"Forty-five years ago, John Lewis began the third of what became society-shifting civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. On Sunday, the anniversary of that famous trek, he joined hands with fellow House Democrats and marched past jeering protesters into the Capitol to remake the nation's health care system....Mr. Lewis said he was not intimidated as he walked to the Capitol with his colleagues, including Ms. Pelosi. In 1965, Mr. Lewis was bloodied and beaten by the police as he marched for civil rights." - Congressional reporter Carl Hulse, March 22.
"But the laughs evaporated soon enough. There's nothing entertaining about watching goons hurl venomous slurs at congressmen like the civil rights hero John Lewis and the openly gay Barney Frank. And as the week dragged on, and reports of death threats and vandalism stretched from Arizona to Kansas to upstate New York, the F.B.I. and the local police had to get into the act to protect members of Congress and their families. How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn't recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht. The weapon of choice for vigilante violence at Congressional offices has been a brick hurled through a window. So far." - Columnist Frank Rich, March 28.
"The far-right extremists have gone into conniptions. The bullying, threats, and acts of violence following the passage of health care reform have been shocking, but they're only the most recent manifestations of an increasing sense of desperation....Even the optics must be irritating. A woman (Nancy Pelosi) pushed the health care bill through the House. The bill's most visible and vocal proponents included a gay man (Barney Frank) and a Jew (Anthony Weiner). And the black man in the White House signed the bill into law. It's enough to make a good old boy go crazy....Instead of jettisoning the radical language, rabid bigotry and rising violence, the Republicans justify it." - Columnist Charles Blow, March 27.
"What has been really striking has been the eliminationist rhetoric of the G.O.P., coming not from some radical fringe but from the party's leaders....For today's G.O.P. is, fully and finally, the party of Ronald Reagan - not Reagan the pragmatic politician, who could and did strike deals with Democrats, but Reagan the anti-government fanatic, who warned that Medicare would destroy American freedom." - Columnist Paul Krugman, March 26.
"It wasn't just the death panel smear. It was racial hate-mongering, like a piece in Investor's Business Daily declaring that health reform is 'affirmative action on steroids, deciding everything from who becomes a doctor to who gets treatment on the basis of skin color.'" - Columnist Paul Krugman, March 22.
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