CLICK TO ENLARGE
Update 8/9/09. A_Mad_American deleted this offensive posting. Too late though as many other Twitter users were able to notice it and I kept a screen image of it.
Update 8/10/09. A_Mad_American Twitter account does not exist anymore. The post threatening the families of members of Congress was just an example of all the hate posts from this mad "American".
"@GregWHoward Its time to punish congress by wacking their families! They'll get the messages fast! "
I highlighted this Twitter post from A_Mad_American where this certainly mad "American" states that is a good idea to MURDER the families of members of Congress, as a punishment for what I guess is...
*voting for the Stimulus bill that has rescued the nation from the Bush recession and avoided the Bush depression,
*voting for the Climate/Energy bill (House),
*confirming Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court,
*supporting Health Care Reform that will provide health coverage and therefore access to care to most Americans and will improve quality while reducing cost,
*in general for supporting Obama.
While many may have lowered their expectations so badly that they consider this behavior from this type of conservatives understandable and normal, it is nevertheless disturbing. We see how right wing mouthpieces from Rush Limbaugh to Fox News and the usual gang drum up the emotions of some to the point that these crazy loonies go from listeners of these shows to make threats, that nobody takes seriously, to killing doctors and cops. Will these threat to the families of members of Congress become something regrettable later? I do not know. But what I know is that Dr. Tiller was threatened before he was murdered, and even in the recent gym shooting the killer stated his intentions on blog postings.
On the current health care reform debate, conservatives have orchestrated a coordinated effort to disrupt debate, confuse and scare the population. They have used the usual channels like Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and organizations supported by well known Republican and conservative operatives. As the heat of this process continues rising and the frustration of conservatives increases, we can only expect a repetition of the last days of the McCain/Palin campaign where the shouts of support for McCain/Palin became shouts for the death of Obama. This time the shouts against Obama and reform are apparently degenerating in shouts for punishment of members of Congress, in this case, by murdering their families.
So again, how serious should we take online threats? Well, experience is showing that online threats are not just some "colorful" expression of free speech anymore, but unfortunately in some cases they have become something else, a prediction of pain to come toward innocent people.