House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was shot in the hip, along with four others, during a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday. He remains in critical condition. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign with a history of anti-Trump/GOP sentiments, was shot by police and died of his injuries, but not before firing anywhere from 50-60 rounds at congressional Republicans on the field. Blessedly, no one but the shooter was killed, and that most of the responses have been nothing but supportive for those involved, especially Rep. Scalise. Then, there’s Union County Democratic operative James Devine, who called for a “hunt” on Republicans, while saying he has “little sympathy” for Rep. Scalise because he opposed gun regulations (via NJ 1015.com/AP):
We are in a war with selfish, foolish & narcissistic rich people. Why is it a shock when things turn violent? #HuntRepublicanCongressmen— James Devine (@James_J_Devine) June 14, 2017
James Devine posted several messages on Facebook and Twitter following the Alexandra, Virginia, shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and several others by a gunman with a history of violence and of making online rantings against Republican officials and their policies.
“We are in a war with selfish, foolish & narcissistic rich people. Why is it a shock when things turn violent?” Devine posted on social media, ending the message with the hashtag: #HuntRepublicanCongressmen
“I have little sympathy for the Republican Congressman who got shot today because he viciously opposed President Obama’s effort to reduce gun violence and instead, he accepted more gun lobby money than all but 15 other members of the House of Representatives,” he said on Facebook.
“I’m not going to shy away from harsh rhetoric. We have a president elected largely by people who were tired of politicians who shied away from harsh rhetoric. I don’t think it’s appropriate; I’d much rather have a rational and reasonable debate. But we can’t have that.”
“I’m not apologizing if it offended snowflake Republicans,” he added.
Calling Republicans snowflakes when his party is still frothing at the mouth over an election loss is rich, but Devine seems to be alone in his insensitive crusade over this tragic shooting. The Union County Democratic Chair Jerry Green said he has Republican friends and has cultivated good relationships with the NJ GOP in Trenton over the past quarter century.
"In this day and age, we have to be very careful in what we say or how we say it. I do not support the hunting of any people — Democrat or Republican,” he said. Other Democrats, like municipal chair Kevin O’Brien, were quick to note that Devine isn’t a member of the city’s Democratic club, nor is he with the party’s local committee. In short, Devine seems to be charting his own course outside of the party’s apparatus in his area. Even Sen. Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) office had to say that Devine is not affiliated with the senator in any way, shape, or form, after photos from 2006 showed Devine standing next to him.
It just goes to show you that there are still terrible people out there—on both sides. I wish we had a grace period. The Congressional baseball game was a nice moment, but The New York Times is rehashing debunked theories about Sarah Palin being responsible for the Gabby Giffords shooting. We have known for years that this hypothesis was garbage, but they used it anyway to attack conservatives. A correction was issued, but the damage is already done. In this instance, the effect is very local, but it’s still rather disturbing.