VIDEO: Anti-Health Care Reformers Turn to Threats of Violence

In a chilling collection of anecdotes, Rachel Maddow last night connected the dots between a handful of instances of threatened and parodied violence against Democratic, pro-health care reform legislators and the known tendency towards violence among the radical right in the United States, as evidenced recently by the murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.  A staged lynching of a Congressman in Maryland, a mock tombstone with a Congressman’s name on it in Texas, death threats to a member of Congress in North Carolina, weapons carried into town halls — all from health care reform opponents — grimly foreshadow a turn to real violence.

"What is not politics as usual is that opponents of health
care reform have chosen to fight it this time with force and with
threats of force," observes Maddow.  "Not just fringe talk show hosts, but members of Congress are telling their
constituents that Obama like Hitler, that they have a right to be afraid that health care reform is a
plot to kill the elderly."  Maddow asks, "Has enough kerosene been poured on the
flames that the possibility of violence, even assassination, is being
posited as a real political tactic in the United States?"

Maddow’s guest, Dr. Warren Hern, director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic, discussed with Maddow the reality of the extreme right’s resorting to violence.  As Maddow observed, "People in the health care field already face assassination…The possibility of American politics turning to violence is not theoretical."


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  • invalid-0

    Obama still not find vault birth certificate

    He go back to Hawaii for 5 day but only have time to visit sick grandmother for hour
    and still find no paper. Media too busy to help. They have important thing to do like
    find out if Joe Plumber in union and lie about health care.

    Therefore, I Igor produce Obama Birth Certificate at

  • invalid-0

    I don’t think resorting to violence is the answer to our political problems–hurting other people is not right. But this should show us something. Obviously, the American people are not happy with Obamacare and don’t want it around. I hope the president gets that message through his thick skull.

  • invalid-0

    Obviously, the American people are not happy with Obamacare and don’t want it around.

    No, this isn’t obvious, actually—unless if by “the American people” you mean “a few loudmouthed loonies organized and funded by the Rupublican Party and the healthcare industry.” What is obvious is that the current system is untenable, and that this reform is badly needed.

  • independentminded


    Obviously, the American people are not happy with Obamacare and don’t want it around

    is an oxymoron, because most Americans do favor healthcare reform. I’m admittedly not crazy about Obama’s public option plan and I support a single-payer Universal Healthcare plan for the United States, as do most people, both medical caretakers and average citizens alike. However, the violent rhetoric, threats, and in a number of cases, violent actions here in the United States, which, btw, aren’t new, have been taken to a whole new and more dangerous level than has previously existed. The trouble is, though, that once the genie is out of the bottle and the masses have been whipped up, the whole situation’s more dangerous and harder to control.

  • michelle

    Resorting to violence is not the answer to any problems and hurting other people is not right way of doing things. Obviously, the American people are not happy with Obamacare and don’t want it around.