"I heard people saying things today I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus"
-James Clyburn, D, South Carolina
AP/Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “Democrats deal with broken windows, obscene threats over support for US health care overhaul“
Windows were shattered at four Democratic offices in New York, Arizona and Kansas and at least 10 members of Congress have reported some sort of threats…
The brick flung through the window of a county Democratic Party office in Rochester, New York, over the weekend had a note attached: "Extremism in defence of liberty is no vice," roughly quoting 1964 Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater.
Gun imagery was used in a posting on the Facebook page of Sarah Palin urging people to organize against 20 House Democrats who voted for the health care bill and whose districts went for the John McCain-Palin ticket two years ago. Palin's post featured a U.S. map with circles and cross hairs over the 20 districts.
LA Times, “Threats, Violence Against Democrats Who Voted For Healthcare Bill”
As anger has built in some quarters over the Democrats' passage of healthcare legislation last week, Internet posts urging opponents to take action may have sparked a viral spate of vandalism and other threats against members of Congress and their families.
On Tuesday, the brother of Rep. Tom Perriello discovered that the gas line connecting a propane tank to an outdoor grill at his home near Charlottesville, Va. had been severed. Days earlier, members of conservative tea party groups in the area had posted his address online, urging people to "drop by" what they mistakenly believed was the congressman's home.
The brother, Bo Perriello, has four children at home under the age of 8, according to the Congressman's office.
My comment over at Jonathan Schwarz’s Tiny Revolution,
24 March, “A suggestion”
people's memories are short in part because of the deliberate awfulness of the popular/corporate media. Remember how Time ran Ann Coulter on the cover in April 2005, on the 10 year anniversary of the OKC bombing? You want a succinct and powerful symbol of the supposedly liberal media's complacency and enabling, look no further.
Jon Schwarz suggests discussing the OKC bombing in personal terms to illustrate what's wrong with the present situation.[see the link directly above.]Many others have been calling on the GOP to denounce these actions. I wonder if that’s sufficient, or even the best approach-- although I’m not saying they shouldn’t do that. It’s just that when you call on the GOP(i.e. right-wing elites) to denounce right-wing thuggery and leave it at that and avoid more direct appeals, the message you’re sending is, "these are your children.” In other words, yep, we’re the stereotypical secular left and we don’t understand people like that; they’re foreign to us, none of us even have friends or relatives who identify with those values. You are wondering where I’m going with this, no doubt.
Here: you have to avoid suggesting(or even believing) that all conservatives and “values voters” are just savages, and pretending there is no continuum of values that we all belong to, the best and the worst of us. If you do suggest this, you elicit defensiveness from practically all of “them,” when you could be persuading the sane and peace-loving among “them” to feel revulsion towards the crazies in their midst, which is ultimately the only way to extinguish this fire.
A couple of practical illustrations: The message is, if you’re a conservative and you’re not a racist, but you have some racist friends, well, we’re not surprised. But we liberals aren’t like that. Sniff, sniff. Second, the association between racism and religious identity: yes, it’s there, at least at the margins. But if you just offer anodyne platitudes about religious people(because you‘re a little scared and puzzled by them), you prohibit yourself from making this link, and explicitly discussing the difference between sane and crazy believers.
I discussed this at my old blog in January 2005 on the occasion of George W. Bush’s second inauguration, “Inauguration notes, or the other.” I look back at the words I wrote, and I regret that I didn’t more explicitly state that most Christians are sane, well-meaning people who don‘t go around bombing abortion clinics or threatening people‘s lives, etc. (But the crazy minority, though small, clearly aren’t small enough, and they've been growing in number.) And I note that I no longer necessarily care about the democratic party being a majority party quite like I did in 2005. If they can get back to being pre-1984 democrats (as far as domestic policy goes), that's one thing; but at this point my hopes for that are greatly diminished.
On the other hand, at least in the short term, if the House does in fact vote again on the healthcare bill per recent republican maneuvering, I have a hard time saying that wavering democrats should back away from their yes vote from Sunday. Not if it also means enabling and emboldening domestic fascism and thuggery, even if, therefore, it also means not stepping back from a really horrible piece of legislation-- which of course is horrible for mostly very different reasons than the tea-baggers suppose. It’s quite a conundrum.