Getting Scary Out There
Ezra Klein comments on the recent spate of vandalism and intimidation against Dem officials across the country:
I don't want to exaggerate the importance of the death threats being made against congressmen who voted for health-care reform. Nuts are nuts. But there is a danger to the sort of rhetoric the GOP has used over the past few months. When Rep. Devin Nunes begs his colleagues to say "no to socialism, no to totalitarianism and no to this bill"; when Glenn Beck says the bill "is the end of America as you know it"; when Sarah Palin says the bill has "death panels" -- that stuff matters.
And the stuff on talk radio, of course, was worse. So take the universe of people who really respect right-wing politicians and listen to right-wing media. Most of them will hear this stuff and turn against the bill. Some will hear this stuff and really be afraid of the bill. And then a small group will hear this stuff and believe it and wonder whether they need to do something more significant to stop this bill from becoming law. And then a couple will actually follow through. And one will cut the gas lines leading to house of Rep. Tom Perriello's brother after seeing a tea partyer post the address online.
Max Fisher rounds up more reaction to the violence.
(Palin's map was pair with the tweet, "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!")