Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Week Of Violent Rhetoric, Threats And Vandalism Follow Health Care Bill

The right wing's collective nervous breakdown over the passage of health care reform included racial slurs, direct calls or excuses for violence, and acts of vandalism. Highlights include:

• Three black lawmakers, including Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), were called racial slurs as they approached the capitol for the vote last Sunday. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) was subjected to anti-gay remarks.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) excused the slurs as an understandable response to the Democrats' "crazy totalitarian tactics."
• Glass windows and doors were shattered at Democratic Party offices and the district offices of House Democrats from Arizona to Kansas to New York. At least 10 Democratic lawmakers reported threats. Former militia leader Mike Vanderboegh advocated the action on his blog. The FBI investigated a severed gas line at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-VA) brother; a local tea party group listed the address online.
• Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich mitigated his own condemnation of violence by stating, "...the Democratic leadership has to take some moral responsibility for having behaved with such arrogance..."
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) accused Democrats of "dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon" and stated that a bullet was shot through his campaign office. Richmond police later determined that the incident was "an act of random gunfire."
Sarah Palin told her followers through Twitter that they should "reload" and "aim" for Democrats. She directed activists to her SarahPac website featuring a map of the country with rifle scope cross-hairs over Democratic congressional districts.
• From the right-wing media: Huckabee called for members of Congress to be "tarred and feathered"; Savage said, "We're going to have a revolution in this country"; Stossel said he has "Barney Frank in effigy hanging above his sofa"; Erickson asked when it will be time for people to "march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside and beat him to a bloody pulp?"
Think Progress has compiled a video of Republican lawmakers who used violent rhetoric, including Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Rep. Steve King (R-IA):

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