Archive for Friday, March 26, 2010

Threats against lawmakers spread

March 26, 2010

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— A fax bearing the image of a noose. Profane voice mails. Bricks thrown, a gas line cut. White powder sent to an office.

Democrats and a few Republicans revealed mounting numbers and unsettling details of threats against them Thursday in the emotional aftermath of the passage of the health care overhaul.

Lawmakers uniformly condemned the harassment, but that’s where the agreement ended. Democrats said Republicans were slow to condemn the vigilantism, while Republicans said Democrats were playing politics with the threats.

“By ratcheting up the rhetoric, some will only inflame these situations to dangerous levels,” said House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia. “Enough is enough. It has to stop.”

At least 10 Democrats now have reported harassment, including incidents involving at least four of their offices in New York, Arizona and Kansas. More frequent have been obscenity-laced, sometimes-threatening phone messages. An undisclosed number of lawmakers have been given increased police protection.

“It is unfortunate that a small but vocal group of people are using insults to convey their opinions and alarming that anyone would make threats against me or my family,” said Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa.

On Thursday, two Republicans said they, too, had been menaced.

No arrests have been reported. A threat to assault a member of Congress in retaliation for the performance of official duties is punishable by up to a year in prison.

House historian Fred Beuttler said there have been few acts of violence against lawmakers over legislation. The worst occurred in 1954 when four Puerto Rican nationalists shot up the House chamber, wounding five members. A cross was burned on Speaker Sam Rayburn’s front lawn in Texas during debate on civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

This week, hate-filled rants have been showing up in voice mails, e-mail boxes and on fax machines of lawmakers since the House approved the health care bill 219-212 Sunday night. President Barack Obama signed it into law on Tuesday. A package of fixes to the new law was winding through Congress Thursday on the brink of a two-week recess that begins on Monday.

On one point Thursday, there was bipartisan agreement: No act of Congress — health care reform or anything else — merits threats of violence against lawmakers or their families.

House Republican leader John Boehner met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the incidents and both condemned them.

Pelosi was careful to avoid blaming Republicans directly for inciting the harassment, though she said that words “weigh a ton.” Such threats of retaliation “have no place in a civil debate in our country,” she said.

Boehner followed moments later. While many are angry over the health care measure, he said, “threats and violence should not be part of a political debate.”

Comments

geekin_topekan 5 years, 1 month ago

Dont let a Repub tell that he is above al-queda and barbarism. The greatest victory a Repub can give to terrorism is to morph into their lifestyle and beliefs.

grammaddy 5 years, 1 month ago

Why would Rahm harrass his own people? I don't get that. As far as the rest of it, Come on! 50 years after the civil rights movement and people are still acting like this?!. Must be the Black President that has the teabaggers losing their minds. The party of Hate in conjunction with the party of No.

LoveThsLife 5 years, 1 month ago

Tom-

What about the fact that Sarah Palin has a facebook page with a "target list" and a target over each one of their districts? There is a way to act when you disagree with someone and making a "target list" isn't one of them..it reminds me of Nixon and his lists.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Teabaggers and Republicans = one

Many of the teabaggers have been funded by David Koch = the republican party.

A Teabagger Timeline: Koch, Coors, Newt, Dick Armey There From The Start http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/a-teabagger-timeline-koch_b_187312.html

================================== Wonder how health care dollars are spent? "The insurance industry has spent more than $120 million on direct lobbying in Washington through September of this year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. UnitedHealth Group alone has spent $3.5 million so far, disclosure reports show." ================================= "The health care industry alone has six lobbyists for every member of Congress and more than 500 of them are former Congressional staff members, according to the Public Accountability Initiative’s LittleSis database.

Just to be certain Congress sticks with the program, the industry has been showering megabucks all over Capitol Hill. From the beginning, they wanted to make sure that whatever bill comes out of the Finance Committee puts for-profit insurance companies first -- by forcing the uninsured to buy medical policies from them. Money not only talks, it writes the prescriptions.

In just the last few months, the health care industry has spent $380 million on lobbying, advertising and campaign contributions. And -- don’t bother holding onto your socks -- a million and a half of it went to Finance Committee Chairman Baucus, the man who said he saw “a lot to like” in the two public option amendments proposed by Senators Rockefeller and Schumer, but voted no anyway.

The people in favor of a public alternative can’t scrape up the millions of dollars Baucus has received from the health sector during his political career. In fact, over the last two decades, the current members of the entire finance committee have collected nearly $50 million from the health sector, a long-term investment that’s now paying off like a busted slot machine."

gogoplata 5 years, 1 month ago

The thugs on capitol hill don't like it when other people use the threat of violence against them. I guess they forget that this bill provides for 16000 IRS stormtroopers to use the threat of violence against the people if we choose not to participate with the new healthcare law.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

It seems to me the government should always fear the nation's sovereign (in America, that is the citizenry, not the messiah or king).

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Many of the teabaggers have been funded by David Koch = the republican party. "

And I suppose george soros only spends his money on prostitutes. Wall, I suppose that one come's down to semantics.

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