Two canes supported him, but U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise on Thursday returned to Capitol Hill.
“You have no idea how good this feels to be back here in the people’s House,” the Republican from Louisiana said.
Well, we have a bit of a clue — although the gratitude at his recovery is mixed with shame that he nearly died at the hands of one of our own.
James Hodgkinson went to our schools and did business with us. He lived here and was shaped by some of the same culture and influences that brought many of us to where we are in our lives.
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But there was something very different and very wrong with him. It is comforting to think maybe it was brain chemistry or illness that sent him down the path to attempted murder of the people’s representatives as they practiced June 14 for a charity baseball game.
As Scalise thanked the colleague who applied battlefield medical aid to save him from bleeding to death, and the Capitol Police officer who risked his life to protect Scalise as he lay bleeding, and the medical team who again saved him, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville was seen over his shoulder.
Shimkus is Scalise’s Washington roommate and close friend, like a brother. He missed practice that morning.
Just after the attack, Shimkus said: “You can’t let terror and attacks stop you. A lot of times I think, ‘What would Steve want us to do?’ Steve, I can guarantee you, I don’t even need to ask, Steve would say, ‘Play this ballgame.’ And Steve would say, ‘Move the legislative agenda.’”
Fighting for your beliefs makes you the pride of a nation. Hurting innocents for your ideas makes you its shame.