Amidst violence, lip service is not leadership

As I said before, for all the political unrest, incivility, vandalism and violence that is now happening across the country against those who supported health reform, the GOP has blood on its hands.  Well, apparently, Republicans are now concerned about their image, and are running around doing damage control, giving lip service to opposing violence.  House Republican whip Eric Cantor and Minority Leader Boehner both issued statements to that effect.

From a press briefing held by Majority Leader Hoyer and Majority Whip Clyburn, we now know that at least 10 Democratic members of Congress have asked for extra security because of physical threats.



However, while Republican and conservative leaders are running to dissociate themselves from the violence, none of them is actually admitting that their vile rhetoric has contributed to the problem nor disavowing these groups. Prominent conservative bloggers are still getting away with this:
The important part is this: If this abominable, unconstitutional, usurperous, injurious, unsustainable and ruinous new health care law has a mere ten legislators [sic] afraid for their safety, then this country might already be too far gone to save itself.
What is the Republican party's culpability in this, you ask?  Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), one of GOP's point persons on health care, just today called health reform "undoubtedly the greatest assault on liberty this country has ever had." Davis Shuster set him straight on that count.



This strategy of fear and division, of course, has been sanctioned by and used to make money for the Republican party.  Earlier this month, we found out that:
The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to "save the country from trending toward socialism."
Just a simple statement of "Oh we don't like violence" isn't enough after the national leadership of the Republican party has ginned up exactly the kind of incendiary rhetoric that are now resulting in violence.  This is not working to defuse violence and violent rhetoric.  Lip service is not enough.  They need to sever ties with these groups, or at a minimum, appear in their rallies to condemn violence.  They need to strongly speak out against this type of behavior in the amply available conservative media outlets.  They need to pen op-eds asking for violence to stop in unequivocal, unqualified and unconditional terms.