Sunday, January 9, 2011

Members of Congress in the Bullseye

The assassination attempt of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) outside of a Safeway grocery store at a district event is a stark reminder that members of Congress, all of whom are public servants, put their lives in jeopardy by being very public figures and dealing with heated, controversial issues that inflame the passions of the citizenry. The shooting incident left six people dead, including a 9 year old girl, a staffer, and a Federal judge, and the Congresswoman fighting for life with a gunshot wound to the head.

The last several years have seen an uptick in heated political rhetoric and a citizenry inflamed by talk radio crazies and politicians and candidates willing to do and say anything to win. When you have a candidate for the U.S. Senate talking openly of "Second Amendment remedies" you know there's a major problem with our political dialogue. Sarah Palin's map of 20 districts to target in 2008, all of which are marked with the cross hairs of a gun, included Gifford's 8th District. Giffords, herself, was concerned about the message the map would send by saying she had "never seen anything like it. The thing is, the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action."

Despite the relative openness with which members of Congress, particularly House members, interact with their constituents and the general public, there have been few assassination and assassination attempts in the United States. The last time a sitting member of Congress was murdered was in 1978 when Leo Ryan, a House Democrat from California, was shot at the Guyana Airport as one of the opening salvos of the Jonestown Massacre. Before that, Senator Robert Kennedy (D-NY), the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, was shot after the California Democratic primary at the Ambassador Hotel. In 1935, Senator Huey Long (D-LA), the Kingfish, was shot and killed at the Louisiana State Capitol. The first successful assassination attempt of a sitting member of Congress occurred in 1868, when James Hinds (R-AR) was shot by a member of the KKK. For a list of assassinations of members of Congress, go here. For a list of assassinations of American politicians in general, go here.

Something has got to change in this country. As both House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama have said, we can disagree without being disagreeable. It's not that hard to do.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1402243618/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_jdp_5Dsmnb03WDJYP_p


copy and paste that link

Viking

Anonymous said...

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,”...
- President Barack Obama


http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/06/14/obama-if-they-bring-a-knife-to-the-fight-we-bring-a-gun/

Anonymous said...

"That Scott down there that's running for governor of Florida," Mr. Kanjorski said. "Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him."
-former Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/01/dem-congressman-who-called-gop-gov-be-put-against-wall-and-shot-n#ixzz1BQRW4qFs

Anonymous said...

"I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we'll be there to watch."
-Liberal commentator Chris Matthews

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mark-finkelstein/2009/10/13/matthews-someones-going-jam-co2-pellet-rushs-head-hes-going-explod#ixzz1BQSVZuAk

Anonymous said...

"I talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers -- so I know whose ass to kick,"
-President Barack Obama

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/07/gulf-oil-spill-obama-ass-kick_n_603664.html

Craig Wesson said...

'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Wow, didn't know you had such a conservative following DC?

Bears by 2 23-21 - Crosby misses a key FG late

Anonymous said...

"Suddenly Emanuel grabbed his steak knife and, as those who were there remeber it, shouted out the name of another enemy, lifted the knife, then brought it down with full force into the table.

''Dead!'' he screamed.

The group immediately joined in the cathartic release: ''Nat Landow! Dead! Cliff Jackson! Dead! Bill Schaefer! Dead!"

-Rham Emanuel, Pres. Obama's past Chief of staff and future Chicago Mayor

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/05/rahm-emanuel-knife-fighte_n_141595.html

DC said...

Yep, a lot of inflamed rhetoric on both sides of the aisle. My point exactly...

Anonymous said...

"When you have a candidate for the U.S. Senate talking openly of "Second Amendment remedies" you know there's a major problem with our political dialogue. Sarah Palin's map of 20 districts to target in 2008, all of which are marked with the cross hairs of a gun, included Gifford's 8th District."

"Yep, a lot of inflamed rhetoric on both sides of the aisle. My point exactly..."

However you only use Republicans as your examples - and pretty weak examples at that.

DC said...

Anon--you are correct--I didn't do a very good job of showing examples from the other side. I should have. However, I disagree about them being weak examples.

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