March 24th, 2010
05:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Threats Against Democrats After Health Care Vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/24/congress.threats/story.capitol.police.jpg.jpg
caption="Capitol Police officers stand outside the Capitol Building Sunday evening before the vote on the health care reform bill." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

House Democrats met with Capitol Police and the FBI today after several of them reported vandalism and threats made against them following Sunday's health care vote.

More than 10 Democrats have reported trouble, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters.

"We are hopeful that all Americans will feel that clearly our democracy is about participation, our democracy is about differing and debate, and animated debate, and passionate debate, but it is not about violence," Hoyer said at the news conference with South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the number 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives.

The two House leaders are calling on Republicans to denounce the threats.

"We in this Congress have got to come together in a bipartisan way and tamp this foolishness down. It doesn't make sense," Clyburn said.

CNN's Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill with details on the vandalism and threats. It's unknown who's behind the attacks, but we do know one person encouraging the trouble.

Dana will report tonight on Mark Vanderboegh, a popular right wing extremist who on his blog last week wrote: "So, if you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows. Break them now."

John Avlon, of the Daily Beast, interviewed Vanderboegh late last year for his book "Wingnuts".

Avlon says Vanderboegh is the co-founder of the Three Percenters, a milita group that takes its name from a questionable statistic that only three percent of the American colonists actively fought for independence. Avlon writes that the Three Percenters describe themselves as "promoting the ideals of liberty, freedom and a constitutional government restrained by law."

Anderson will dig deeper with Avlon about this milita leader calling for attacks against Democrats.

We also continue our series "Kids in Peril: Obesity in America." 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to Tiger Green, a 12 year old boy who is 250 pounds. Dr. Gupta exposes what internal damage the boy could be doing to his health. Tiger isn't alone. Nearly one-third of American kids weigh too much.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Democracy? TOTHE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS. Dont you think anyone would be hostile towards their opposition? Democrats are drunk with power and are not thinking things through. Since when was government a power struggle within itself? Unfortunatly there is alot of colateral damage to AMERICAN CITIZENS. When will the government finally light the way for us and help its citizens of America?

    March 24, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  2. Laurie

    What in the world is wrong with this species? They are not human beings as they have no concept of common decency and respect for their fellow Americans. The Republican party has been aligning with this group of hooligans beginning last summer. inciting them at Tea Parties, rallying them with talk of death panels, pulling the plug on grandma, attending rallies with inappropriate and offensive posters and rhetoric. During the past weekend, Congressmen were taunted, spat at, and treated like dirt by the Republican's new constituents. I did not hear one Republican leader ever denounce this behavior which was perpetrated on their colleagues. If any of our fellow Americans or their loved ones are harmed, the Republicans, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and others bear partial responsibility. If these bullies would read a newspaper or watch a news show other than on Fox, they would understand that there is little to threaten people about. They also need to read the definition of democracy. Never stir a pot full of hatred and fear. You never know what may boil over.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  3. John in Washington State

    Why is it that any 11 year-old sixth grader in any school across the nation would be suspended from school for having a cross-hair target drawn on their schoolwork and/or for pubically slapping a classmate's picture in front of a large group of schoolmates and our leaders do this and there is no accountability? If our teachers tell their students to vandalize the cross-town rival's campus because they lost the big game over the weekend, by the next weekend, they're looking for a job. Is this not a teachable moment for the GOP?

    March 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  4. Chaarles

    Republican leaders and leading commentators who incite this behavior should lose their jobs and endorsements like those fired for using racial slurs. If they are endorsing products they should lose those endorsements.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  5. Cat in NM

    Ask yourself one simple question,

    ARE YOU AN AMERICAN OR A democrat?

    March 24, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  6. Richard

    I am so sick of these people calling this country a DEMOCRACY.Before you blog about the politics of this country why don't you actually know something. This country was founded on a REPUBLIC.Theres a huge Difference.It's pretty obvious people are not happy with this goverment and the way things are being run. It's looking like the "Goverment" is becoming the british and the people which have the right to fight any threat to the constition foreign or DOMESTIC which can include the goverment.Its no taliban style its called PATRIOTIC.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  7. Don

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    "...redress of grievances." Strangely, the Amendment that the Left has leaned upon so heavily through the years has suddenly become a problem. How convienient.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  8. tina

    This is what happends when Republicans cant get their own way! Typical! I hope the FBI catches these idiots ( whom seem to have too much time on their hands) and make an example out of them for their stupidity.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  9. Elle

    This is a DISGRACE! Adults like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck along with Republican congressmen rebel rousing in this way is repulsive and irresponsible and may possibly lead to someone really getting hurt.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  10. blake

    it scares me.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  11. Chip

    All this talk is a smokescreen to give cover to the dems for the monstrosity that is this bill. Deflect the criticism, try to create some false paradigm where anyone that criticizes this bill is somehow hate filled.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  12. Diana

    Finally the world sees the crazy right-wingers for what they are–a party of hate that incites violence and brings out the worst in America. Shame on them for not only not willing to acknowledge that the Health care reform bill was a compromise of their words and ideas. But now they have aroused hatred in people that they are now acting out. This is a democracy and it is based on votes and accepting differences–cordially. And they cannot say they did not incite it with Sarah (Thank God she was not elected as VP) asking people to re-load and have bullet shots on her map. That is why you failed and will continue to fail.

    Hope conquers and hate divides–and you just do not get it.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
  13. isaura


    I am saddened to see what is going on there....with all the violence against your country in the past, why is it happening within it. Politicians grow up, and work together, if u don't like the policy then fight the policy, don't attack the persons personally.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  14. Fernando F.

    remember this: RWANDA

    somebody with access to a radio started to spread lies about one ethnic group, over and over. What happened? the other ethnic group kill 800,000 of the other group.

    Republicans are doing the same. Outrageous lies against Democrats. And when somebody ask them something, they deny everything and they declare pacifists. Of course they are pacifists. They are not going to pick any brick (or shoot a gun as Sarah Palin is asking people to do with those cross hairs on her map). They are the cowards that basically pray for somebody else to do it for them.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  15. jci-1

    Those that voted Yes for this bill, deserve the action they are recieving from the public.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  16. blake

    This could lead to another civil war!!

    March 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  17. Bonnie

    Prosecute any one who is deliberately trying to undermine the current administration and seize control of the government for Treason. These politicians, political analysts and commentators should be held responsible for their propaganda.

    March 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
  18. Als

    The republicans need help they are crazy!! They are spoiled brats who are acting like 2 year olds who dont get their way!!! The leader looked like a fool when he spoke on the floor nothing he said made any sense!

    March 24, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  19. lynn in TN

    I am sad to see our country so divided and can image how we look to the rest of the world.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  20. Alice

    The leadership of the republican party should stand together to denouce these attacks and the people that incite them. Also, as in any crime if there are people who are guilty of inciting them or abeting, they should be procesecuted.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  21. Skip in FL

    The GOP has clearly demonstrated its loyalty is to corporate america and big money supporters rather than the people, They've lost it!

    March 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  22. Adolph Kopp

    The democrat leadership is calling for the republican leadership to condemn the violence against democrats, as if they (democrats) truly believe only republicans are disappointed in the passing of the health bill ( and/or HOW it was passed). All of our leaders need to speak out and call for calm, and EVERYONE should wait for the incidents to be investigated before deciding WHO is to blame. As for Mr. Vanderboegh, I don't believe in suppressing anyone's right to free speech, but sometimes an unruly child needs to be sent to the corner for awhile. And Ms. Palin, remove the target sites from your map, that was just foolish, and beneath someone of your stature don't you think!

    March 24, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  23. Bonnie in Missouri

    It's too sad that all of these people are doing so much to incite all of this hate. What makes the various threats, the broken windows, etc. any different than what the terrorists do? ALL of America should be worried about what is going on with this. I have always considered myself an Independent voting for whichever Party I felt would do the best job at the time and have voted for a number of Republicans. However, I will NEVER vote for a Republican again and I will do my best to get everyone else I know to do the same.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  24. Cheryl

    I hope the world is watching and seeing what the Republicans are capable of when they do not get their way. VIOLENCE! They and their right wing extremists are and have been inciting violence against Democrats. I am shocked that the news media is not doing more to expose them. What is happening is very serious. Will everyone wait until someone DIES!! They need to be stopped. They need to be called out. People like the Fox pundits, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Tea Partiers, Michael Savage and more have been iciting violence for a long time and it is coming to a serious head. People need to stand up against them.
    Are these the people you really want to lead you? Those who use violence in a democratic country to oppose? This is BIG!!!

    March 24, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  25. p miller

    Where is the proof that republicans are doing this, it could be the democrats that voted for obama who wished that they didn't, because they voted for a different change, republicans have not changed their minds about obama it is the democrats that have changed their minds.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  26. Bert

    I wonder if Sarah Palin has aspirations of being the next President of the United States. If she does, this is not the way to win friends and influence people, at least not clear headed, rationally thinking people. Who in their right mind would want a president who would even hint, however slightly, that people resort to the type of activity that going on now because thay don't like something? Everyone has a right to object, but crossbows on a map, spitting in an individual's face or calling them ugly names is the cowards way. Protest if you will, but be civil about it. I participated in demonstrations in the sixties, and there was cvil disobedience, but I can't recall any demonstrators being encouraged to make threats or destroy property. Sometimes rowdys did destroy property, but it wasn't because they were told to do it. These individuals were just thugs. Come on America!! We are better that that.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  27. Bobby

    I believe our country is becoming further and further apart, and i think our politicians should make a stand together before it gets worst. They work for the people, as well they need to adress the people, republicans and democrats.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  28. Ottis

    For weeks we have listened to Republicans and members of the right talk about the majority congress shoving this bill down the throats of Americans. Now we see after the passage that they would force their will upon us through violence and intimidation. I for one have not forgotten why I voted for President Obama, and as bad as this is I am glad they are showing us their true colors again. This is not a country that needs to be lead by those who hate.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  29. Chris in Bangkok

    Yet again I am sad to be an American. Why was it when the Republicans were in power we saw none of this? What happened to the freedoms that our country was founded upon? This is pure political terrorism and should be considered as such.

    I will be staying overseas for the next few years. I sincerely hope that I will be coming back to a "better" American; however I highly doubt it.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  30. Rose

    With gun toting Palin positioning herself in leadership, republicans shouting out in congress & during the President's address it's no wonder there's rage among the republicans but they just feed into the radicals. Republican leadership must take full responsibility.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  31. tina

    What sorry state of the country, that the two parties can"t even agree
    to disagree civilly.They are just a bunch of spoiled children who did't get their way

    March 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  32. Yolanda

    It is shameful. Republicans with their rhetoric are instigating all sorts of undesirable people to commit acts of violence. In my book that is not democratic, I would call it anarchy.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  33. Tim

    It is really sad that we have come to this point.

    However, it is a reflection of a political party that no longer is in power. power. They were in power for many years and are having a difficult time dealing with it.

    They are acting like a young kid who did not get there way. It is not about the american people but about them getting back in power.

    They had 8 years to deal with health care and did nothing. They had the opportunity to reform the system for the past 30 years and did nothing. How much longer were people supposed to wait. How many more people would have to die because we they wanted to wait to come up with something perfect. If you wait for perfect it would have never happened. . .

    March 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  34. Robert Nelson

    Since when is the constitutionally protected right of freedom to assemble " akin to terrorism " in the USA!? It seems to me that the Democrats pushing this country to a Socialist State are running scared & well they should be after defying the Will of the People with this Health Care Bill. You should be : " Keeping Them Honest " AC & asking how many of these terrorists were arrested over the weekend...

    March 24, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  35. Candace, NYC

    President Clinton was right when he spoke about this kind of toxic hate stirring after the Oklahoma City bombings and it's only gotten worse since those days. Republicans are completely disingenuous in their attempts to distance themselves from this dangerous rhetoric. They are deliberately stirring the pot and have been ever since Sarah Palin's rallies. You can't pour gasoline on rags and then pretend to be shocked when your friends light the matches.

    I agree 100% with Rep. Clyburn when he rightfully called it terrorism, and it's typical Republican doublespeak to accuse him of turning up the heat. If these "Tea Party" vandals were black, brown, or Muslim they would be rightfully condemned as domestic terrorists, but because they cloak their hatred in Christianity and faux patriotism it's considered "a different point of view". This is not about citizens exercising their right to free speech to disagree with public policy. This is a calculated effort by to silence, bully, and intimidate that this country has not seen since the Civil Rights Movement. And make no mistake, it is being deliberately engineered and egged on by the GOP. They have been using all the same dogwhistles that were used back in those days. I pray that all of this is stopped before someone gets hurt. This is an embarrassment to our country.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  36. Lynn Rush

    I applaud those who voted for health care reform. Seldom does anyone, anytime in their lives, have an opportunity to help so many.
    I also think that it is just a darn shame that some people would like to keep people from medical care, invoke God's name in so doing. Have these people not heard of thy brother's keeper? I believe that God wants others to help those who cannot do it themselves.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  37. Ava

    Sarah Palin needs to change her page!
    The repubs need to say more then, they're
    Just against violence.
    They need to be more responsible with their words.
    Where is the civility?

    March 24, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  38. Amy in utah

    How can we bring the country back together again?

    March 24, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  39. kelly

    the definition of terrorism: to envoke fear and/or hatred for political gain

    That pretty much describes the GOP and their followers!

    March 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  40. Amy

    Violence has never solved anything. I am disguisted that they would threaten our leaders just because they didnt get their way. Anderson have been a fan for years. Keep up the good work

    March 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  41. Ken from Ky

    I don't see why anyone is surprised by these threats when our Constitution is being trampled upon daily by the standing government. We are lucky it's not much worse. Our founding fathers would truly be ashamed of how America is and the socialist state it is becoming. Welcome to the USSA.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  42. dan

    Talk about sore losers. The Republicans lost the election, time to get over it and move on for the sake of the country.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  43. Tina

    This is disgusting. The sad part is no one will learn a lesson until someone gets hurt.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  44. Steve

    House Democrats are big hypocrites. Where were they when the movie of President Bush being assassinated was being played? Take our medicine and deal with it. For goodness sake stand by your vote, and if something happens at least you will have healthcare.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  45. Nicole from the Netherlands

    I thought I had seen enough when I saw the hallways of congress before the voting. Couldn´t believe what I´ve seen and heart. Where is this coming from? Why? This is again an unAmerican thing for me. What do they want to achieve by this behavour?

    March 24, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
  46. Annie Kate

    I wish I could say I am surprised at the threats and the vandalism, but unfortunately I'm not. The mood of this country has turned mean over the last decade or so – some don't care to help anyone but themselves and they don't want others helped if it means they will have to pay more in taxes or anything else. They don't want a government that does less – they don't seem to want a government at all. Looking forward to the show tonight and AC's interview of one of them.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  47. Mike in NYC

    "Hate" incidents are often revealed to be either complete hoaxes or staged, and I have little doubt that at least some of these are as well.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  48. Jackie FL

    Republicans are the party of NO and HATE. They don't have an ounce of compassion for others.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  49. Kashif Khan

    Reports of threats and vandalism? Do we really have to witness the American people come down to this means of communication. Whether its democrats or republicans, I think this means of trying to convey any message is useless and unworthy. What do violence or physical acts say that you cannot say with words or sentences?

    I hope we straighten our act and adapt to better means of expressing ourselves regardless of loss or victory, regardless or being the right or the left.

    March 24, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  50. Eileen, Virginia

    Republicans are using hate filled, fear mongering lies to whip up Tea Partiers to the point where bricks are being thrown through windows, Congressman are getting spat at and people's homes are being attacked. Rush Limbaugh freely talks about "wiping people out" and Sara Palin puts rifle site targets on Congressional candidates.

    These Taliban-style tactics have no place in our democracy. Republicans should be ashamed of themselves!

    March 24, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
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