I’m not sure John Boehner making a generic statement that violence, threats and vandalism aren’t legitimate parts of the Health Care Reform debate really cuts it. Especially when his own congressional campaign committee is actively downplaying the importance of violent incidents and even blaming them on the victims.
Thankfully, no one has been injured or killed. But this didn’t come from nowhere and it can’t be pawned off on a few cranks. Everything that’s happened over the last five days has grown from a pattern of incitement going back almost a year — wildly hyperbolic statements, coded appeals to menacing behavior, flippant jokes about bringing firearms to political events and all the rest. Now Eric Cantor (R-VA) is going on the attack, claiming that who’s really to blame here is the Democrats for making a big deal about these acts of violence against them.
No one who is even remotely honest can pretend that anything about this is bipartisan in character. The Right and yes the national Republican party has been stirring this pot for months. We all see this. Cantor’s behavior is shameful beyond imagining. It’s time for a truth moment for the national Republican party. Incitement matters. They have to take responsibility for what they’ve done: which is nothing less than a campaign of incitement for which they’re now unwilling to take any responsibility.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.