The Threats of Loss (Health Care Vigilantism)

What I meant to say was....

Sore losers.

I do understand.  When George W. Bush won the presidency in one of those two awful elections (I can’t remember which), I had to avoid my pro-Bush secretary from early November until the office Christmas Party.   This was not easy.   First of all, I really liked my secretary.  Secondly, I needed his help.

He didn’t taunt me; he didn’t gloat.

Still I felt so upset, so exposed, that I found myself gently avoiding direct contact, waiting until he was out getting a smoke before I passed by his desk to drop off a signed letter to be mailed, or a document to be filed.  (I used a lot of little post-its.)

What was even more galling was that his desk was en route to the office coffee/ tea machine, so I had to resort to long-cuts, i.e. detours through out-of-office corridors in order to fill up on my daily six or seven cuppas.

A hard-fought loss is painful,  leaves a bitter taste.  I understand that.   But I really am sick of what’s going on at the moment;  all this talk of Obama “ramming” the health care legislation through the Congress; Republicans and talk radio/TV conservatives acting as if Obama’s somehow done something unconstitutional or illegal to get the bill passed, as if a crowbar, a gun to the head, an arm behind the back, has been used, when, in fact, there was a vote of legally-elected senators and congressmen.

This is how the system works.  It is how it also worked under President Bush, who despite failing to win the popular vote in the first term, governed as if he had both an electoral mandate and divine fiat.  It is how it has worked since the U.S. government was formed.

Incendiary talk sparks slash and burn conduct.   The slurs aimed at congressmen who were going to vote in favor of the health care bill has now morphed into threats and vandalism against those who cast their votes.

Republican leader, John A. Boehner, has said that the violence is unacceptable, but in the same message he added, “I know many Americans are angry over this health care bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening.”   Come on, John.  You can do better than that.

Similarly, the guy that shouted out “Baby-killer” at Bart Stupak, Representative Randy Neugebauer, a conservative Republican from Texas, now claims that what he really said was ‘it’s a baby killer,” referring not to Stupak, but  to the agreement under which Obama said he would issue an executive order pledging that no federal funds be used for abortions.

Oh, please, Randy.   I’m sure that’s exactly what you meant.   And I just bet that’s what you are telling all the high-spirited people who are writing you to praise of the original “baby-killer” remark.  (Wink wink nudge nudge.)

Stupak has now received threatening phone calls.  Democrat Louise M. Slaughter has had a brick thrown through her office window.  The office of Representative Gabrielle Giffords (Democrat from Arizona) has been vandalized.  Black Congressman James Clyburn received a fax of a noose.   The brother of one Congressman, Tom Periello, had a propane line snipped (after his address was wrongly reported on a Tea Party website as the Congressman’s address.)

Is this from the folks so eager to protect the Constitution?

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