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Why Would Anyone Want to Be in Politics?, Part II: Congressman's Staff Attacked

There are many unpleasant things about being president, enough that we wouldn't take the job even if it was offered. But at least presidents don't have to worry about being attacked by some random deranged person on the street. Not so members of Congress, who—excepting a few members of leadership—have no security detail (unless they pay for it themselves).

That brings us to Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), who is at the center of the latest story of this sort. Yesterday morning, a 49-year-old man named Xuan Kha Tran Pham showed up at the Congressman's district office armed with a metal baseball bat. Pham's target was Connolly, but Connolly wasn't there, and so Pham attacked a staffer and an intern who was in her first hour on the job. Both of the injured individuals were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

As to Pham, he was apprehended by police, and is being held without bail. He's clearly got mental issues; he was already on the government's radar due to a lawsuit he filed against the CIA, accusing them of trying to imprison and torture him "from the fourth dimension." Pham represented himself in court (surprise!) and the case was dismissed (surprise again!).

We've written it before and, sadly, we'll surely write it again: One of these days, one of these folks, encouraged by the rhetoric of Donald Trump and his ilk, is going to kill one or more officeholders. And frankly, it's more likely to be an "apostate" Republican than it is a Democrat. This is one of the primary reasons that Republican officeholders who oppose Trump often head for the hills after doing so, as giving up their seat is a better choice than potentially giving up their lives. It's also why so many officeholders who oppose Trump simply aren't willing to say so publicly, or back that with their votes. Which means that the rhetoric of the former president, and of his supporters and enablers, is doing exactly what it's designed to do. (Z)

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