Scripps Howard columnist Ann McFeatters, "Lynch-Mob Mentality Stirs Health-Care Debate":
Americans are flocking to town-hall meetings, screaming and shouting down nonplussed legislators, brandishing guns and throwing around false rumors as if they were hand grenades. [...]
Do we not want to make the best of this brief window of opportunity to make changes aimed at benefiting millions, bringing down costs and helping small businesses?
Syndicated columnist Gene Lyons, "The Lunatics Are No Longer on the Fringe":
It's not possible to reason with people peddling grotesque and preposterous lies, bargain with people who are screaming, or negotiate under threats of violence.
It's not a professional wrestling exhibition, it's our democracy. Persons whose behavior would get them thrown out of a Rolling Stones show should be removed by security. Period.
Media columnist Michael Wolff, "The Nutters Are Coming to Get You":
They've always been here. But the nutters are surfacing in a way and to a degree that is finally catching the agape attention of non-nutters. It is not only the ferocity of their anger that is surprising, but the focus of it: this birth certificate stuff, the death panel business, the tea bags, and the apparently heartfelt belief that the end of America is upon us. [...]
This might also be called demographic rage. It isn't shared across the social and economic spectrum. It's limited to…well, the stupids.
Tides Foundation Chair Melissa Bradley, "Speaking Power to Truth":
As progressive ideas like green jobs become mainstream, the right is clearly threatened. Their falsehoods and perception warping is intensifying. So what do we do? Basking in our infamy can be fun, but it's time for the vast left wing conspiracy to link arms, step into our power and fight back. There's been a significant change in our ability to influence the public agenda, and just because we are in power, doesn't mean that our work hasn't diminished. In fact, we all need to pick it up several notches to reverse the erosion of rights that has gone on for the past 30 years.
Gawker's John Cook, "GOP: Pay No Attention to Our Crazy Supporters Who Want to Kill Obama":
These death threats aren't threats—they're challenges. They're attempts to inject into the public debate the sense that violence is a legitimate response to political defeat. As someone in the blogosphere whom we can't presently recall wrote yesterday, the appropriate response to a president who advocates rounding up the elderly and sending them before death panels is—if it seems like he's on the cusp of achieving that goal—to kill or rebel against him. And each publicized call for Obama's death adds to the public perception that we've reached a decision-point about whether it's time for killing. Every sign—even if the bearer is merely an angry loon who could never get close to Obama—is an inducement to someone who is willing to try. It's a message to fellow travelers, a signal that they are not alone in their rage, a promise of glory to come if they actually manage to get the job done. As we said before, there are always people who want to kill the president. The question is how many give it a shot. And the more of these signs there are in the background of Fox News' live report from some town hall in Missouri saying that someone should give it a shot, the more people actually will. And the more people that give it a shot, the more likely someone is to hit the jackpot.
And today's right-of-center commentator who concurs? David Frum, "The Reckless Right Courts Violence":
Nobody has been hurt so far. We can all hope that nobody will be. But firearms and politics never mix well. They mix especially badly with a third ingredient: the increasingly angry tone of incitement being heard from right-of-center broadcasters.
The Nazi comparisons from Rush Limbaugh; broadcaster Mark Levin asserting that President Obama is "literally at war with the American people"; former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin claiming that the president was planning "death panels" to extirpate the aged and disabled; the charges that the president is a fascist, a socialist, a Marxist, an illegitimate Kenyan fraud, that he "harbors a deep resentment of America," that he feels a "deep-seated hatred of white people," that his government is preparing concentration camps, that it is operating snitch lines, that it is planning to wipe away American liberties": All this hysterical and provocative talk invites, incites, and prepares a prefabricated justification for violence.
And indeed some conservative broadcasters are lovingly anticipating just such an outcome.
Plenty of hyperlinks in Frum's original. Yesterday's race war headlines here.