Having successfully wrested control of one-sixth of what used to be called the free market, Democrats in Congress are suddenly energized by the issue of political intimidation and even threats of violence. Such concerns were conspicuous by their absence when Black Panther goons patrolled Philadelphia voting booths carrying truncheons, or when SEIU thugs beat down tea partiers who left the plantation, but now it’s personal.
This is either a legitimate concern arising from the mutual antagonisms of increasingly polarized body politic, or the unseemly donning of the victim’s mantle by a political party that dominates the federal government of the most powerful country in the world. Or both.
The House Majority Leader voiced his concerns yesterday:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is warning that some of his Democratic colleagues are being threatened with violence when they go back to their districts — and he wants Republicans to stand up and condemn the threats.
he Maryland Democrat said more than 10 House Democrats have reported incidents of threats or other forms of harassment about their support of the highly divisive health insurance overhaul vote. Hoyer emphasized that he didn’t have a specific number of threats and that was just an estimate.
Hoyer – credit where it’s due – did a masterful job of counting to 216 on Sunday. Yesterday he had difficulty counting to maybe 10.
For the record – although I hope it scarce need be said – your correspondent is utterly opposed to and roundly condemns acts of violence or the threat of violence in our political discourse. The popular culture has already become so gross and vulgar that one may at least hope that a higher standard still obtains within the political culture of the world’s oldest democracy.
But – and you knew there had to be a but – I swore an oath to God that I would support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath did not bear an expiration date. When I see those who likewise swore such an oath apparently view that sacred document as a mere impediment to their no doubt well-intentioned policy and political ambitions, I get fidgety.
I forswear violence against those who would bring no violence to me or mine, but I will not be tyrannized. I will speak loudly and often, and refuse to be silenced, shouted down or shamed. I will work assiduously to protect the precious character of our unique and fragile national experiment in liberty, and work through our democratic process to oppose those who would make my choices for me.
And I am legion.