I've been on the "sedition" watch for awhile -- see here, here, and here -- but the reaction to the health care bill and reaction to the reaction has been something rather beyond ham-handed and ill-conceived denunciations of "tea bag treason." This is serious.
So the Wall Street Journal editorializes Friday:
Democrats in Congress enacted ObamaCare in a process so ugly and so heedless of public opinion that many Americans are rightly angry. But a few people have expressed their anger in ugly and lawless ways. Several Democratic Congressmen say that protesters outside the Capitol last weekend yelled racial slurs at them. Yesterday House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters that at least 10 of his Members have received threatening phone calls. The district offices of four Congressmen have also reported incidents of vandalism.
It hardly needs saying that such behavior is intolerable. Those who commit crimes should be arrested and prosecuted, and racist rhetoric is offensive and should be denounced, as Republican leaders have done.
But the Democrats have seized upon these isolated incidents as a way to demonize opposition. Tim Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told the Huffington Post that Republicans are "going to own part of the slurs cast at members of Congress, people vandalizing members of Congress's offices."
If that were the case, then Democrats would "own" attacks on Republicans, too...
The editorial goes on to discuss the shooting at Eric Cantor's office, which is bad enough. Thank goodness nobody was hurt. But the more scurrilous charge may be the "threat" at Sen. Mel Carnahan's home. These sorts of stories can get out of hand quickly. Everyone should take a breath. But then taking a breath might not be politically advantageous.