraising email hours after the shooting.

(Brennan Linsley/AP)

“They’ll say, ‘Look if the guy at the top can say anything to anybody at any time, why can’t I?’”

Trump’s campaign team wasn’t the only one sending out controversial emails in the wake of the politically-charged shooting.

Republican Patrick Neville, the minority leader of Colorado’s House of Representatives, was condemned for sending out a fundraising missive just hours after the incident left Scalise and three others wounded.

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Neville said the blame for the shooting was “squarely at the feet of ‘tolerance-preaching progressives’ and their accomplices in the media.”

Law enforcement officers stand near a pool of blood after the June 14, 2017 early morning shooting in Alexandria, Virginia.> 21 photos view gallery Gunmen opens fire at GOP baseball practice in Virginia

“The left is out of control,” he told potential donors. “Their violent actions are un-American, and it needs to stop!”

The pitch included an appeal for $25 or $50 for the Colorado Liberty PAC.

Neville received criticism from both sides of the aisle.

“It’s too far. It’s too much. And we don’t want to hear how it’s ‘too soon’ ever again,” Colorado Pols, a liberal blog, wrote in response.

Mark Sanford provides a reality check: partly blames Trump's rhetoric for "demons that have been released." pic.twitter.com/Mlgvj3VmRR

— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) June 15, 2017

Rep. Steve King(R-Iowa) appeared to be in line with Neville, immediately casting blame on liberals for the ambush on the baseball diamond — before even knowing the shooter’s politics.

“I don’t know anything about the perpetrator,” King told reporters near the scene of the shooting. “But I do know that America is divided. . . . And the violence is appearing in the streets. And it’s coming from the left.”

Political tensions have heightened recently because public trust in government and other institutions is low, said Patrick Egan, a political science professor at NYU.

“When people on all sides of the political spectrum do not have confidence in institutions it means that there really isn’t a common ground in which people on all sides can agree,” he told the Daily News.

Egan said that while Wednesday’s violence was troubling, tensions haven’t reached the heights of earlier eras like the 1960s — when a number of political leaders were assassinated and riots filled the streets.

“Yes, we can acknowledge that the public is angry and polarized,” he said, adding that violence has remained relatively low “despite the fact that our rhetoric has heated.” 

Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/colo-lawmaker-gop-baseball-shooting-fundraising-ploy-article-1.3249838

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