There's a lot of perfectly legitimate opposition to the health care bill, embodied by Representative Frank LoBiondo himself -- his decision to vote no. That he and I disagree is something we can talk about. (He uses votes, speeches and press releases, and I have a blog.)
But there's a big difference in a republic between saying NO and calling for acts of violence. Cut gas lines, bricks thrown through windows, faxed nooses. An atmosphere of mob violence is being created as some right-wing extremisms follow their absurd accusations of socialism and fascism to the "logical" conclusion of revolution and violence. Some will become terrorists as they imagine they are facing a tyrannical government. It's not the vast majority I'm talking about, but a few. Not only Muslims suicidally ram planes into government buildings. And to a liberal, the mob violence of the 1870s-1960s used to oppress blacks suggests this not as foreign a desire as we'd like to think. (And no doubt a conservative will be quick to point to leftist violence here and around the world.)
Frank LoBiondo is not responsible for this -- I think he's more afraid of the Tea Party than aligned with them, and I haven't seen such extreme language from him -- but he has the opportunity to condemn anti-health care reform violence. Call for disappointed conservatives to express their unhappiness at the ballot box or peaceful demonstrations, not violence. Some thing very dangerous is being deliberately unleashed in America, and no moderate, "Main Street" Republican can be comfortable with it.
January 19: late for meeting and work
12 hours ago