Healthcare Gets Really Personal – Targets, Cut Gas Lines, Threats ..

I think we all consider healthcare a personal matter but now the Tea Party and Republican hate mongers have taken the meaning of personal to a whole new level. We have already covered the ugliness of the weekend protests in my earlier post...

  1. Spitting on members of Congress
  2. Calling Congressman the “N” word
  3. Calling Barney Frank a faggot
  4. Threatening a Hispanic congressman
  5. “Baby Killer” yelled at Bart Stupak on the floor of Congress.

Now we have even more to report:

  1. Half Governor Sarah Palin telling supporters on Twitter to “reload” and posting a map of 18 Congressman with rifle scope targets on them as people to try and unseat in the fall elections
  2. VA Congessman Perriello’s brothers home address was posted online for protesters to “pay a visit to”  instead of his own had a gas line into the house cut. Thanks God these idiots forgot the matches.
  3. Minority Leader  – “Hell no we can’t” – Boehner saying this in an interview that Rep. Driehaus  if he supported healthcare.

“may be a dead man” and that he “can’t go home to the west side of Cincinnati” because “the Catholics will run him out of town.”

  1. A full page ad ran in the Cincinnati Enquirer with a picture of Driehaus and his 2 young daughters urging him to vote no on reform. The paaper has since issued a full retraction
  2. Rep. Driehaus’ home address being posted online and people exhorted to pay him a visit. A protest is planned at his house in Cincinnati on Sunday. Police have been guarding the house as well. Threatening phone  calls have been received by hos wife.
  3. Bart Stupak with over 50 threatening voicemails he has turned over to police. You should listen to some of them. They threaten both Mr. Stupak’s life and that of his family and are vile and disgusting.
  4. Numerous Democratic and local Congressional offices with broken windows or break ins and threatening messages (NY,VA,AZ,OH).

We could go on and on.

What is the response from the Republican leadership. Here is Leader Boehner’s stirring rhetoric on the subject:

“I know many Americans are angry over this health care bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement. “But, as I’ve said, violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change.”

Unacceptable? Channel? Please..

How about Boehner’s Tonto- Eric Cantor, the minority whip’s stirring appeal :

“I do not condone violence,”  “There are no leaders in the building, no rank and file members that condone violence, period.”

Right before saying this about not politicizing the situation:

Dems are “….dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon.”

Politicizing? Hmmm.  Rep Neugebauer who owned up to saying  “baby killer” and  apologized to Bart Stupak now has a YouTube fundraising video using the footage…I guess he really wasn’t sorry.

Words from our elected leaders matter. People listen and take cues from them.

The incendiary rhetoric that started with Joe the Plumber and that death panels and all the rest continue to stir up matter.

Republican leaders continue to court this lunatic fringe and even show up at the rallies to whip up the faithful.

Good old Michelle “America’s Congresswoman” Bachmann says all the time in public:

“[I]t’s like Thomas Jefferson said, a revolution every now and then is a good thing.

Something tells me that our Founding Fathers did not have this type of hate mongering, uncivil type of behavior in mind for “democracy”.

Trying to make this all go away as a lunatic fringe, over the top few and all the other excuses is total BS.

For nearly 2 years here, starting in the fall of 2008 this type of behavior has been whipped up, supported and facillitated by the behavior of the Republican party, its leaders and their rhetoric.

Once the genie is put of the bottle it is hard to put it back in and the problem is now out of control threatening not only members of Congress but their families.

But, hey but if you are a really lucky and wealthy loon you can get your picture taken with Bachmann and Sarah Palin for just $10,000 at an upcoming fund raiser!

This is not the America I grew up in nor the one any of us want but it is here, it is real and it is dangerous, very, very dangerous. I lived through the JFK, RFK and MLK being assassinated and this boiling pot worries me.

I have come to one main conclusion and that is that if we had a white President none of this would be happening. You may try to deny that but you cannot. Another sad commentary to say the least.

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7 Comments on “Healthcare Gets Really Personal – Targets, Cut Gas Lines, Threats ..”

  1. Jim Says:

    I don’t condone violence or threats, but I also don’t have any evidence that would suggest that 100% of those who originated violence or threats were Republicans – and neither do you. Why would you automatically assume that the threats directed at Stupak originated from Republicans? He betrayed his constituents at the last minute. There is a lunatic fringe on both sides of this issue, and if you read your own blog from the perspective of a moderate, you will know that is true. We are supposed to have a representative government, legislators (what they are called, not what they are) who don’t represent their constituents are responsible for “whipping up” the anger. And you may recall that the founding fathers were whipped up by a single phrase – “taxation without representation”. If this legislation was so good for America why was it so hard to pass?

    • John Nail Says:

      Jim, thanks for your comment you raise some good points.

      You are correct that we have no hard proof that all these attacks were from R’s. I never said they were. Tea Partiers seem to be the main source of these issues, many are R’s, I doubt any are D’s.

      There is clearly a fringe on both sides. The far left simply has stumped for single payer and provided around 15% of the polls showing folks against the HCR bill. They haven’t marched with signs of Obama as Hitler, as the Joker, called him a Nazi or Socialist or appeared on DC protesting at the Capital lthis weekend doing the things we all know about.

      This crowd has been whipped up by R leaders and right wing bloggers, Rush et al…Sarah Palin and her social media world pushes these issues daily.

      So “No” I cannot prove who the perpetrators are here the ownership of the words that drive the behavior have come from the R’s and right wing blogosphere/media.

      This was to be Obama’s Waterloo according to Sen DeMint of SC and got not a single vote from the R’s. Now David Frum- Bush’s top speechwriter – is now even a pariah for hoisting the R’s on their own petard and got fired today.

      So I cannot say for sure who is responsible here and I condemn all who have threatened anyone – including the latest from Eric Cantor. However the outcome of what leaders say and how they behave is their responsibility and the D’s have not been talking fear and hate for the last year +, the R’s and TP’s have.

  2. Bill Says:

    You are just a Dem lover slanting the story like everyone else in the media. If you reported the real facts of this bill you would understnad why everyone is so upset. You talk about this violence as if it is a revolution, or compare it to the forefathers, how dare you? I don’t condone this violence either, but what Senate has done to pass this is just the same and nearly terrorist like. Pushing somehting massive through without proper votes by the people, or a proper process through governement is just violent in its own right. How someone like you is able to have the job you have is beyond me!

    • John Nail Says:

      Bill, thanks for sharing your opinion but not an identity.

      I am not a “media” person. if you read my bio you will see I have been on the industry for 35 years. I am self employed and earn my way. No one pays me a salary or provides anything to me that I do not earn.

      A Dem lover? Not likely. I voted 7 straight times for Republicans and even voted for McCain the 2008 GA primary. I am sick of the lies and BS that the R’s have foisted on this nation and the HCR debate was like whip cream and a cherry on the sundae of their decline that Bush began.

      So our Congress, following the same laws that apply to both sides and have been used by the R’s for major actions are “terrorist like”? How is the will of the people violated?

      Did you actually read my post or previous ones? I did NOT compare this to our forefathers or the Revolution the darling of the R’s- America’s Congresswoman – Michelle Bachmann – has done this repeatedly on TV, at rallies and online. Her comments are absurd and she is a loon.

      Pushed Through? The House and Senate both approved the bill and now the reconciliation package by wide margins. If you recall recent history the Bush tax cuts that we live with today in our deficit passed by Cheney’s vote as Pres. of the Senate. The unfunded Medicare Drug program passed via reconciliation as well.

      How do I have the job I have created, not given to me or paid for by someone else? I look at thousands of articles everyday across our entire industry. On all points of view. What do you read or watch?

      I actually watch, end to end, things like the recent meetings that Obama had with the R’s in Baltimore and then the Healthcare Summit. Also I watch interviews et al from all points of view to ferret out facts from sound bites and BS. I draw my own conclusions based on facts not sound bites from Fox or anyone else.

      We had an election in 2008 and elected Obama and in 2006 and 2008 created a D Congress. Right or wrong. In 2010 you can vote however you want as is all of our right but for now Democracy is working, per the rules that apply to all, coming from the folks we all elected.

  3. Keith McNeil Says:

    John,

    Your extreme disdain for the Tea Party movement is your right, but as you know anyone from the far left can fake being a Tea Party person—no one is checking IDs at the door and LaRouche supporters often show up there with Hitler comparisons promoting a very different agenda, such as single payer healthcare—call someone the “n” word and look forward to hearing about it on the news about how racist the Tea Party folk are. (It is actually the perfect crime, since virtually no one from the mainstream media or the Industry Radar is going to do any digging on whether the comments were faked.) But before you go too far in demonizing them, you might want to return to the good old days, not so long ago, before Obama criticism, when things were civil and we only had things like movie makers presenting art films on the assassination of Bush (snuff films of sitting president are always a plus in some circles), Bush=Hitler and F***Bush signs and shirts shown ad nauseum at anti-war rallies, Bush planned 9-11, Cheney had hundreds of thousands killed to boost Halliburton profits, talk show hosts such as Randi Rhodes wishing on air that someone would get the Corleone family to off Bush, like in the Godfather series. Back then if you moved quickly you could buy online the “Kill Bush” T-shirt, artfully done in the style of the movie “Kill Bill.” Then there was my favorite the London Guardian columnist who lamented, “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. —where are you now that we need you?” Before we saw signs of Obama as the Joker, we saw Bush as the Joker, in Vanity Fair no less, but again that was only Bush so it didn’t matter. It is only wrong when Obama is criticized, and then only because of the color of his skin. Bush being white certainly did not have to endure such indignities.

    Your post brings up the interesting question of when incendiary rhetoric started. Did it start when former Vice President Gore yelled at the top of his lungs that Bush betrayed his country and he played on our fears? Did it start when Senator Kennedy said that the Iraq war was a “fraud, cooked up in Texas” by Bush to enhance his political standing? Did it by chance start when presidential candidate Howard Dean, later head of the DNC, said that the most “interesting” theory he had heard recently was that the Saudis had tipped off Bush on 9-11, so he knew in advance? (Dean denied believing that rumor only after his comment had hit the fan.) Or could it go back even earlier, to 1994, when the gracious columnist, Julianne Malveaux, said of Clarence Thomas: “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person.” The first three listed were major political figures and the last a well-known columnist and commentator. Nonetheless I learned from your post that the incendiary rhetoric actually started with Joe the Plumber, an unknown private citizen who had the audacity to disagree with Obama. I did not know that there was no such incendiary rhetoric before Joe. As you point out, incendiary rhetoric started in the fall of 2008, so I guess before then political criticism was wholesome and pure, the equivalent of Mayberry, Barney, Opie, and Aunt Bee.

    You decried some Tea Partiers applying the word Socialist to Obama. Does that include the Rev. Al Sharpton, who recently said that when the voters elected Obama they were voting for socialism? Is Reverend Al now part of the vast right wing conspiracy?

    You might want to check out this site of photographs of those good old days when life was simpler and less contentious:

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=612

    A recent poll showed that a large majority of Americans of all political parties are fearful of an economic collapse, not a recession, but a collapse, due to trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. That fear fuels the Tea Party movement and many others who repeatedly tell the pollsters that they think we are headed in the wrong direction. If there are some nutcases on the fringes of these movements, that is too certainly unfortunate and no one is calling for or condoning violence, but to exaggerate their rhetoric (or rhetoric in some cases that they probably didn’t even say) all the while ignoring the true professional haters who ranted in public during the Bush years, wishing for his death, screaming obscenities, etc., etc., I think does a disservice to a very important debate we need to have in this country on health care, the budget, taxes, the appropriate role of government, etc.

    Keith

    • John Nail Says:

      Keith,thanks for your post. Take a look at this post from Frank Rich I think he articulates what is going here better than anyone else I have seen.

      You bring up some very interesting points but the conspiracy theory that left wingers posing as TP’ers could have caused all this is specious. Any leader lending credence or incendiary words to anyone is out of line and the R’s continue to try and embrace the TP’ers, 12% of whom are Dems, 75% are R’s and the 13% independents.

      I have seen R leaders trying to make this point all weekend which is disingenous at best. This conspiracy theory is even more bizarre than Bush was behind 9/11.

      I do not condone any type of this type of rhetoric or behavior. Period. Whatever the cause of Eric Cantor’s gunshot or other issues he has as a Jew are totally wrong as well.

      Clearly hate speech is not new (though our recent spate started after Obama’s nomination with Joe the P et al) but the Bush hate speech ( I voted for ‘W” twice btw and for 5 R’s before that starting with Reagan) was never accorded the obsessive daily repetition we get from Fox news et al and echoed in person at rallies by R leaders, or in the Halls of Congress. The anger directed against Bush was the result of a war that all of us now know we were duped into that has killed 4000 young Americans, maimed 15,000+ more and cost the us $2T and counting all from what…we weren’t evn going after those behind 9/11. I can understand the anger there and still not condone it…I supported the war until I realized we had been duped, lied to or simply led by incompetence or all 3.

      As far as the “Socialist” term goes that term has been used repeatedly not just by TP’ers but the right wing media- Rush, Hannity, Beck et al as well as R leaders like McConnell, Boehner and many, many more…Frankly I doubt most of them even know what Socialism or Communism or Nazism is…The repetitive nature of today’s echo chamber and the resultant threats, spitting, insults, broken windows etc are the result of this behavior. The breadth and focus of this against elected officials, whether white, gay or of color is something we have not seen in this nation in our adult lifetimes if ever.

      The saddest thing I have seen all year was McCain needing Palin to come rescue him and his career by rallying the faithful. On Friday Sarah and McCain were out there wrapping themselves in the TP flag again…though McCain looked really uncomfortable doing it…he still did it…

      I saw the poll on economic collapse and this issues should be of concern to us all . The deficit trajectory that this nation has were the result of the Bush years, the unfunded wars, the $1.7 T tax cuts and the Medicare Drug plan that is adding $40-50B/year to the deficit and $18T to the already beleaguered Medicare deficit issues.

      We all need to pull together to address all the issues we face and the party of “Hell No”, “Obama’s Waterloo” , the promise of no bipartisanship by folks like McCain, Bunning’s stunts et al are certainly not looking to be part of any solution.

      You cannot sit on the sidelines like mad 2 year olds, incite anger with lies and rhetoric and then try and play innocent and aggrieved when the words you have been spewing, the actions you have been taking and the right wing media you are all afraid of have created the climate we are in.

  4. Kevin McNeil Says:

    John,

    With the hope that you are not an ideologue, let me
    make two points and two suggestions.

    First, any one spitting on any one —the act is
    repugnant and indefensible. Obviously, the same
    applies to using the “N” word, it is simply inexcusable
    and unacceptable.

    It should be noted that Representative Cleaver was
    asked by numerous media outlets on whether or not
    the man spit in his face intentionally. His response
    was, “I never reported anything, never a single thing
    in Washington, not one thing. People assume I went
    somewhere, never done press conference, never done
    an interview on it and I’m not going to do it.”

    Regarding the use of the “N” word at the Capitol that day,
    despite all the videos, including at least two of his supporters
    following the procession, no one has come forward to
    establish that the “N” word was ever used. As a
    matter of fact, Andrew Breitbart of Biggovernment.com
    has offered $100,000 of his own money to anyone who can
    prove that the “N” word was “hurled at Representative
    Lewis not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once.”
    To date, no one has come forward and offered such proof.

    John, even if I accepted your understanding of what
    happened that day, I suggest to you that we cannot define
    any group by its fringe elements.

    Second, regarding your comment, “The incendiary rhetoric
    that started with Joe the Plumber…” As Keith McNeil
    pointed out (yes, he is my brother) go check out zombietime.com.
    The blogger for zombietime has been documenting through
    film and commentary the Bay Area political scene for
    nearly 10 years. Since you are busy, just take time to
    look at the Anti-war rally of 2/16/03. Note the strong
    Anti-Semitic tone, the pictures of Bush and Hitler side
    by side. Then check-out the Marines Recruiting Office
    Protest and Counter-Protest 6/21/08. When the pro-American
    side played the national anthem the far Left protesters
    responded with a Nazi salute. Once again President Bush
    was called a traitor and a criminal. They thought it was
    especially clever to taunt a Gold Star Mother while she
    shared the eulogy of her fallen Navy Seal son. The favorite
    chant from the Left that day was “US Marines, Murder
    Rape, Torture”. Now there is real hate for you.

    I am sure that we both can agree that regardless of our position
    on the war in Iraq, such anti-Semitic and hate speech is
    completely unacceptable.

    I can verify the above for you because I was supporting the
    counter demonstrations on both of those days. I believe you
    have to confront real extremism.

    Now my suggestions:

    Go see for yourself.

    Tea Parties are going to be held on April 15, 2010 throughout
    the country. Attend one—don’t focus on the fringe elements
    but talk to the leaders, the organizers, the average people
    who took time out of their day to attend such an event.

    Listen to their support for fiscally responsible government,
    more limited government, lower taxes, etc.

    Before you ask I have attended a tea party before and will again.

    My experience, I have never seen Nazi symbols, threats
    against public officials nor hatred of any kind at these
    Tea Party events. What I have seen are American flags,
    people singing songs like God Bless America and citizens
    who are very concerned about the direction this country
    is taking.

    As I said, go see for yourself.

    The second suggestion is to go to a Code Pink/Answer march.
    Again, don’t talk to the fringe elements but speak to the leaders
    and organizers and see if your values track with theirs. Should
    be enlightening.

    Look on the positive side, at least it will get you out of the office!

    Sincerely,

    Kevin McNeil


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