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.