Tea Party activists, ginned up on Republican rhetoric about tyranny, socialism, and death panels, have been lashing out directly at Democrats across the country. On Capitol Hill, members of Congress faced slurs and one was even spat on. Around the country, death threats have poured in along with numerous reports of vandalism.
Given all that has happened over the past week, it’s incredible that some Republicans are trying to blame the victim. For instance, NRCC spokesman Andy Sere accused Rep. Tom Perriello of using a potentially life-threatening act of vandalism as a ‘cynical ploy to distract Virginians.’
Rep. Cantor upped the ante by accusing Democrats of ‘dangerously fanning the flames’ by supposedly politicizing the threats against them. He continued:
I’m not naive enough to think that letters, statements or press releases will prevent anyone disturbed enough to commit violence from acting. But I do know that such letters, statements and press releases can very easily fan the flames. By ratcheting up the rhetoric, some will only inflame these situations to dangerous levels. Enough is enough. It has to stop.
But this is hypocritical nonsense. The GOP strategy on health care all along has been to whip Americans into a frenzy over “Obamacare” by using extreme rhetoric and imagery. In fact, Cantor is scheduled to be the featured speaker on a conference call later today organized by the S.T.O.P. Obama Tyranny National Coalition.
So rather than owning up to their rhetoric and the effect it’s had, all indications are that Republican leaders will continue to incite the Tea Partiers while looking the other way whenever things get out of hand.