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How Threatening Is the Health Care Debate?


Progressive columnist David Sirota, a nationally recognized journalist who lives in Colorado, has been taking on the conservative Tea Party movement lately, arguing over the weekend on CNN that the group, which wants to kill President Barack Obama’s health care reform, also displays “racial undertones.” And for pointing that out, Sirota says this morning at his OpenLeft diary, he received a “death threat.”

Highlighting these images from a Tea Party gathering, Sirota writes, “there are, obviously, such racial undertones. However, there are many who refuse to acknowledge that simple truism, instead opting to pursue what I call ‘dog whistle politics.’ I know this not from just reading the swill on right-wing websites, but from the loads of angry hate mail I received after appearing on CNN—including one that was an explicit death threat.”


Police, Sirota says, responded to the threat quickly.

He isn’t the only public figure in Colorado to be threatened for digging into the intricacies of the health care debate. Last month, Congressman John Salazar received a death threat during a protest in Grand Junction, leading his office to contact Capitol police and the FBI, according to The Pueblo Chieftain.

As for Sirota, he adds, “For my part, I won’t back down. The fights we’re fighting are too important to let a small minority of fringe assholes on both sides deter us from seeking the truth–and achieving progress.”

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