In the last week, both before and after the passage of the Health Care Reform bill, we have seen an amazing display of ugly acts here within our own borders. Last weekend, there were demonstrators on the Capitol steps who hurled racist epithets at members of Congress. Some black members said they hadn’t had that kind of experience since the 50s or 60s during the protest marches in the South.

Reports today include “a fax bearing the image of a noose. Profane voice mails. Bricks thrown, a gas line cut. White powder sent to an office” targeted at members of Congress.

We cannot dismiss these as just acts of a lunatic fringe. They are only possible because of the rabid rhetoric of the Republicans and their sympathizers in their efforts to stop the Health Care bill at all costs.

Let there be no mistake. The Republicans did not act as the loyal opposition, using their offices to influence the process as much as they could for the good of the country. No. Their primary objective was to thwart President Obama, and the country be damned. And their rhetoric — threats of communism, socialism, and apocalypse –¬† gave aid and comfort to those committing the violence.

These acts of violence deserve to be called terrorism just as much as Taliban guerrillas, Islamist bombers, and Nazi Brownshirts. These are terrorists the same as anyone who uses violence and intimidation in attempting to get what they cannot¬† get in the democratic process, and they are all — 100% — on the side of the Republicans and egged on by flaming talk show windbags like Rush Limbaugh.

Until the Republicans change their strategy and start putting the country before their political rabble-rousing and fund-raising tactics, they deserve to be judged by the company they keep.