Van Hollen on protesters hanging Dem. congressman effigy: It was a ‘shocking and despicable act of hate.’

Yesterday, ThinkProgress and other sites called attention to anti-health care protesters who recently hung up an effigy of Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) outside his district office in Salisbury, MD. The city was also the site of a recent symposium on the dangers of “government-run health care,” sponsored by a group called “Patients First,” a project of the lobbyist-funded Americans for Prosperity. Today, DCCC chairman and Maryland congressman Chris Van Hollen put out a statement condemning hanging effigies of federal lawmakers:

This shocking and despicable act of hate has no place in any debate and Republicans must condemn it.

While there should be a robust exchange of ideas about the best way to reform our broken health insurance system, violent expressions are beyond the boundaries of a respectful and civilized debate. With skyrocketing health care costs hurting more families each day, we cannot afford to have this serious debate sidetracked by outrageous displays like this.

The American people are counting on Republicans to join Democrats in a constructive way to help President Obama bring urgently-needed health insurance reform.