Directly Threated, With a Very Indirect Bullet

From The New York Times:

On Thursday, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking Republican leader in the House, said that Democratic members of Congress were not the only ones who had been the targets of threats and vandalism in recent days. He said that he had been threatened, too, and that a bullet had been fired through the window of his campaign office in Richmond.

But a preliminary investigation indicated that the bullet was probably not aimed at his office, the Richmond police said Friday.

Original DVD cover

Mr. Cantor drew attention to the incident at a news conference he held Thursday to criticize Democrats for publicizing the threats and vandalism several Democratic lawmakers have faced since they voted for the health care bill. Then he made a dramatic announcement.

“Just recently, I have been directly threatened,” he said. “A bullet was shot through the window of my campaign office in Richmond this week, and I have received threatening e-mails.

But I will not release them because I believe such actions will only encourage more to be sent.”

A preliminary investigation indicated that the incident in question took place around 1 a.m. Tuesday, when a bullet was apparently fired into the air, striking the office window as it traveled back downward, the Richmond police said in a statement.

The bullet struck the window with enough force to break a pane, the police said, but did not penetrate the blinds inside the window.


At his news conference, where he declined to take questions from reporters, Mr. Cantor had urged that threats be left to law enforcement officials, and not used for publicity purposes.

“Legitimate threats should be treated as security issues, and they should be dealt with by the appropriate law enforcement officials,” he said. “It is reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain.”

Yeah, you wouldn’t even have mentioned a stray bullet falling from the sky into an office that just happens to be in the same building your office is in (with no signs or any other indications that it’s your office and is not in your district and is not even listed on your website) if you didn’t have to point out that the Democrats are making way too big a deal over getting death threats and having their family members threatened.


Threats against members of Congress who voted for the health-care overhaul have put law enforcement on alert around the nation and have led the Capitol Police and House officials to tighten security for lawmakers.

Capitol Police are providing threat assessments and security recommendations for House members’ district offices and family homes, and are encouraging lawmakers and staff to report any harassment to them.

“The intensity of some of these threats is alarming,” said Jamie Fleet, staff director of the House Committee on Administration, which has jurisdiction over the Capitol Police, the agency responsible for protecting members of Congress.


Police are investigating “dozens” of incidents considered serious enough to warrant law enforcement attention, Fleet said in an interview.

At least four district offices of Democratic lawmakers were vandalized, in Arizona, Kansas, and New York. Ten members of Congress have disclosed threats against themselves or their families.


Over the weekend, the angry crowds that Republicans had so effectively leveraged against the Democrats during the health-care debate crossed the line from asset to liability when the protesters began screaming slurs and, in one case, spitting in a lawmaker’s face. There have also been acts of vandalism, and in one particularly frightening example, the gas line to the home of Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello‘s brother was cut after a Tea Party activist posted his address, thinking it belonged to the congressman. Jim Clyburn and Bart Stupak have had nooses faxed to their offices. Law enforcement held a briefing with Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday about how to deal with security threats.

Democrats have been quick to hold Republicans responsible for this behavior, accusing them of fanning the flames by portraying the Affordable Care Act as tyranny.


Yesterday, Minority Whip Eric Cantor sought to reverse the narrative, saying that he had also been threatened and someone had shot a bullet through the window of his campaign office in Richmond.


It turns out, though, that the Richmond police said the bullet was “randomly fired”:

    Richmond police say the bullet that hit a window of Republican Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor’s office had been randomly fired skyward.

So in the midst of accusing Democrats of “using these incidents as media vehicles for political gain,” Cantor misrepresented a random incident as an act of political intimidation or harassment, which it does not appear to have been.


Democrats have been a bit precious in their response to these threats in order to make Republicans look bad. But it’s also true that the GOP has spent the last year firing up its base with hyperbole about totalitarianism, and now that some small elements of that fired up base are starting to make the GOP look bad because they’ve taken these outsize complaints at face value. You can’t complain about people using these incidents for “political gain” when you’ve spent the last year portraying every right-wing outburst as evidence of justifiable civil unrest in the face of impending tyranny.


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38 responses to “Directly Threated, With a Very Indirect Bullet

  1. writechic

    Effing genius. Hold a PRESS CONFERENCE to chastise those who publicize the threats that have been made against them.

    I can see why Cantor is Republican. He’s retarded.

    • and this would have to be the scenario. either some dem had nothing to do one day and decided to follow little eric on one of those very rare occasions when he went to this particular office building. then, this dem had to wait for other dems to start getting death threats so he could shoot a bullet in the air (perhaps a half a mile away from the office) in the middle of the night with enough precision so that the bullet would land in the window of one of the offices in a building where little eric occasionally goes.

      the newspaper where little eric’s wife is a board member tried their hardest to make this sound like little eric was really targeted (read the headline), but once they get to the real facts, it’s laughable.

  2. The GOP leadership refused to sign a Civility Statement yesterday.

    Here’s what they wouldn’t sign that that Democrats proposed.

    “a document … that, in part, called for “elected officials of both parties to set an example of the civility we want to see in our citizenry.

    We also call on all Americans to respect differences of opinion, to refrain from inappropriate forms of intimidation, to reject violence and vandalism, and to scale back rhetoric that might reasonably be misinterpreted by those prone to such behavior”

    They considered a pledge to uphold decent behavior to be a trap. Imagine that.

    Coincidentally, I attended a Coffee Party event today. All attendees had to sign a civility pledge.

    “As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.”

    No wonder we are getting few if any Republicans attending these events.

    • how mature of phathead steele to respond with a form of you’re not the boss of me!!

      • I noticed that. It reminds me of “The Way of the Kook.”

        if anyone asks you about it, either ignore them or respond with something along the lines of “YOUR NOT THE BOSS OF ME! *PLONK*!”

        Yep, just like Steele.

        You can read the rest at the link.

        • that’s awesome! he wrote the rethug playbook! i bookmarked it, because i don’t have time to read it all now, but i will definitely return for the entire list. now, i have some photoshopping to do.

          • He didn’t write it by himself. A bunch of my friends helped him. I came along a bit late to write it.

            While it was designed for Internet kooks, it does seem to work for all kinds of cranks and loons. Just substitute a more appropriate term for USENET (a very old part of the Internet that I’ve been on for 18 years) and you’ve got a good guide to irrational behavior.

    • writechic

      Can you believe I found a writer at that is more than a little wigged out by the volatility surrounding the health care debate? It’s an obscure corner on the site, but still:

      He tries to play it a bit like it’s even steven between Republicans and Democrats (dwelling way too much on Cantor), but points out that the conservative portion of the audience is the one harassing him for daring to assign blame for the N-word incidence on Tea Party protesters. Oh, and the spit wad that hit Rep. Cleaver.

      • there are only 2 comments there. did you read them? after paragraphs of what i assume is a call for civility, this is what the brilliant faux news readers had to say:

        I think there is only one word, “””IMPEACH””””

        …and (referring to the moron from texas who screamed baby killer at stupak:

        I WISH that Radanovich had said it. He’s my rep, and is retiring at the end of this term after losing his wife to cancer. This should have been a “Spartacus” moment for the GOP, where they all came to the microphone and admitted to saying it. That would have been a defining, defiant moment that would have turned the tide against the Democrats and their hastily cobbled together, pork-laden, country-destroying bill.

        • writechic

          😦 I didn’t see them until now.

          My daughter was called a baby killer once at UAB. It really hurt her because we are so about the babies in our family. We just also happen to think no one should have to give birth to a rapist’s child or a daughter/sister. And it’s not our business why someone would want to terminate a pregnancy. We respect that people are mostly capable of knowing what’s best for themselves. It’s a freedom thing.

          • i can understand older generations not being able to adjust their thinking, but i can’t understand, in this age of the internets, how younger people can be so uninformed, ignorant, and intolerant.

            • writechic

              The kid was a Southern Baptist. Intellect is the first thing sacrificed to that God. And it’s bloody.

              • i can’t imagine how sheltered and brainwashed those kids must be. how much you want to bet that once out of their parents’ control, 85% of them become all the things their preachers warned them against?

  3. Writechick’s first comment nailed it.

    My crazy-o-meter is in the red zone.
    Holding a press conference to decry & chastise others holding press conferences about the same.


    • and how stupid was he to think that people wouldn’t check into his version of the truth. 🙄

      • writechic

        The Independents I know are repulsed by the bigotry in the Republican party.

        Cantor probably hoped no one would check facts so that his little “see, it’s not just Republicans that are scary” press conference would make it appear as if everybody’s nuts and not just teabaggers.

        • making threatening phone calls just doesn’t seem to me to be part of the liberal handbook. what’s happened in the past when the rethugs have pissed us off? people march with signs or they give money to progressive candidates. with all that went on during the chimpy years, how often did we hear about violence being done by the left?

          • writechic

            That’s kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it. Who hates Jewish people? Duh, right-wing freaks.

            • and he’s the one who makes a big deal out of everyone knowing he’s jewish, because he’s the only token the rethugs have to parade around when they talk about their inclusiveness. sickening that cantor would volunteer for that.

    • writechic

      I’m trying to write about the Rep. Lewis incident right now. It absolutely infuriates me that an American Hero would be called a n@@@er in 2010, but more than make me angry, it makes me wanna cry…which is why it’s taking so long.

      Frank Rich has an insightful take on all this from a historical perspective, but it’s scary, too. When people think it’s okay to be SO hateful in public, what will they do in secret?

      From the NYT:

      • it’s pretty sickening, and i can’t believe it’s happening in 2010 in the usa. it seems like we’ve gone backwards. either that, or there are a whole lotta people not paying attention.

        • writechic

          And it’s disheartening and unreal that Republicans wouldn’t sign a civility statement. It just shows there is no good leadership in the party. None.

          Shame after that fact (ie. John Lewis gets his skull fractured, little girls get blown up in Birmingham) is the only thing that seems to jolt the public conscience.

          • the rethugs are playing a very dangerous game. they’re like parents of a brat who pulls wings off butterflies and tortures the family pets. they make excuses for him when he goes off to school and bullies the other kids. when the guidance counselor or the principal suggests that the kid get counseling, the parents are insulted and tell them that they had better stop picking on their kid. on the drive home, they tell the kid that they have some nerve implying that they’re lousy parents. the kid keeps growing, and pretty soon, the parents are afraid of him and kowtow to his every demand. then, one day, he kills someone, and the parents wring their hankies and swear that they never saw that coming.

            • writechic

              Good analogy. Kids like that are described by shrinks as having conduct disorder. Child sociopathy. Eek.

              • i usually try to break the bigger picture down to the nuts and bolts. you can take almost any situation going on in the world and compare it to a family or a small community. it’s really the same but on a larger scale. it’s easier to understand that way.

  4. Tale of two bullets. Back in the 90s a fellow came into the small jewelrly store I worked in with an odd request. He hands me a spent 30 calibre round and tells the tale of visiting a friend in El Cajon CA and while sleeping one night this projectile comes zooming through the roof and embeds itself squarly in his chest! He wants me to make an attachment, which I do, so he can wear it on a rope chain around his neck, a weird conversation piece to say the least. A few years later I find in the store parking lot a big 50 cal. round laying there on the asphalt, bright and brassy with a scuff mark on one side. Yep, they do just “fall from the sky”.

    • you’ll notice that widdle ewic never said a word about gun control and how people should not be allowed to own guns if they are using them in an irresponsible manner.

  5. Just think how upset folk would be if They had really done did something.

    Speakin’ of Pope Tarts, Here’s “The Little Bummer Boy.”

  6. The guy is such a wienie. Mrs. Cantor must be so proud of her brave knight facing the dangers he does every day. Oh and why the eff does he have an office there anyway ? Can you say donations ?

    • he doesn’t really have an office there. there’s a firm there that handles his campaigns, and they have an office there. someone would have to do some research to connect the place with widdle ewic. he’s an ass. didn’t he stop and think that people are going to check, and he was going to look like the whiny liar he is?

  7. i wish i could laugh at this
    the saddest part is the MSM give credibility to these assholes when they know how disingenous people like Cantor are

    • and now they’re making a big deal over the guy who used youtube to threaten widdle ewic. i just watched the beginning of one of that psycho’s videos, and he thinks he’s one of g-d’s messengers. he’s visited by the angels every day. he’s a fruitcake with a lot of mental health issues, and he threatened obama, reid, and pelosi, too. the reason he threatened widdle ewic is not because he’s a rethug, it’s because he’s jewish. the fruitcake happens to be an anti-semite as well as just plain nuts. he’s not proof of the threats being directed evenly between both parties.