COMMENTARY: Condemn political violence, but don’t suppress legitimate debate

The apparently politically-motivated shooting of a high-ranking U.S. Republican congressman has prompted a debate as to the extent to which a toxic political climate may have contributed to the horrific crime.

READ MORE: Wife of gunman who shot Rep. Steve Scalise says she saw no signs he was planning attack. However, tragedies like this should never be exploited to justify the suppression of legitimate political debate.

6 Other Related Articles

The Guardian -
The Virginia shooting fallout was predictably partisan. Can this ever be fixed?

The week of the Alexandria shooting took the debate around partisan rhetoric out of Congress and into the realm of the arts.

The Republicans’ practice ground in Alexandria, Virginia, on the day before this year’s engagement made for an especially jarring choice of target when a lone gunman opened fire at 7.09am on Wednesday, critically injuring the House majority whip Steve Scalise and wounding three others.

Fox News -
Could under-the-radar Menendez trial give GOP a shot at Senate seat?

The trial of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez is set for this fall, after the senator's numerous appeals stemming from his April 2015 indictment pushed off the start date.

Given that New Jersey has a gubernatorial election this November, if Menendez were to leave his seat after Aug. 30, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could be able to name a replacement who would not face voters until November 2018.

LA Times -
Republican secrecy faces mounting criticism as GOP senators work behind closed doors to repeal Obamacare

The lung association is among 120 patient groups that this week sent a letter to senior Republican senators expressing deep concerns about GOP proposals to fundamentally restructure Medicaid, which provides health coverage to more than 70 million poor Americans.

Obamacare vs. Trumpcare: A side-by-side comparison of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP’s replacement plan ». The Obamacare repeal bill passed by the House in May, which has helped guide the Senate discussions, would slash federal healthcare assistance to low- and moderate-income Americans by nearly $1 trillion and increase the number of uninsured by 23 million over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Washington Post -
The Health 202: Senate is straining to pass Obamacare overhaul in next 14 days

Two great health reporters, Vox's Sarah Kliff and Kaiser Health News's Julie Rovner, gave their perspective from years of covering health policy on Republicans' descent into secrecy.

Matt House, communications director for Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), noted Price's comments at the hearing:. The 52 Senate Republicans must work as a pack if they ever want to pass a health-care bill with a simple majority (and a likely tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence).

The Guardian -
Wife of Virginia shooter who targeted Republicans: 'I can't believe he did this'

The wife of Virginia gunman James Hodgkinson who targeted a Republican party baseball practice match on Wednesday and critically injured GOP congressman Steve Scalise has spoken publicly for the first time about the shooting, telling reporters: “I can’t believe he did this.” At an emotional press conference outside the couple’s home in Belleville, Illinois, Sue Hodgkinson struggled for words to describe events running up to the shooting and said her husband, known also as Tom, had told her he had gone to the nation’s capital to “work on taxes”.

New York Times -
Fact Check: Distortions and Fake News in Virginia Shooting

Alex Jones knows exactly whom he wants to blame for the Wednesday shooting on a Virginia baseball field: “the left” and its calls to violence. In a five-minute video produced by his conspiracy-laden website, InfoWars, Mr. Jones runs through a list of offenders on “terroristic social media,” distorting and cherry-picking comments, to make a wildly misleading case.

During the televised segment, Mr. Kaine pointed to peaceful demonstrations against the Trump administration like the Women’s March before he said, “What we’ve got to do is fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box, and now there’s the momentum to be able to do this.”

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte