A must-see video for GOP House leaders

Four years ago, 400 members of the House - Democrats and Republicans - jumped to their feet in welcoming Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, back to the chamber. Today, such camaraderie is nowhere to be found.

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Columnists

November 22, 2021 - 9:21 AM

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and his wife Jennifer, left, walk through the Capitol's Statuary Hall on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, his first day back after being injured in the shooting at the Republican baseball practice in June. (Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom/Zuma Press/TNS)

This past Wednesday afternoon, we got perhaps the most disappointing answer yet to a question that I have been asking myself for most of my journalistic career.

It happened as we watched the House’s dueling speeches and censure of the unrepentant Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for having tweeted an anime video of himself as a cartoonish superhero fatally stabbing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and swinging two swords at President Joe Biden.

Yet, watching that angry ritual, I found myself thinking back to a remarkable and uplifting moment in that same chamber just four years earlier. It occurred as a result of a tragically real congressional assassination attempt. But it left us with a very different perception of how House Republican leaders used to see their responsibility as coinciding with old-fashioned American patriotism.

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