So what is Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) talking about? This.
Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Andre Carson (D-IN) related a particularly jarring encounter with a large crowd of protesters screaming "kill the bill"... and punctuating their chants with the word "nigger."
Standing next to Lewis, emerging from a Democratic caucus meeting with President Obama, Carson said people in the crowd yelled, "kill the bill and then the N-word" several times, while he and Lewis were exiting the Cannon House office building.
"People have been just downright mean," Lewis added.
And that wasn't an isolated incident. Early this afternoon, standing outside a Democratic whip meeting in the Longworth House office building, I watched Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) make his way out the door, en route to the neighboring Rayburn building. As he rounded the corner toward the exit, wading through a huge crowd of tea partiers and other health care protesters, an elderly white man screamed "Barney, you faggot"--a line that caused dozens of his confederates to erupt in laughter.
After that incident, Capitol police threatened to expel the protesters from the building, but were outnumbered and quickly overwhelmed. Tea party protesters equipped with high-end video cameras were summoned to film the encounter and the officers ultimately relented. [...]
"I do think the leaders of the movement, and this was true of some of the Republicans last year, that they think they are benefiting from this rancor. I mean there are a couple who--you know, Michele Bachmann's rhetoric is inflamatory as well as wholly baseless. And I think there are people there, a few that encourage it."
"If this was my cause, and I saw this angry group yelling and shouting and being so abusive to people, I would ask them to please stop it," Frank concluded. "I think they do more harm than good."
But guess what? They're not.
This is the Republicans' plan for the rest of this year. They think they're scoring political points by stoking this ugly hatred. However, all they're really doing is revealing the emptiness of what their political arguments and total ignorance of health care policy.