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The Providence Journal: By Steve Peoples (Emphasis Mine)
PROVIDENCE — U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy fears that supercharged passions fueling the national health-care debate may lead to violence.
Drawing on his family’s violent past, the Democratic congressman told roughly 75 people gathered at a private health-care forum Saturday morning that opponents of Democrat-backed health-care legislation had gone too far. He cited, as an example, 10,000 signs distributed at a recent Washington protest that read, “Bury ObamaCare with Kennedy.”
Patrick Kennedy is the last member of his storied family to hold federal office. His father, U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, died one month ago after battling a brain tumor. His uncles, former President John F. Kennedy and former presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, were assassinated.
“My family’s seen it up close too much with assassinations and violence in political life. It’s a terrible thing when people think that in order to get their point across they have to go to the edge of violent rhetoric and attack people personally,” Kennedy told the nurses, union officials and AARP members finishing their breakfasts at the invitation-only event in the Providence Marriott hotel. “It’s fine for people to debate the issue and attack the issue, but when they go and stoop to the level of the vitriolic rhetoric that we’ve seen this debate turn up, it’s very, I think, dangerous to the fabric of our country.”
In a subsequent interview, Kennedy went further in warning that angry opposition could create physical danger for elected leaders…
Kennedy is the only member of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation not to have hosted a public forum devoted to health-care legislation moving through Congress. Saturday’s event, hosted by the AARP, was open to the media, but attendance was limited to a select group that largely supports a health-care overhaul.
In contrast to some public meetings hosted by the Rhode Island delegation in recent weeks, the audience was completely passive. There was no sign waving, shouting or heckling…]
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