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Instead of trying to rein in members of his own party who have in recent days deployed violent imagery (like Sarah Palin), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor is now blaming Democrats for "fanning the flames" of violence. Cantor also claims his campaign office was shot at on Monday (Fox initially reported it had been shot at overnight, but later corrected their report). Greg Sargent:

Upping the stakes in the escalating political war over threats to House Dems over health reform, Eric Cantor just directly called out Dem leaders for politicizing the violence and intimidation, ripping them for “dangerously fanning the flames.”

Cantor, reading grimly from prepared remarks at a presser just now, said his office in Virginia had been shot at and singled out DNC chair Tim Kaine and DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen for milking the violence towards Dems in a “reprehensible” manner.

Cantor's salvo has all the fingerprints of a Karl Rove-style "best defense is a good offense" strategy. Oddly, he's doing this at the same time that he says he is a victim of the violent atmosphere.

Rather than ratcheting up the partisan heat, it would be nice to see Cantor make a joint appearance with other Democrats and Republicans to condemn the increasingly violent tone of our political discourse. Turning this into a "he said, she said" situation just amplifies the dangerous cycle.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 10:52 AM PDT.

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