Right-wing blogs have responded to reported threats against Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill by trivializing the threats or suggesting that the reports are false, condemning the threats but making excuses for them, suggesting that Democrats themselves are to blame for receiving the threats, or suggesting other acts of violence that people could commit against their congressional representative.
Right-wing blogs trivialize threats, make excuses, blame Democrats
Big Government: “We doubt these threats are actually real and, certainly wouldn't condone them.” In a March 25 post, the “Editorial Panel” of Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com wrote: “Democrats and the leftist media are all atwitter about alleged threats of violence against Congressmen who voted for ObamaCare. We doubt these threats are actually real and, certainly wouldn't condone them.” The post continued: “But, here's a tip: Hey Democrats, if you are worried about an angry public, how about not passing a sweeping government expansion opposed by 70% of the public. Just a thought.”
Big Journalism's Walsh: Media “never once stops to question whether the Alinsky Party is, you know, exaggerating or even lying.” In a March 24 post on Breitbart's BigJournalism.com about a report noting House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer warned Democrats about potential violence, Michael Walsh wrote: “Naturally, the media accepts this allegation at face value, and never once stops to question whether the Alinsky Party is, you know, exaggerating or even lying -- as the spiritual mentor of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton taught it to do." Walsh later stated: “So listen up, MSM [mainstream media], and consider this speaking out: God forbid that anything should happen. But if it does happen, try not to leap to pre-planted conclusions that fit the narrative: 'Democrats good/Republicans bad.' ”
Gateway Pundit: "Suddenly the State-Run Media is Horrified that Politician's [sic] Home Addresses Are Published on the Internet." In a March 24 post responding to reports that the FBI is investigating an incident at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-VA) brother, at which a gas line was allegedly cut, Jim Hoft wrote, “Suddenly the State-Run Media is Horrified that Politician's [sic] Home Addresses Are Published on the Internet.” Hoft further wrote: “This week an angry tea party activist published the address of a Virginia Congressman on his blog and suggested that Tea Party Protesters go visit this socialist at home... The tea party organizer did not direct anyone to harm the Congressman. But, that won't stop the leftist media from going berserk over the incident."
Confederate Yankee: "[H]ave a swing" at “your Congressman” instead. In a March 24 blog post, right-wing blogger Confederate Yankee wrote that it is “totally unacceptable to threaten” Congress members' “relatives or friends and put them in danger.” Confederate Yankee added: “Go to your Congressman's office and scream at him in the most colorful language possible. Hang him in effigy at protests. If you're willing to do the time for the crime, have a swing at him.”
NewsBusters: “The Media's Myth of Right Wing Violence.” In a March 24 NewsBusters post, Mithridate Ombud wrote that while "[t]hose who commit violence in the name of politics deserve political change no more than they deserve leniency in sentencing," President Obama's “desire to continue ramming through the most divisive legislation -- against his own creed -- isn't helping bring calm to even the most peaceful conservatives. And while the evidence of a violent right is scarce, there's no limit to liberals attempting to make conservatives look evil." Ombud further stated, “Whether this is a shortcut to 2nd Amendment action, valid concern, or just a bunch of crybaby progressive politicians over reacting to criticism, it's hard to tell." Ombud concluded: “The media and politicians who are trying to construct a meme of conservative violence as we run up to the 2010 elections should only face the weapon they fear most; the ballot.”
Dan Riehl: “Dems Have Only Themselves To Blame For Threats.” In a March 24 post on his blog titled, “Dems Have Only Themselves To Blame For Threats,” Dan Riehl wrote: “No one should seriously enjoy seeing this type of thing going on. Though, I'd add, the Netroots crowd would have absolutely no problem with this were the shoe on the other foot. But it's not. It's on theirs." Riehl later wrote of Democrats who received threats: “These malignant little tyrants want to play the victim? After victimizing America with their pathetic antics, their corrupt practices, all to push a destructive ideology America has long rejected? The Democrats are the real criminals here. They have torn the fabric of America with a repulsive world view they now hope to thrust upon the American people, whether we like it, or not.”
John Hinderaker: Threats “being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted” over health care reform. In a March 24 Powerline post, John Hinderaker wrote, “We condemn political violence in virtually all circumstances; certainly in all circumstances that could arise in our democracy.” Hinderaker later wrote that "[t]he current threats (assuming they are real, as I assume some of them are) are being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted over their adoption of a government medicine program through a series of legislative maneuvers that are in some respects unprecedented." From Hinderaker's post:
We condemn political violence in virtually all circumstances; certainly in all circumstances that could arise in our democracy. Threats of violence, sadly, are not uncommon in politics; let alone “harassment.” Even insignificant conservatives like us have been threatened with violence on several occasions, and the linked article notes that Jim Bunning received threats after he temporarily held up the extension of unemployment benefits a few weeks ago.
The current threats (assuming they are real, as I assume some of them are) are being played up in the press because the Democrats want to dampen the anger that has erupted over their adoption of a government medicine program through a series of legislative maneuvers that are in some respects unprecedented. It is important for the Democrats and their press minions to understand that there are many millions of Americans who regard Obamacare not just as misguided public policy, but as an illegitimate usurpation of power. I am one of the many millions who are outraged at the Left's attempt to destroy the private health care system that has served my family so well, and who regard Obamacare as illegitimate.
As for the threats, we will take them more seriously if they result in the cancellation of a public appearance by a liberal due to security concerns. But that never happens to liberals, only to conservatives. It happened again last night. That was in Canada, of course; the home of government medicine and little regard for free speech. No coincidence, that.
Lopez: “Threats are wrong. But they also are somewhat commonplace.” In a post on National Review Online's The Corner blog, Kathryn Jean Lopez quoted from Hinderaker's Powerline post and downplayed the threats against Democrats:
Threats are wrong. But they also are somewhat commonplace. Take deep breaths and work harder, is my advice to anyone to receives one.
Let's not pretend that Obamacare critics are all violent or otherwise breed violence. And let's not pretend that John Boehner and Eric Cantor, or Jonah Goldberg and Kathryn Lopez, haven't been subject to ridiculous -- albeit disconcerting -- threats, too. This is bad news, but it didn't materialize this Saturday or Sunday with a “Don't Tread on Me” flag.
Fox News figures condemn threats against Democrats -- but then make excuses for them
As Media Matters for America has noted, several Fox News hosts and guests -- including Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade; Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, S.E. Cupp, Charles Krauthammer, and Stephen Hayes -- have been quick to first condemn the threats against Democrats but then immediately make excuses for or dismiss the seriousness of the threats.