The Extreme, Violent Rhetoric Of GOP Lawmakers Fanning the Flames of Hate

ThinkProgress/Lee Fang~Yesterday, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) falsely charged that his office was “directly threatened” in a gun attack. Cantor used the incident to provide partisan cover to his unruly GOP colleagues, who have been pandering to tea party activists with increasingly unhinged and extreme rhetoric.

Last weekend, as the House vote on health reform legislation neared, Republican lawmakers whipped tea party crowds into an angry mob. For instance, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) spoke to the crowd with a megaphone, conjuring up debunked conspiracy theories about government spying into medical records and decrying what he called “tyranny.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) held up a picture of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the crowd, mocking it and “slapping” it. Throughout the day, the tea party protesters accosted Democratic members of Congress with racial and homophobic slurs, and one protester even spat on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).

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Obama/Biden Bumper Sticker Fuels Violent Political Road Rage in Tennessee

Harry WeisigerThinkProgress/Faiz Shakir~After picking up his 10-year old daughter from school yesterday afternoon, Nashville resident Mark Duren was driving home when he was suddenly and intentionally rammed from behind by Harry Weisiger. Enraged at the sight of Duren’s Obama bumper sticker, Weisiger gave Duren “the bird” and then hit him from behind, leading to a violent series of events.

Nashville’s WKRN reports:

“He pointed at the back of my car,” Duren said, “the bumper, flipped me off, one finger salute.”

But it didn’t end there.

Duren told News 2 that Weisiger honked his horn at him for awhile, as Duren stopped at a stop sign.

Once he started driving again, down Blair Boulevard, towards his home, he said, “I looked in the rear view mirror again, and this same SUV was speeding, flying up behind me, bumped me.”

Duren said he applied his brake and the SUV smashed into the back of his car.

He then put his car in park to take care of the accident, but Weisiger started pushing the car using his SUV.

Duren said, “He pushed my car up towards the sidewalk, almost onto the sidewalk.”

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According to WKRN, the man accused in an incident of road rage over an Obama bumper sticker Thursday afternoon says he was only trying to get around another car that had stopped in front of him.

Harry Weisiger, age 70 told News 2, “He slammed on his brakes, and I hit him in the bumper when I tried to go around him.”

Weisiger did not mention the Obama bumper sticker when News 2 spoke with him on the phone Friday, but did admit fault for leaving the scene of the accident. According to the police report, officers found Weisiger in the parking lot of Harris Teeter, where he said he had stopped to buy dinner.

David Todd, who witnessed the accident, said the SUV hit the car more than once.

He bumped him once,” Todd said, “and I stood up, and when I stood up, that’s when he just plowed into him and pushed him out of the way and kept on going.”

Weisiger is charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, refusing to take a breath test, and leaving the scene of an accident.

More and video from Nashville’s WKRN

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