This is the report that is dominating the news coverage of yesterday's protest at the Capitol. I have no idea who was the source of any saliva and nasty words, but it's important to realize how easy it is for someone who isn't typical of the group or who is even its adversary to do things like this. It's one of the oldest dirty tricks.
It's also important to distinguish "angry protesters" from particular individuals who cross the line into the kind real ugliness or violence that should be condemned. There's nothing wrong with showing anger at the thing that motivates you to protest. That's what protests are for! The members of Congress have a lot of power, and they ought to have to hear the anger their exercise of that power is causing. It's outrageous for them to pose as victims without very good cause. So what if some idiot said a bad word? That's a trivial distraction compared to the power they are about to exercise in the face of such strong opposition to what they are about to do. [ADDED: I'm not approving of ugly epithets, just emphasizing the comparison between an individual ordinary citizen, who might not be very sane/smart/educated, and a member of Congress, who wields great power. The member of Congress should not pretend he's weak, when he is in fact strong. It's also exceedingly lame — and, frankly, racist — for white people to be so quick to think of powerful black politicians as vulnerable and besieged. I assume the black politicians laugh at them in private. The willingness of black politicians to make power moves in racial terms suggests to me that they know exactly what they are doing: leveraging patronization.]
From what I heard — from Meade, who was there — the people at yesterday's protest were unusually nice and friendly and well-behaved. Still, the Washington Post uses the term "angry protesters." That's a journalistic device to delegitimitize the demonstration by merging everyone into the few persons who said something racist/homophobic. That's not fair and it's not accurate, but it has been the stock MSM treatment of the Tea Party movement all along.
ADDED: Here's the video I'm seeing. Is there any more video than this?
Because what you hear there is: 1. Booing, and 2. the chant "Kill the bill." Playing the race card for nothing? Shame!
ADDED: A member of Congress said he was spit on? Guards were right there. Was no one detained? Show me the person who was arrested. Otherwise, I'm assuming it's a lie.
Tea Party protesters [say] they never heard racially charged language in the crowd. The man detained for allegedly spitting at Cleaver was also let go after, according to Capitol Police, Cleaver was unable to positively identify him.