Threats, violence common reaction to political change





A coffin placed on a Missouri congressman's lawn. Bricks thrown through the windows of numerous Democratic Party offices. Death threats via phone, e-mail and fax flooding congressional offices....

"It all makes me ill," said Leonard Zeskind, president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, which has tracked the tea party movement. "It is a level of mendacity, social mendacity that has gripped
us."...

Violence has reared its ugly head repeatedly in American political history, from a politically motivated pistol duel between former Vice President Aaron Burr and former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton to the Civil War to the Oklahoma City bombing.

And while discourse may seem crude now, personal and political allegations in modern times pale in comparison to some of the shenanigans that took place in the 1800s.

Look no further than Sen. Charles Sumner, who in 1856 mocked both the speech patterns of the stroke-afflicted Sen. Andrew Butler and the physical appearance of Mr. Butler's mistress on the Senate floor.

Two days later, he was badly beaten with a cane on the Senate floor by Congressman Preston Brooks, a relative of Mr. Butler's, and injured so badly he did not attend Senate proceedings for the next three years.

Riots, threats and mob movements have followed the passage of other legislation, from the Whiskey Rebellion to the Civil Rights Act.

"There's a nasty threat of violence in American life -- there are obviously people for whom this is what they live for," said Mr. Zeskind. "The notion that you could, with impunity, attack people if you had certain racist views, that goes back to lynching for god sakes."...



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Greg L Reinders - 3/28/2010

Violence is the resort of is not new in politics, but it has historically the thugs of society, acting for someone above them I think the Tea bagger fit this.

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