Quibbl’s Almost Daily Explainer For Your Saturday Night Uber Home… DC Shooting, Healthcare Repeal & Whose Fault is Political Violence in America

Quibbl’s Almost Daily Explainer with Ben Purcell: Weekend Edition.  

DC Shooting, Whose Fault Is Political Violence in America & The Stories Over Which Quibbl Readers Are Arguing Over & Making Bets For Fake Money

By Ben Purcell & Daniel Ross-Rieder

Given the past week, are you feeling overloaded with information or are you merely hungover? Quibbl’s Weekend Edition Is Less Expensive Than a Bloody Mary And Contains All the Vital Information You Need to Sound Informed & Stay Refreshed


  • In 5 minutes or less, the team at quibbl summarizes the major stories of each cycle while calling attention to the best analysis online [5 top stories, 5 top articles & 5 quibbls of the day]
  • With its diverse spectrum of opinions & subject matter, Quibbl is internet’s premier marketplace of ideas
  • Don’t just trust us; let us know when you disagree and “put your money where your mouth is”; our community predicts the the major trends & we measure their track record across 100’s of topics [via the daily feed at quibbl.me]


Your Week In Review 

Whose Fault Is Political Violence?

Shakespeare Trump.PNG

  • GOP House Whip Steve Scalise is recovering from surgery after he and three others, including a Capitol Hill Police officer, were shot while practicing for a charity game on an Alexandria, Virginia baseball diamond. After it was revealed that the shooter was a Bernie Sanders supporter, media outlets began producing a flood of analyses connecting the shooting “our increasingly shrill political rhetoric.” The mainstream media** generally echoed a call for bipartisan unity but did so with a mix of subtle and not-so-subtle hints that the other side was more culpable.
**Editor’s note: by which Quibbl means not explicitly partisan affiliated
  • While some left-wing pundits and politicians focused on the tragic nature of the accident itself, others sought to connect partisan violence to the President’s heated campaign rhetoric, which at times in fact endorsed violence (although defenders of the president might argue it was tongue in cheek). Interestingly, several Republican lawmakers agreed that the President was “partially to blame.” Liberals and some mainstream outlets sought to connect the shooting to the sheer number of guns that Americans own, which is unprecendented in the industrialized world [The Economist].
  • Similarly, many (but not all) on the right, explored the incident as illustrative of a broader societal problem: in this case, Conservative radio hosts and bloggers argued that the the commentary by a critical mass of Donald Trump’s left wing opponents had ventured into violent extremism. Breitbart singled out threats made by Hollywood celebrities. Even the New Republic, which hews typically liberal, acknowledged the  violent, irresponsible and irrational language of some of the President’s opponents. Then there is this post from a tongue-in-cheek member of r/TheDonald, Reddit’s Trump fan community (~430,000 subscribers): The_Donald would like to ask our users to have their own moment of silence for the 93 million Americans that died today from gun violence.
  • Featured image: The New York Public Theatre’s Shakespeare In the Park came under fire for a production in which Caesar is played by an actor intentionally resembling President Trump. Although similar productions have killed off Obama personas & other political leaders, there has been a cry by many for sponsors to boycott the play after the Scalise shooting.
  • Not everyone sought to analyze the incident as a microcosm of America.  At Vox, Jeff Guo argues that blaming heated political rhetroic is a useless response to the Scalise shooting.

Meanwhile At The Department of Obstruction Of Justice

  • Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether or not President Trump committed obstruction of justice. The President responded by expressing dissatisfaction with DAG Rosenstein and calling back to his now-classic characterization of the Russia investigation as a “Witch Hunt” [tweet, WashingtonPost]. Mueller has also reportedly fixed his eye on Jared Kushner’s financial dealings and so far picked a team of 13 lawyers to help him. You’d hate to get picked last.
  • Quibbl unfairly abbreviates the left-wing arguments about why Trump is definitely guilty: it’s only a matter of time before the President is convicted. At the New Yorker, it’s not a matter of if or when, but only who will turn on Trump and expose the crimes. And Trump has only himself to blame, according to Ezra Klein at Vox who diagnoses the President’s persecution complex and Yoni Applebaum at The Atlantic who blames the President’s struggles on a 19th-century leadership style.
  • Quibbl unfairly abbreviates the right-wing argument that the Trump investigation is a dangerous distraction: The Washington Times offers a plea to at least impose a time limit on the special counsel, lest the investigation extend into every aspect of the President’s affairs (vs. a targeted focus on the Russia concern).  A Wall Street Journal editorial raised concerns about the friendship between former FBI Director’s Mueller & Comey.  Although James Comey and Robert Mueller are both Republicans, investigation-skeptics on the right generally argued that an investigation, affected by personal or partisan politics, could be detrimental to democratic values.

Top Secret Health Care

  • GOP Senators and President Trump remain eager to push the House-passed American Health Care Act through the Senate. Potential cuts to Medicaid expansion, a program popular even with Republican voters, may be a factor in the secrecy of the Senate bill thus far and the reason the President referred last week to the House version as too “mean.”
  • On the Left, more than one observer is starting to see the ACA repeal as a giveaway to certain lobbyists and insurance companies. As if the CBOs analysis that the repeal would leave 23 million less people with health insurance wasn’t politically troubling enough for Republicans, keeping the final version a secret surely isn’t going to play well long-term.
  • On the Right, the primary factors driving the AHCA are mostly related to its ACA predecessor: in some order, Obamacare is failing and there is a promise to repeal it. As previewed in the House version of the bill’s false start, a group of conservatives remains the most steadfast opposition to the bill within the Republican party.

So What’s Going To Happen?

New Quibbls

Trending Quibbl’s

  • There is a meaningful shot that Theresa May could lose the Prime Ministership, according to this current open quibbl. We’re still asking if Theresa May will still be the UK Prime Minister on August 1st. Right now, it’s a dead head, with quibbl users giving Theresa May a 50% chance. With the recent criticism of her response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and the the deep political issues she’s facing in forming a coalition with Northern Irish political parties, we will be monitoring to see whether crowd opinion starts to change [quibbl here]
  • There is also still a serious quibbl over the implications of James Comey’s testimony. We’re asking if the the testimony is going to play a role in convincing more Republicans that the former FBI Director was fired by the President to muck up the Russia investigation (Quibblers think there is a rough 60% shot that Americans become increasingly convinced that this is the case). With News that Robert Mueller seems to agree, will we see this increasingly become the dominant narrative on quibbl? Either way, July polls will tell the true story and we will learn who is ultimately right. [quibbl here]


Author Ben Purcell’s note: I voted on this one and I’m still not budging. Robert Mueller isn’t a household name, at least yet, and I don’t see leaks from the investigation significantly moving the dial on opinion polling, especially amongst Trump’s Base of Support

Quibbl’s Senior Politics Editor Ben Purcell is a Graduate Student at Northwestern University’s MFA In Creative Writing & Daniel Ross-Rieder is an MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Ben is a folksy Hoosier from the State of Indiana and Daniel is an arrogant New Yorker from the United States’ East Coast. Together, they enjoy bickering not only about US politics but also whose respective graduate program at Northwestern is in fact, better.

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  • Also read: The Weekend Almost-Daily Explainer Part 2: The biggest stories Quibblers are betting on, using fake currency & real smarts

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