Thursday, March 25, 2010

Health Care Hate Crimes

After Health Vote, Threats on Democrats Lives:

Democratic lawmakers have received death threats and been the victims of vandalism because of their votes in favor of the health care bill, lawmakers and law enforcement officials said Wednesday, as the Congressional debate over the issue headed toward a bitter and divisive conclusion.

At least two Congressional district offices were vandalized and Representative Louise M. Slaughter, a senior Democrat from New York, received a phone message threatening sniper attacks against lawmakers and their families.

Because nothing says "I'm for health care" quite like threatening to kill someone. Those must be the "death panels" I kept hearing about.

Ms. Slaughter also reported that a brick was thrown through a window of her office in Niagara Falls, and Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, said Monday that her Tucson office was vandalized after the vote.

The Associated Press reported that the authorities in Virginia were investigating a cut propane line to an outdoor grill at the home of a brother of Representative Tom Perriello of Virginia, after the address was mistakenly listed on a Tea Party Web site as the residence of the congressman. Representative Bart Stupak, Democrat of Michigan and a central figure in the measure’s abortion provisions, reported receiving threatening phone calls.

Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking black lawmaker in the House, said he received an anonymous fax showing the image of a noose.

The reports of threats, coming after a tense weekend when protesters hurled racial and homophobic slurs at Democrats and spit on one congressman, left many Democrats shaken.
The latter incidents are documented in this article.

You know we've reached a new low when dropping N-bombs, calling people "fags," and spitting on them because they want to change health care become seen as acceptable forms of protest.

And what's even funnier, is that for all the vaunted rhetoric, the bill will probably change nothing in the end anyway.

This blog shies away from the overtly political, mainly because writing about partisan politics, particularly the extremes of either party, is a lot like writing about sex offenders. Actually, writing about sex offenders is preferable.

However, when partisanship drifts into criminal activity, then we will take note. It's unfortunate that what started out as a chance to have a high-minded debate over fixing the dysfunctional health care system in this country, degenerated into name calling, fisticuffs and death threats.

But as John Mellencamp sang in Pink Houses: "Oh, but ain't that America, we're something to see, baby."

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