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GOP-Inspired Violence: Business as Usual

Com­ment: Threats against demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tors have become com­mon­place dur­ing the course of the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion. It should not come as a sur­prise that a par­ty that enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly incor­po­rat­ed Nazi war crmi­nals [1] and Mus­lim Broth­er­hood jihadists and ter­ror­ists [2] into its ranks would tac­it­ly encour­age such prac­tices. In lec­tures  we have exam­ined the para­mil­i­tary right as an exten­sion of the GOP right [3] and have detailed its role in the desta­bi­liza­tion of the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion [4]. Some­thing sim­i­lar appears to be under­way now.

“Noos­es and Bro­ken Win­dows: A Week of Threats and Van­dal­ism” by Rachel Slad­ja; Talk­ing Points Memo; 3/26/2010. [5]

As the health care debate came to its con­clu­sion this week, the high-run­ning emo­tions of many final­ly crest­ed, tak­ing the form of threats and acts of van­dal­ism at the offices of sev­er­al law­mak­ers, most of them Democ­rats. Here, a roundup:

The FBI is inves­ti­gat­ing a sev­ered gas line at the home of Rep. Tom Per­riel­lo’s (D‑VA) broth­er. A local tea par­ty group had post­ed the broth­er’s address online, think­ing it was Per­riel­lo’s and call­ing for a protest there.

Win­dows were bro­ken across the coun­try, at Rep. Gabrielle Gif­ford’s Tuc­son office, Rep. Louise Slaugh­ter’s dis­trict office, and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty offices in Ohio, west­ern New York and Kansas. (Some­one also spray-paint­ed the word “dorks” on one par­ty office in Ohio.) House Minor­i­ty Whip Eric Can­tor also claimed some­one shot a bul­let into his cam­paign office, but local police say it was a ran­dom bul­let that struck the office win­dow.

Pic­tures of noos­es were faxed to the offices of Rep. James Clyburn (D‑SC), who is black, and Rep. Bart Stu­pak (D‑MI), who is white.

Rep. Antho­ny Wein­er (D‑NY) said his office in Kew Gar­dens, New York, received an enve­lope con­tain­ing white pow­der and a threat­en­ing let­ter.

Pro­tes­tors showed up to Rep. Russ Car­na­han’s (D‑MO) home with a cof­fin over the week­end after he vot­ed in sup­port of the health care reform bill.

Rep. Bet­sy Markey (D‑CO) said she received two threat­en­ing phone calls after announc­ing that she would switch her vote on health care from no to yes. One caller said to a staffer, “Bet­ter hope I don’t run into you in a dark alley with a knife, a club or a gun.” Anoth­er said, “Bet­ter tell your boss that she bet­ter be care­ful when she comes back here to Col­orado.”

Rep. Kathy Dahlkem­per (D‑PA) said in a state­ment that she has received sev­er­al “emails, let­ters, fax­es and phone calls that are threat­en­ing or men­ac­ing in nature as a result of my vote in favor of health care reform.”

A Nashville man was alleged­ly the vic­tim of road rage because of an Oba­ma-Biden stick­er on his car, a local TV sta­tion report­ed.

Rep. Vic Sny­der (D‑AR) said he received a let­ter that read, “Mili­tia cen­tral has select­ed you for assas­si­na­tion. If we can­not stalk and find you in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., we will get you in Lit­tle Rock.”

Rep. Har­ry Mitchell (D‑AZ) said he got death threats before and after the vote, and a note about health care was sent to his office along with coal and dog poop.

Repub­li­cans also received threats: Rep. Jean Schmidt (R‑OH) received a threat­en­ing voice­mail and some­one threw bricks through the win­dow of the Repub­li­can Par­ty head­quar­ters in Alber­mar­le, Va.