Since Congress’s health care debate, lawmakers have recieved countless death threats, had their buildings vandalized, have had white powder mailed to their offices, and have had to get police protection. One tea party blogger has even warned that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) life is in danger and that there may be a “thousand little Waco’s.”
Yesterday, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) spoke alongside Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA) at a press conference in Atlanta organized to air Republican opposition to the health care bill that just passed. At one point, Gingrich was asked about the death threats and vandalism lawmakers who supported the bill have been recieving. After stressing that “there is no place for this viciousness” and condemning the various threats and violent acts, Gingrich went on to explain that the Democratic leadership “has to take some moral responsibility” for encouraging death threats and terrorism because of the way they conducted the health care debate:
GINGRICH: Just as there was no place for the kind of viciousness against Bush and Cheney, there’s no place for viciousness against Democrats. I would condemn any kind of activity that involves that kind of personal threat. But look, I think there’s something very disingenuous about the Democratic leaders who attacked the tea party movement, who refused to hold town hall meetings, who refused to go back home, who kept the Congress locked up in Washington, and are now shocked that people are angry. I think the Democratic leadership has to take some moral responsibility for having behaved with such arrogance, in such a hostile way, that the American people are deeply upset. So let’s be honest with this. This is a game that they’re playing. People should not engage in personal threats. I’m happy to condemn any effort to engage in personal threats. But I think the Democratic leadership has to take some real responsibility for having run a machine that used corrupt tactics, that bought votes, that bullied people, and as a result has enraged much of the American people. And I think it’d be nice for President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid to take some responsibility over what their actions have done to this country.
Listen to it:
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Gingrich has accused his political opponents of provoking terrorism. After the tragic Virginia Tech shootings, he called on the “liberal elite” to “take responsibility” for creating a world where such tragedies were possible. And on the eve of the 2006 elections, Gingrich appeared on Fox News and said that the the Democrats’ “whole approach is to blame [America] for what, in fact, [terrorists] do. I think it tells you how deep the sickness is in the left wing of the Democratic Party.” It appears now that Gingrich is blaming America in an attempt to rationalize right-wing terrorism.
(HT: Jim Galloway)