Rep. Dingle Blames Hate Talk; Tea Party Blames Giffords for Getting Shot as Two More Democrats Are Threatened with Death

January 12th, 2011 - by admin

AlterNet & Think Progress – 2011-01-12 23:30:50

Rep. John Dingell Recaps Most Inflammatory Comments Made by Right Wing Politicians and Pundits

(January 12, 2011) — Earlier today Rep. John Dingell did a recap of some of the more inflammatory statements made by right-wing politicians and pundits in the past two years.

“I want to read a few of the statements that I’ve seen that I find to be pretty awful,” said Dingell from the floor of the House, before running through some of the right-wing’s classy contributions to the political debate (including the desire to beat an elected official with a shovel, seeing another burst into flame, and a recurring reference to 2nd amendment’ remedies).

“Members of this body have a duty to speak out,” concluded Dingell, “As do members of the media who have been saying these kinds of things and leading us into a time when we create a threat not just to the lives and wellbeings of our members but also to the lives and wellbeing of this country and its debates.”

Watch Dingell’s Speech

Man Arrested For Threatening Rep. Jim McDermott’s Life
George Zornick / Think Progress

(January 12, 2011) — In the midst of a national discussion over the country’s political tone, a California man has been arrested for threatening the life of Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), apparently because McDermott opposed an extension of Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans.

Charles Turner Habermann of Palm Springs, CA was charged with threatening a federal official after he left disturbing voice mails at McDermott’s office on December 9:

In the first call, Habermann said he’d seen McDermott on television and was enraged by his comments opposing tax cuts for the rich.

“He’s a piece of human filth. He’s a liar, he’s a communist, he’s a piece of [expletive] garbage,” Habermann said in the recorded message, according to the criminal complaint. Habermann said George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other US founding fathers would “blow his [McDermott’s] brains out” if they met him.

Habermann then threatened to kill McDermott as well as his friends and family, the complaint says. In a second call, Habermann said he had “a lot of money” and “a lot of friends” and that McDermott was “going down.”

Yesterday, a Colorado man was arrested for threatening to shoot aides for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). John Troy Davis, 44, was apparently upset over his Social Security benefits and told staffers on the phone that “I’m just going to come down there and shoot you all.” According to police, Davis also threatened to set fire to the office and stated that he “may go to terrorism.”

Threats against members of Congress have increased 300 percent in the first few months of 2010, and 400 percent against the White House since January 2009. The US Marshals Service reports that “inappropriate communications” directed at the judiciary, US attorneys and other court officers have risen from 1,111 in 2006 to 1,390 in 2009.

Tucson Tea Party Founder Blames Giffords For Getting Shot:
‘The Real Case Is That She Had No Security’

Think Progress

TUCSON (January 12, 2011) — In March 2010, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) warned that the rhetoric from the tea parties and Sarah Palin was potentially dangerous. “I can say that in the years that some of my colleagues have served — 20, 30 years — they’ve never seen it like this… when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action,” she said on MSNBC.

Tuscon Tea Party co-founder Trent Humphries called Giffords’ previous concerns about violent rhetoric “political gamesmenship,” claiming that if Giffords was so concerned, then she is to blame for Saturday’s shootings because she “had no security whatsoever”:

“It’s political gamesmanship. The real case is that she [Giffords] had no security whatsoever at this event. So if she lived under a constant fear of being targeted, if she lived under this constant fear of this rhetoric and hatred that was seething, why would she attend an event in full view of the public with no security whatsoever?” he said. “For all the stuff they accuse her [Palin] of, that gun poster has not done a tenth of the damage to the political discourse as what we’re hearing right now.”

Humphries also told the Guardian that Saturday’s shootings in Tuscon are “evolving into a conspiracy to destroy his organization and silence criticism of the government.”

Incidentally, the same Tea Party rhetoric Humphries is so quick to defend is keeping him from attending the memorial service with President Obama tonight. Humphries told TPM that he received an anonymous phone call saying, “we’re going to stand against you and we’re going to use our First and Second Amendment rights to stop you” will keep him “out of public view for a while.”

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