While attending the latest edition of the Star Wars series at a fundraiser for PSC member Eric Skrmetta, I saw someone waving at me who I had not seen in six months and a tragedy.
Congressman Steve Scalise was an unannounced guest (for security reasons) at Skrmetta’s event. The congressman was there to support his fellow GOP official and to treat his son who had been wanting to see Episode 8 of the Star Wars franchise.
Aside from grasping two ski sticks that he uses to walk, you would have never known that the energetically youthful US Representative had survived an attempted massacre and a few infection-related adverse medical turns that almost cost him his life.
But there he was, not a hint of bitterness on the Majority Whip’s countenance. That’s just who Steve is and why he has encountered a continuous string of victories since winning a seat in the state House of Representatives in 1995.
After chatting with Steve for a few minutes about Washington, not wanting to dwell much on what he endured, I returned to my seat and pondered about how things would be different had Steve had not been sitting in that movie theater.
How the lives of his young son and daughter and wife would be horribly altered.
And then I thought about how America would be different.
One of the most important moments in the early days of our federal republic was when Thomas Jefferson succeeded John Adams as president.
It’s not that Adams was a bad president, he actually was very good and is underrated as both chief executive and as a Founding Father, but it marked the transition between two competing parties and governing philosophies.
While Adams churlishly left Washington before Jefferson’s inauguration, Jefferson assumed the office he was elected to without obstruction by Federalists.
The electors, both those selected by the hoi polloi and the respective state governments, went in one direction in 1796 and then in a different direction, though by a modest margin, in 1800.
The Federalists were turned out by the process and not the musket.
In mid-June a deranged Democratic political activist chose the latter route. The democratic process did not give him what he wanted so he opted for direct action via the gun barrel.
Mercifully the only dead body carted away from that suburban DC ballfield was that of the shooter, James Hodgkinson.
How would the national psyche had been affected had Hodgkinson succeeded?
Would it have led to a retaliation attack on a senior Democratic office holder or encouraged more assaults on Republicans by Democratic activists incited by their politicians who ludicrously proclaim that a tax cut will lead to death?
While most people recognize Nancy Pelosi’s reckless rhetoric for what it is, the more impressionable and less stable might take her words literally and seriously.
President Donald Trump was spot on when he said Scalise took one for all of us.
And Scalise’s recovery denied a radical political element the national scarring to advance their national upheaval agenda.
Fortunately both Scalise and small “d” democracy survived.
For pulling through an arduous life and death experience and displaying courage by returning to his post and performing his duties as a congressional leader, Steve Scalise has demonstrated that the political thuggery that is commonplace in the politics of other countries did not succeed here.