Bipartisan calls for national unity in the face of two recent incidents are likely to fall on deaf ears, as both parties try to assign blame for the Florida bomber threats and Pittsburgh shooting ten days away from the midterms.
“No one should be politicizing what happened this week,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Ben Lujan said during a Fox News broadcast on Sunday. “We should come together as a country. This should not be a political response, but rather a response at how we can further bring us together.”
Lujan’s direct counterpart, Steve Stivers, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, responsible for selecting candidates for the upcoming vote, agreed with him live on-air.
“I want to say that Ben is not my enemy. Democrats are not my enemy. They are my opponents, and while we have different visions for the future of America, different directions, we are all Americans first,” Stivers said.
“We need to come together and do what’s in the best interest of America. No matter who wins in 10 days I believe we can come together and make that happen.”
Cesar Sayoc, a 56-year-old Trump supporter was arrested this week, after a handful of leading Democrats and liberal institutions, including Hillary Clinton, George Soros and the New York Times received suspicious packages. On Saturday, Robert Bowers, a man who said on social media he opposes the US president, reportedly gunned down 11 people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, after declaring that “Jews are the children of Satan.”
While both men have been described by those close to them as unstable even before developing fanatical obsessions with radical politics in recent years, Stivers acknowledged that the vitriol of recent public discourse may have pushed them over the edge.
“I think we all bear some responsibility, and we need to try to clean up our act and try bring civility to our congress and frankly to our dialogue,” Stivers said, adding that less “finger pointing” was required.
But there was little civility and a sea of fingers pointing in all directions, particularly after the earlier of the two attacks, which was squarely blamed on Trump by almost every liberal media outlet, and thousands of Democrats online.
You say there are good people on both sides of a neo-Nazi rally.
Suggest that immigrants are all murders, rapists and gang members.
Praise a politician who assaulted a reporter.
And it’s CNN’s fault someone sent them a bomb?
We know you have no decency, but have you no shame? https://t.co/GVMiB9OIGI
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) 25 October 2018
It’s fun being lectured about “civility” and “tone” by the same Republicans who have been doing Hitler salutes at Breitbart parties and spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and parading neo-Nazis around the White House like Hell’s Angels at a Dead show. pic.twitter.com/sf8T5xB4HQ
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) 28 October 2018
In return the right responded by accusing the Democrats of opportunism, hypocrisy, or in the darker corners, of conjuring up a false flag attack.
Democrats’ definition of “unity” is we let them kick us in the teeth every day, never fight back and pretend like they’re in the majority.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) 28 October 2018
How come when Islamists routinely target Jews in Europe, to the consequence of many leaving the continent, the news coverage and furore is not the same as when a Neo Nazi does it? Both ideologies are have fascistic roots. Both target the same victims. Why does one get a pass?
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) 28 October 2018
The second incident is harder to pin down, as for all the Nazi accusations, Donald Trump is perhaps Israel’s biggest international supporter abroad, even as some of the alt-right who view him as a shining beacon still circulate anti-Semitic rhetoric. Yet, the left has its own issues with anti-Semitism, with its close alliance with many pro-Palestinian forces who do little to hide their desire to end the existence of Israel.
And a word to my fellow American Jews: This president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don’t live was worth it.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) 27 October 2018
Is there any tragedy the Washington Post won’t exploit to attack President @realDonaldTrump? The evil act of anti-Semitism in Pittsburg was committed by a coward who hated President Trump because @POTUS is such an unapologetic defender of the Jewish community and state of Israel. https://t.co/0tCNpepC9k
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) 28 October 2018
Hey media, report the facts:
Has Jewish grandkids and a Jewish daughter
Moved the embassy to Jerusalem
Deported a nazi when Obama refused to do
Cancelled Iran deal which was a threat against Israel’s security
First sitting President to visit Western Wall
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) 28 October 2018
After the Synagogue shooting leftists must be held accountable for promoting rabid antisemite @LouisFarrakhan.
Farrakhan called Jews “Satan,” compared Jews to parasites that must be exterminated & called Hitler a “great man.”
Here’s Obama, Clinton, Waters & Holder embracing him: pic.twitter.com/92Sl8CuHPZ
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) 28 October 2018
The issue is also complicated by the US-bound migrant caravan that is currently passing through Mexico, which the Republicans criticized, that apparently proved to be the final straw to Bowers.
Something that must be made clear in all messaging:
Pittsburgh shooter was radicalized by Trump’s/GOP’s/Fox News’ demonizing migrants with sensational so-called “caravan.”
All Republicans must be tarred with this shooting if they use this ugly campaign strategy any longer.
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) 28 October 2018
A thing I can’t stop thinking about is that the gunman targeted a synagogue because of Jews who remembered that we were also once refugees, and chose to help others subject to the whims of demagogic “statesmen” blaming outiders for their nation’s problems. https://t.co/l6Tig7UZ69
— Student Loans 🍝 (@AdamSerwer) 28 October 2018
Still, the hot takes keep coming, as they will until November 6.
Conservative talking heads,
STOP with “there’s plenty of blame to go around” and the “on both sides” nonsense.
OWN the right wing anti Black, antisemitic violence by white men inspired by @realDonaldTrump’s rhetoric and bigotry & your complicity by refusing to condemn it.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) 28 October 2018
If Donald Trump is responsible for yesterday’s shooting in Pittsburgh than so is every celebrity who pushed the Women’s March despite their anti Semitic rhetoric and terrorist sympathizing leaders.
— Elisha (@ElishaKrauss) 28 October 2018
Why is it so hard to accept that a clearly deranged man carried out deranged acts? The “false flag” conspiracy theories on one side & the “it’s Trump’s fault” on the other shows how unhinged politics has become. This isn’t incivility. It’s a society that has lost common sense. https://t.co/qBN44H3Cmk
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) 27 October 2018
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