Thursday, March 25, 2010

Threats To Members of Congress

Yesterday the breaking news was of threats to members of Congress who voted for the health care reform bill. Before that, it was the news over the weekend that people in the Tea Party protests crowd were yelling racial slurs to black members of Congress as they went to vote on the bill, or even spit at one member of Congress. None of these claims have been substantiated. When the one member of Congress alleging the spitting incident brought a Capitol police officer back to point out the offender, he was unable to make the identification. Why would that be? I would venture to say the incident never happened. In this particular case, the video shows the man in the crowd cupping his mouth with his hands, a gesture commonly used to amplify a voice.

A staggering national takeover of 1/6 of our country's economy and the personal nature of one's health care delivery added to the one party vote to pass the legislation brings much political theatre in play. The only bi-partisan ingredient of this takeover and its vote occurred within those opposing the bill. Over 30 Democrats voted with all of the Republicans against the bill.

Second in command in the House, Rep Steny Hoyer, called a photo op to proclaim that 10 or so Congress people had received threats over their votes and the information has been turned over to the FBI. This was well orchestrated and the media was only too happy to oblige this story line. Also, Minority Whip Rep Clyburn, a black man from South Carolina, was their standing just behind Hoyer. The visual is everything to Democrats.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, condemned threats to members of Congress in her weekly address to the press. You may remember that Pelosi, third in the line of succession, compared Tea Party participants to Nazis and to those who were violent in the days of the Civil Rights movement. Perhaps Pelosi forgot that it was the Democratic party that ruled The South, back in the day.

The ginned up fever is breathtaking. The Tea Party crowd and talk show hosts - conservatives - are being blamed for instigating this outburst from the public. Last night on his television show - on the least watched of the news cable outlets - host Chris Matthews likened talk show host Rush Limbaugh to a villain in a James Bond movie and said the day would come that Limbaugh meet the same demise as the villain. In this movie, the villain has his head blown off. Is that inciting violence? Matthews is a former staffer on Capitol Hill. Shouldn't he be above his sort of dialogue?

Democrats reap what they have sown for almost 10 years now. Beginning with the contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush until the present day, Democrats have taken vilification of the 'enemy' to new lows in modern politics. Think of the daily barrage of hate and poison injected into political debate when George W. Bush was in office. Was a press conference called when a movie was released that depicted the assassination of Bush - using actual footage of him so that there was no doubt of the target? Did Michelle Malkin, a conservative opinion writer and commentator on television, call a press conference to announce relocating her family to Colorado from their home in Maryland, due to too many threats to her life and that of her young family? No. She moved across the country as her personal solution.

Rep Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, reports that his Virginia office was shot at last night. Did I miss that press conference? No, I didn't. I saw him say he has received many threats over the years because he is a conservative leader and also because he is Jewish. He, however, is not releasing the records to the FBI as he knows that would incite even more trouble. He called on Democrats to stop fanning the flames of discontent. Rep Jean Schmidt (R-OH) released a tape of a call from someone claiming she should have broken her back in an accident two years ago instead of lesser injuries she took from it. Where does that fall in the mix?

Here is the point - in today's world people with a national presence are targets of the loony fringes of society. Whether on the left or the right, threats of violence are wrong. Physical attacks are criminal behavior. Prosecute the physical acts, whether it is a brick thrown through a politician's home district office or a bullet fired into a window. But, stop with the trumped up claims for political points. Is a constituent calling your office and calling you a 'piece of s***' and stating that many are 'out for you' an actual threat? Does that rise to the level of a documented attack?

Here is the dirty little secret - the Democrats know what they have done is wrong. They know they will pay a heavy price at the ballot box in November. They know they have fallen on their swords for the legacy of Barack Obama, though he has a history of throwing anyone in his way under the bus. Loyalty is not a characteristic spoken about Obama. Democrats know that the problem was not with Republicans on the final votes, it was with those in their own party. This process was exposed for what it was - corrupt and unconstitutional. Never before has a huge piece of social legislation been passed with only one party voting in favor.

Republican opposition to the socialization path our nation is on is not inciting violence. Republicans are standing for principle, which is exactly what their constituents want from them. It is a welcome change from some of the actions of the last few years as Republicans have gone along to get along after the 2007 takeover of Congress by the Democrats.

The Democrats continue on with the tactic of labeling opponents as racist. The man elected to the presidency in 2008 is bi-racial. He was a self-described post racial man. We see the lie of that. He has done more harm than good to the political process by race baiting and class warfare. During the campaign his straw men in speeches were thinly veiled racial comments. This is what he counts.

Leadership comes from the top down. Obama is not a leader. He is reactionary and shirks the heavy lifting to Congress and the liberal far left of the aisle. Even now, he is in Iowa City today to tout the newly passed law. The public is so angry about it and not coming around to his way of thinking about the role of government in our lives that he has to remain in campaign mode. He assumes that if only he can give just one more speech, the American people will change their minds. Obama is a whiner and complainer. He is quick to blame Republicans and even still the last administration for his troubles. He is a small man. All of this trickles down.

Leaders, true leaders, lead by example.

Using race as the trump card in political disagreements is a lowly way to stifle dissent. During the administration of George W. Bush, we were told that dissent was patriotic as anti-war demonstrators took to the streets. Politicians, Republicans, were hung in effigy, surrounded by angry protesters, threatened with citizen arrest, and with death.

SEIU union thugs have bussed union employees to the homes of Wall Street executives to shout and picket in front of their family and neighbors. SEIU thugs are captured on video beating Tea Party protesters - as they wear SEIU t-shirts. New Black Panther Party thugs in full regalia and night sticks stood at polling places in Philadelphia to intimidate voters. Conservative speakers on college campuses are not allowed to give speeches due to hateful speech and behavior of those who disagree with them. What kind of education does this teach students - just shout down your opponent or threaten them with physical attack and they will go away?

The days of the of the Democratic party throwing the race card and Republicans allowing that to end the debate are over. Republicans have learned that going away in silence only emboldens the hateful behavior. Did the Democrats think that the horrific behavior of the past 10 years at their hands would have no repercussions?

Politicians and other national figures are in the big leagues. They know the risks of voicing a political opinion to the masses. They all have personal security details for that very reason. They are not being opposed because the president is a bi-racial man. They are not being protested because of any one's skin color. They are being opposed because the people do not want what they are ramming through.

Democrats: you reap what you sow. You have only yourselves to blame.


srp said...

I believe whole heartedly that most of the threats are trumped up... something to try and gain sympathy for them from the public. Where was the outrage when signs calling President Bush a Nazi and evil as Hitler showed up at the presidential inauguration last year? Celebrities get on TV and verbally abuse and threatened President Bush often. The vile hatred that came from Rachel Maddow and company against President Bush was amazing.... yet, where was the Democratic outrage.

Trumped up imaginary threats... most are.
Others are from fringe angry people... no violence or threats should be condoned..... for either side. Take note liberals.... GROW UP!!

Montana said...

Since their inception the Teaparty crowd (not a movement since they do have the numbers or clout) have been “haters not debaters”. In my opinion this is what the small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. They are good at “Follow the Leader” of their dullard leaders, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think? The world is complicated and most republicans (Hamiliton, Lincoln, Roosevelt) believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although some republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe most of them are just going along and fanning the flames.

Karen said...

The Tea Party movement - yes a movement - is not fueled with hate. That is your projection. And, a good portion of the movement is filled with Independents, which have fled from Obama's agenda in droves. Speaking of Reagan, he 'inherited' a mess like no other in recent history from Carter. He, however, didn't persistently whine and complain that he had a job for which he campaigned and wanted. Leadership comes from the top.
To assume it is threats and unruly behavior from them shows a suspension of disbelief. Politicans have dealt with bad behavior and criminal behavior from the beginning of time, no matter the party. Open your own eyes.