Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pelosi, GOP, Decry Threats Against Congress

A 360 Degrees Perspective/360 News & Comment

We'd like to think of ourselves as occasionally impartial, mostly partial to the truth, but most of all observant, yet opinionated. Here, we combine the best of our attributes.

A fax bearing the image of a noose. Profane voice mails. Bricks thrown, a gas line cut.

This is what politics has now come down to in America. The anger we experienced during the 2008 Presidential Election was nothing compared to the anger over this health care issue; and growing even more with the push for immigration reform.

We have become a volatile bunch, here in the former Colonies. We vote with our hearts and emotions, we demonstrate with our emotions on out shirtsleeves ready to beat up anyone who challenges us, and now we are creating havoc by violence. If we believe intimidation really works, then we are living in the wrong world and defeat the purpose of ever wanting a country like the United States. The Cherokee Indians were better civilized and we made them leave Georgia. We should have asked them to stay. They may have been able to teach us a lot about accountability.

We know many Progressives and Conservatives who are passionate about their agenda and love and concern for this nation's direction. There is no faulting them for passion. However, there is faulting them for getting too caught up in the emotions that drive things to a fever's pitch.

It's like high schoolers (our apologies to the Classes of 2010 through 2017): the substitute is here and now we're not gonna take it, so we'll.... set the classroom on fire.

We already have so-called Christians and pro-lifers bombing abortion clinics - which really makes no sense if one is a pro-lifer. We have empathy-ridden Progressives coddling the criminals, aborting the babies, damning the death penalty and telling victims to get lost.

To observers in other parts of the world, we must really look like we have lost our minds, because now we are threatening our elected officials. Well, the mighty ones in the ivory tower aren't to blame - misguided yes, but not fully to blame. WE put them there. If we fail to accept this bit of responsibility and accountability, then stop voting. Turn in your registration card and do the world a favor and stop voting. This is one right you obviously can no longer handle.

In fact. stop driving, too. We don't want you on the road, either.

We Americans have developed no self-control because we are spoiled. And we get easily Pee-Ohed if we fail to get our way. Sometimes we forget that we should set an example to the world; instead, we'd rather be on center stage filled with raging lunatics.

Democrats and a few Republicans revealed new details of threats against them Thursday in the aftermath of the passage of the health care overhaul. They uniformly condemned the harassment, but that's where the agreement ended. Democrats said Republicans were slow to condemn the vigilantism, while Republicans said Democrats inspired retaliation.

"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."

Reports by at least 10 Democrats of harassment this week have been followed by Democratic complaints that GOP leaders were slow to condemn the incidents.

At least four Democratic offices in New York, Arizona and Kansas were struck, and at least 10 members of Congress have reported threats, including obscenity-laced phone messages and a fax bearing the image of a noose, congressional leaders have said.

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. And in the 60, we were really nuts, too. But back then, being stupid was the in thing. Now, it's not so.... cool.

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 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."

The fact that lawmakers were being harassed took attention away from the package of fixes to the health care law.

Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, released a recording of a voicemail she said she received in which a man repeatedly accuses Republicans of being racists and, referring to an accident two years ago when Schmidt was hit by a car while jogging, said, "You should have broke your back."

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri, one of eight Democrats who switched to "yes" on the most recent House vote, said he had received threats.

E-mails sent to Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fla., another member who switched her vote, urged her to commit suicide and said she and her family should rot in hell."

Rep. Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat and chairwoman of an influential House committee, said someone had left her a voicemail that used the word "snipers."

Some of the anger spilled over in a flood of threat-filled phone and fax messages to the office of Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. Stupak had pledged to oppose the health care package unless given greater assurance that it would not allow federal funding of elective abortions. He voted in favor after the administration agreed.

"I hope you bleed ... (get) cancer and die," one male caller told the congressman between curses.

A fax carried a picture of a gallows with "Bart (SS) Stupak" on it and a noose. It was captioned, "All Baby Killers come to unseemly ends Either by the hand of man or by the hand of God."

And in Virginia, someone cut a propane line leading to a grill at the Charlottesville home of Rep. Tom Perriello's brother after the address was posted online by activists angry about the health care overhaul. Perriello also said a threatening letter was sent to his brother's house.

Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer told The Associated Press Thursday that there was "no evidence that annoying, harassing or threatening telephone calls or e-mails are coordinated."

That's right. Because being a coordinated effort takes brains and thinking things out, which obviously doesn't apply to any one involved with this bit of mayhem.

1 comment:

VoteNovember2008 said...

and it's going to get worse before it gets better. Keep the faith! VN8