Shooting of Steve Scalise

This is what it comes to, the furious polarization of our body politic in which we not only disagree with the other side, the most extreme among us demonize them as people to be shot at and perhaps killed.

At breakfast with our Washington Senator Patty Murray, I owned up to being just as polarized as anyone else, although I trust my feelings never move to violence. My anger is not directed at the crazies who pick up guns and shoot someone. Certainly they are wrong. Certainly they need to be brought to justice. My anger is directed at the Republican leadership, at Paul Ryan who excuses Trump’s inexcusable behavior by saying he’s not a career politician, and at Mitch McConnell, who wouldn’t even give President Obama’s Supreme Court and federal court nominations a hearing. What we are seeing now is the very diverse slate of judges President Obama proposed replaced by conservative white male judges with track records of opposing civil and voting rights. I’m angry at the supposed Republican moderates like Susan Collins, who claims to be concerned about women’s health issues and then, when the vote comes, throws her lot in with the boys. I’m angry at the Republicans who threw easy questions at Jeff Sessions, and put up with his evasion and convenient memory losses rather than demand that he answer.

Where do we go from here? I have no illusions that the latest shooting will bring about any lasting change. But I do think we’re within sight of having things turn so bad in this country that decent and centrist voters from both parties will say, “Enough”. Slowly, painstakingly, a new bipartisan majority might be formed.

A lot of people are going to be badly hurt along the way, and those who voted for Trump own every bit of it.

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