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Play Ball! United against violence

June 17. 2017 6:44PM

Members of the Republican and Democratic teams tip their caps to Rep. Steve Scalise during the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., June 15, 2017. (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

The most important baseball game of the summer was played Thursday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Members of Congress squared off in the Congressional Baseball Game. The score didn't matter. The annual charity game is one of the few times each year our elected representatives manage to overcome partisan gridlock.

This year's game took on added importance after 66-year-old James Hodgkinson opened fire on a group of Republicans practicing for the game Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Va. Hodgkinson wounded five people, including a serious injury to House Whip Steve Scalise. Capital Police shot and killed Hodgkinson.

Columnist Jonah Goldberg today reviews how the left rushed to blame Sarah Palin and other conservatives for the actions of a lunatic in 2011.

Some on the right this week rushed to hold the left to its own standards. Hodgkinson marched at Occupy rallies, volunteered for Bernie Sanders, and parroted the worst tropes of the aggrieved left on his Facebook page. Yet that does not mean that liberals spouting reckless political rhetoric are responsible for the violence.

Violently disturbed people find a focus for their rage. It can be politics, or movies. But "The Dark Knight Rises" was not responsible for a deadly shooting spree in Aurora, Colo. Criminals are responsible for their crimes.

Yet violence has become a tool of politics. Conservatives on college campuses are attacked and threatened. Resistance marches turn into riots. The criminally-insane do not have to look far for inspiration.

Our political discourse has coarsened to the point of toxicity. Disagreements over policy devolve into dystopian claims. The other side doesn't care if other people die.

Enough. For a night, Republicans and Democrats showed there is more than unites us than divides us. It was just a baseball game, but both sides were on the same team.

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