Thirty-six hours after a lone gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress and their staff on a suburban ballfield in norther Virginia, the first pitch in the Congressional Baseball Game for Charity will be thrown in Nationals Park in Washington.
Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was playing second base in a final GOP practice on Wednesday, remains in critical condition. The gunman, slain by Capitol police as he hunted members of the GOP team, was distraught over Donald Trump’s election last year, his brother has said.
It was the first time a sitting member of Congress had been targeted since Gabby Giffords of Arizona was critically injured in 2011.
The ritual game between Democrats and Republicans will be the 79th meeting since 1909.
The only Georgia player on either side will be U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville. He was on deck, waiting for his turn at the plate, when the first gunshots rang out. A man of some size, Loudermilk has been a designated hitter on the GOP team for the last few years.
Two changes have been proposed for the game, reflecting the suddenly sober mood of Washington. Team members usually rock the baseball jerseys of their home teams. Loudermilk , whose 11th District includes the new SunTrust Park, was planning to wear the Atlanta Braves’ red and navy.
Instead, we’re told that all lawmakers will be wearing the colors of Louisiana State University, in honor of Scalise’s alma mater.
Also, onlookers at tonight’s game are also being encouraged to sit together instead of the traditional separation by party.
Another, rare bipartisan event occurs on Capitol Hill today.
For the ninth year in a row, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson is once again trucking pounds upon pounds of beef brisket, baby back ribs, pulled pork and other barbecue delicacies from Sam’s BBQ-1 in from Marietta to feed the hungry masses.
His argument would have been stronger had he included some of the excesses among conservatives, but WSB Radio host Erick Erickson has this timely paragraph in a morning post:
It is now possible for a person to go an entire day and never knowingly encounter someone who thinks at all differently. We can self-select websites to read, television channels to watch, and radio stations and podcasts to listen to. We never have to be troubled with the other. As we encounter the other less and less, we see them as alien. As we see them as alien it becomes easier to see them as less than ourselves. It becomes not only easier to then view them as the enemy, but also easier to cheer on violence against the other.
A timeline of White House priorities, from Wednesday evening to this morning:
We’ve already told you that former congressman Tom Price and former governor Sonny Perdue are coming home on Saturday in a major effort to push Karen Handel across the finish line next Tuesday. But they aren’t the only Trump Cabinet members involved in the Sixth District contest:
If you’re feeling like the Sixth District special election is sucking all the political oxygen out of the room, imagine what it must be like to be the Democrat in the special election across the border in South Carolina.
The Hill has the tale of Archie Parnell, the Democrat who must compete with not only his heavily-favored Republican opponent on June 20, but Georgia’s Jon Ossoff for money and attention:
On Tuesday, South Carolina will have to share the spotlight as voters in both states head to the polls in two of the final special elections in the country.
“It’s hard to share the stage with somebody who has raised $23 million,” Tyler Jones, a South Carolina Democratic strategist, said of Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff’s special election bid.
Whoever wins next week’s Sixth District race should have the edge in 2018 – even if it’s Jon Ossoff. At least, that’s the conclusion of Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. Writing this morning in Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, here’s his take:
Looking ahead to the 2018 general election in this district, our intention, subject to change depending on the actual results, is to shift the rating in GA-6 to lean toward whomever ends up winning it. The candidate who emerges from this showdown will have the power of incumbency and probably deserves the benefit of the doubt going forward, but the district now seems divided enough that there’s a decent chance of a competitive redux next fall.
His mouth may have said, “No,” but his stock portfolio said, “Let it flow.” Here’s an opening paragraph of a recent Politico article the caught our eye:
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott invested more than $1 million in Atlanta municipal bonds at the same time his administration was waging a costly “water wars” legal fight with Georgia, according to tax and court documents reviewed by POLITICO.
The news site reports that Scott ultimately made about $600 from the bonds, which he owned for six months in 2012, even as the states’ water battle raged.