Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anti-Obamacare violence?

During the Vancouver Olympics, some Korean netizens were so enraged at Jim Hewish, the judge who disqualified the South Korean team women's relay team in 2010 and Kim Dong-sung in 2002, that he got police protection both in Vancouver and in Sydney. Indeed, his address and a picture of his house had been put online by some of those same crazed Netizens, and there were legitimate fears for his safety [above image stolen from Brian's site].

I was reminded of that today when I read in the Los Angeles Times that Democratic supporters of the controversial healthcare that just passed have apparently been targeted. In some cases it's verbal assaults — racist and homophobic comments — but some of it is far more severe:
One of the most serious incidents involves a severed fuel line at the home of the brother of Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia. The cut line was discovered the day after tea party activists posted the address online. The incident is being investigated by the FBI.

“My No. 1 priority right now is ensuring the safety of my brother’s family, and I am grateful to law enforcement for their excellent work,” Perriello said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

“While it is too early to say anything definitive regarding political motivations behind this act, it’s never too early for political leaders to condemn threats of violence, particularly as threats to other members of Congress and their children escalate. And so I ask every member of House and Senate leadership to state unequivocally tonight that it is never OK to harm or threaten elected officials and their families with anything more than political retribution. Here in America, we settle our political differences at the ballot box,” he stated.
This goes beyond the pale, and I don't think it's out of line to blame the pundits — particularly those online or on the air — who use extremist rhetoric to describe their political foes as an un-American, anti-American, Marxist or Stalinist enemy that must be destroyed. Really, what the hell country is this?


  1. "Really, what the hell country is this?"

    This is the same country that went to war with England about taxation without representation and whose main founding father said this, "God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
    The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
    wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
    they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
    it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...
    And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
    warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
    resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
    to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
    in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
    time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    It is its natural manure."

    It's also the same country that tore itself apart with a brutal civil war.

    You are very naive if you don't think that it can't happen again. And it's actually been a really long run in which most of those in charge of running the country haven't had attacks made on their lives (like back in the 60's, and even on Ford and Reagan up until the early 1980's).

    All it takes is an ember to stoke a fire. I sure hope that this wasn't it.

  2. I'm not so naïve as to think it can't happen, but I'm not so sure that it should happen. We have a ballot process that should do the job of clearing out the dead wood before it all burns up. That, in fact, is why we did go to war in the 1770s: there was no ballot box and no representation (in England).

    What I find disturbing today, though, is that the Supreme Court has given rights of corporations above us as human individuals, which will lead to a distortion of the people's will. I hope that becomes something that the Democrats and reasoned Republicans will try to reverse, even if it requires a constitutional amendment.

  3. And at any rate, this is not violence against the government, it's misplaced aggression against a person who has no control over what's going on (the brother of a Congressman).

  4. This is probably a really dumb question, but what kind of fuel line are we talking about? And why are authorities assuming its related to the healthcare bill? I think someone used their jump to conclusions mat when they wrote this article.


Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.