‘Pretty soon, all of this assassination talk will get someone shot,” I told my Fox News colleague Tucker Carlson on Tuesday afternoon.
And on Wednesday morning, it happened.
James T. Hodgkinson, 66, opened fire on an Alexandria, Va., baseball diamond where Republican lawmakers practiced for their annual charity face-off against Democratic colleagues. Hodgkinson, a registered Democrat, shot House Republican whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Capitol Police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner, congressional staffer Zach Barth, and Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika.
The would-be assassin, whom Officers Bailey and Griner fatally struck, was a far-left campaign volunteer for Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist., Vt.). To his credit, Sanders swiftly and forcefully declared: “I am sickened by this despicable act . . . and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”
As the Daily Caller detailed, Hodgkinson clearly and explicitly hated President Donald J. Trump and other Republicans.
‐Via Facebook, Hodgkinson said of Scalise: “Here’s a Republican that [sic] should Lose His Job, but they Gave Him a Raise.”
‐ Hodgkinson called Trump “Truly the Biggest Ass Hole We Have Ever Had in the Oval Office.”
‐ “Trump is a traitor,” Hodgkinson wrote. “Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
‐ The shooter belonged to a Facebook group called “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans” and another named “Terminate the Republican Party.” After Hodgkinson’s attack, members of the “Terminate” online forum rejoiced. “Lol . . . this was no surprise,” Darryl W. Riley cracked. “We all knew this was gonna happen.” An even more depraved Mari-Ellen Cain cheered: “And it’s one, two, three shots you’re out at the old ball game!!!”
‐ Represenative Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.) said that as he left the ballfield on Tuesday, Hodgkinson “asked me if this team was the Republican or Democratic team practicing. He proceeded to shoot Republicans.” According to the Washington Examiner, Duncan added: “I’m going to take it he was targeting Republicans this morning.”
News accounts, led by the Daily Caller, indicate that law-enforcement officials found a hit list in Hodgkinson’s pocket. It specifically named GOP representatives Mo Brooks of Alabama, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, and Trent Franks of Arizona, all members of the House Freedom Caucus. Brooks and Duncan attended Tuesday’s practice. The list strongly suggests that Hodgkinson deliberately targeted his prey.
While Hodgkinson’s behavior exceeded that of other liberals, his brutality built upon the Left’s statements and actions since Election Day 2016.
Liberals and Democrats have spewed toxic anti-GOP rhetoric, excreted assassination-chic “art” that celebrates the ritual murder of President Trump, physically beaten Trump supporters, and perpetrated anti-Republican riots, anti-Trump vandalism, and even “anti-Fascist” arson. For the Left, “Love trumps hate” is less than a punchline. It’s a cruel, vicious lie.
Hodgkinson’s roughly 50 pulls on the trigger of his SKS 7.62 rifle likely were eased by the constant drumbeat of left-wing violence, blood-soaked imagery, and hateful rhetoric about Trump. This venom did not ooze from obscure, fringe sources. Rather it cascaded from the mainstream: platinum-record-earning musicians, TV stars, and a taxpayer-funded drama company operating in the heart of Central Park.
‐ Madonna, the world-wide pop sensation, told the January 21 Women’s March in Washington, D.C.: “Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”
‐ Rapper Snoop Dogg produced a video in which he fires a gun beside the head of a clown dressed like Trump. Out pops a flag that reads: “BANG!”
“Can you imagine what the outcry would be if SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama,” President Trump replied via Twitter. “Jail time!”
‐ Adam Pally, star of Fox TV’s Making History, told TMZ that if he could take a time machine and spend an hour with anyone, “I’d have to kill Trump or Hitler.”
‐ Former CNN personality Kathy Griffin notoriously posed with a blood-drenched, mock-up of a severed head of Trump.
‐ Lea DeLaria, a cast member of Netflix’s Emmy-award-winning Orange Is the New Black series explained how she would express herself politically: “Pick up a baseball bat and take out every fucking republican and independent I see.”
‐ The Public Theater’s current production of Julius Caesar features a Trump-look-alike emperor being stabbed to death by Roman senators. As Polizette’s Edmund Kozak noted, “The play has reportedly received standing ovations when Trump/Caesar is assassinated.”
The Left tries to defend itself by claiming that “both sides do this.”
Yes, some on the right questioned Obama’s birth certificate, claimed he was born in Kenya, and wondered if he were a closet Muslim. But conservatives and Republicans, especially prominent ones, did not clutch props of Obama’s severed head. Nor did rightists stage Obama’s symbolic assassination. Had this ever happened, you never would have stopped hearing about it. Those responsible would have kissed their careers goodbye. A Missouri State Fair rodeo clown was fired in 2013 for performing in an Obama mask. That’s about as rough as Obama ever got it on the center-right.
Representative-elect Greg Gianforte indeed has created a black mark for the Right. The Montana Republican pled guilty to misdemeanor assault this week for body-slamming Ben Jacobs, a staff writer for the British newspaper the Guardian on May 24. The next day, Gianforte won a special election for his state’s at-large House seat. Gianforte’s 40 hours of community service, 20 hours of anger management, and $385 fine represent a virtual wink and nod from his state’s bench. Too bad. Violence should be punished severely — left, middle, and right.
Beyond the Left’s aspirational violence, liberals lately have committed actual mayhem, demolished property, and wounded Trump supporters and other conservatives. “The violence is appearing in the streets, and it’s coming from the left,” Representative Steve King (R., Iowa) told the New York Post. “People that can’t accept the results of the election are determined to try to take this country down.”
‐ Masked “anti-Fascist” savages welcomed former Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos to U.C. Berkeley by setting blazes and slamming metal barricades into plate-glass windows. Those riots injured six people and blocked Yiannopoulos from speaking.
‐ Left-wing hooligans hounded sociologist Charles Murray after a March appearance at Middlebury College. As he left, they surrounded Murray and a professor who accompanied him. “Someone pulled my hair, while others were shoving me. I feared for my life,” she said. “I am still wearing a neck brace, and spent a week in a dark room to recover from a concussion caused by the whiplash.”
‐ Last February, a 71-year-old woman who works for Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.) was left unconscious when leftists revolted outside his office. “I am outraged beyond words that protesters who mobbed my Huntington Beach office violently knocked down my faithful district director, Kathleen Staunton, causing her to be hospitalized,” Rohrabacher said. “And, yes, deliberate or not, the incident came as part of a mob action that not only intimidates but coerces.”
The idea-free Left should be ashamed of itself.
‐ Cornell University College Republicans president Olivia Corn was shoved to the pavement the night after the November election. “I felt two hands grab my shoulders and just sort of threw me to the ground, and they were yelling, ‘Fuck you, racist bitch. You support a racist party,’” Corn told the College Fix. “This person who attacked me is still out there, and the idea of not knowing who that is can be frightening sometimes when it’s dark, and I need to walk home.” Corn also said that she received death threats after she told the Cornell Daily Sun that she planned to vote for Trump.
‐ Corey Cataldo, 24, wore a Making America Great Again hat on a New York City subway last November. “Great. Another white Trump supporter,” a large black man told Cataldo. He then tried to strangle Cataldo with his bare hands before fleeing the No. 5 Train in the Bronx.
‐ Last Saturday, “anti-Fascist” protester Lisa Solomon allegedly used a flagpole with a silver nail in it to wound Samson, a Harrisburg, Pa., police horse.
The Daily Caller’s Dave Brooks and Benjamin Decatur compiled a non-exhaustive but extensive list of left-wing assaults against Republicans, conservatives, and Trump supporters. They document 35 such violent attacks since last July, including an injury-inducing shoving incident against a 74-year-old Trump supporter outside of Trump Tower last November. Police arrested Shacara McLaurin, a 23-year-old anti-bullying ambassador.
Meanwhile, for all the talk of Trump being a “bully” surrounded by “racist,” “violent,” and “terrifying” supporters, Hillary’s voters grieve in peace. And the only people arrested for making scores of anti-Semitic threats earlier this year were a left-wing black former journalist and two liberal Jews. None was tied to Trump.
The idea-free Left should be ashamed of itself. Its poisonous clouds of hate blew a very angry man around the bend. While “terminating Republicans,” he hospitalized five innocent citizens, two of whom were in critical condition, as of this writing.
The Left’s carnage-inducing words and images have reached their apotheosis. It’s far past time for liberals to stop whining about an election they lost fair and square, leash the dogs of war, and, instead, craft a positive agenda for the American people.
– Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online.