Star Trek actor George Takei
Star Trek actor George TakeiREUTERS

After a radical left-wing terrorist opened fire on Republican lawmakers outside of Washington DC last week in an assassination attempt, many on the left expressed their support for the wounded, including Republican House Whip Steve Scalise who was fighting for his life, and called for national unity in the wake of the tragedy.

Partisans on both the right and left said it was time to tone down the often acerbic rhetoric that has become standard fare in American politics.

This rare show of good-will across party lines was not universal, however.

Even as Rep. Scalise lay comatose in Washington DC hospital, fighting for his life, some commentators on the left chose to denigrate the man who just days earlier was nearly murdered.

Joy Ann Reid, a host from MSNBC – the same channel the 66-year old shooter, James Thomas Hodgkinson, said he watched regularly for news and commentary – took aim at Scalise and, amazingly, managed to make race an issue in the story as well.

“Rep Scalise was shot by a white man with a violent background,” Reid tweeted days after the shooting, ignoring the terrorist’s politics – which mirror her own – instead mentioning his race.

Scalise, Reid continued, “was saved by a black lesbian police officer, and yet…” Reid included a list of several bills backed by Scalise, including one which would have amended the Constitution to explicitly define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

On the air, Reid later suggested that perhaps prayers for Scalise’s wellbeing were misplaced, since she disagreed with his political views, asking, perhaps somewhat rhetorically, whether or not progressives should put Scalise’s politics aside following the shooting.

“He also co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. He co-sponsored the House health care bill which, as you said, would gut health care for millions of people including 3 million children and he co-sponsored a bill to repeal the ban on semiautomatic weapons. Because he is in jeopardy and everybody is pulling for him, are we required in a moral sense to put that aside in the moment?”

Nor was Reid alone in attacking the comatose congressman.

Actor George Takei, best known for his portrayal of Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek franchise, suggested the attack was an act of cosmic karma.

“The universe doesn’t joke around,” Takei tweeted. “The officer who saved bigoted, homophobic Rep. Steve Scalise during baseball practice was a black lesbian.”

“And yet his website still espouses ‘Family Values’ and protecting the ‘Sanctity of Marriage’,’ Takei continued in a follow-up post he later deleted.

Others, including film-maker and far-left activist Tariq Nasheed appeared to justify the shooting with an attempt to tie Scalise to white supremacists.

“So Rep. Steve Scalise, who once spoke at a white supremacist event sponsored by David Duke (google it) was SHOT today in Alexandria.”

A former Louisiana prosecutor, Sonia Gupta, was more explicit: “Before you start dropping to your knees to pray for Steve Scalise, remember that he’s a racist piece of sh** and hateful bigot.”