Imaginary problems, real threats

IMAGINARY PROBLEMS, REAL THREATS…. Far-right critics of health care reform have come up with all kinds of strange problems with Democratic proposals, and nearly all of them are the result of coordinated lies and/or overactive imaginations.

That said, the right-wing responses to these fantasies are all too real.

Another Democratic Congressman now says he has received threats over the health care bill: Dennis Moore of Kansas.

Moore told the Fox affiliate in Kansas City that he has received two separate threats in the last ten days. Moore also said that because of the threats, and because of the examples he’s seen from other members’ town halls, he won’t be hold any town halls himself.

Moore is the third Democratic member of Congress to publicly acknowledge receiving these threats, not including the swastika found at a Georgia Democrat’s office this week, or the Maryland Democrat who was hanged from a noose in effigy in front of his district office.

At the same time, at least two Democratic lawmakers have also received faxes that depict President Obama as the Joker and warned of “Death to All Marxists! Foreign and Domestic!”

This comes at the same time federal officials are increasingly concerned with “lone attackers who may be contemplating politically charged assaults,” and there’s evidence of a recent rise in anti-government militia activity.

I don’t think we’ve seen this kind of toxic political environment since … the last time there was a Democratic president, and the right-wing base was convinced he was a drug-dealing, murdering communist hell-bent on destroying the American way of life.

It’s worth emphasizing that there are key and significant differences between the routine conservative American, the far-right activists carrying Hitler signs and shutting down town-hall meetings, and those literally threatening violence against American officials.

But given the circumstances, the responsible thing for Republican/conservative leaders to do would be to at least consider turning down the volume a bit. Maybe curtail the lies a little, and scale back on the most vile attacks. It would do us all a lot of good.