More Health Care, More Problems - NBC4 Washington

More Health Care, More Problems

Threats against the president declines, as threats against lawmakers increase



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    The number of death threats against President Obama is declining but it's increasing against his party members in Congress.

    President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day was a historical day for more than one reason -- the surge in death threats. And now President Obama is considered a regular ol’ President when it comes to threats, U.S News reports.

    “It’s now at a level where it was with other presidents, and that’s a good thing,” Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told U.S. News. “It was an historical election, and there was a lot of sensitivity out there. I think one of the best partners we have is the public, and the public does bring this to our attention.”

    But now that we’ve hit another historical point in Obama’s term -- the passage of health care reform -- the number of threats has declined against the president but increased against his fellow party members.

    Several members of Congress have reported death threats after voting for the health care reform bill.  Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.)is one of the latest targets. His brother’s gas line was cut after the home address was posted on local Tea Party Web sites, mistakenly believing it was the congressman’s home. In a statement, Perriello said:

    While it is too early to say anything definitive regarding political motivations behind this act, it’s never too early for political leaders to condemn threats of violence, particularly as threats to other Members of Congress and their children escalate.

    Perriello is also one of the 20 re-election campaigns targeted by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. She lists the congressional districts for her supporters on her Facebook fan page, crosshairs included. All of the targeted districts were carried by the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008.

    The FBI is investigating the Perriello case and other cases of vandalism and threats. Democrat Bart Stupak has reported receiving voicemails containing death threats and profanity. Offices of two female Democrats had windows shattered by bricks and by a pellet gun.  Several lawmakers have reported protestors shouting the "N-word" or "F-word" as they walk on the Hill.  Now members are requesting additional security.

    While Democrats are pointing the fingers at Republicans for firing up the ugly crowds, the GOP denies the charge. Many say the rage is stemming from just how angry people are from the reform passage.