Pelosi Concerned About Anti-Government Rhetoric

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the anti-government rhetoric over President Barack Obama's health care reform effort is concerning because it reminds her of the violent debate over gay rights that roiled San Francisco in the 1970s.

Anyone voicing hateful or violent rhetoric, she told reporters, must take responsibility for the results.

"I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco," Pelosi said, suddenly speaking quietly. "This kind of rhetoric was very frightening" and created a climate in which violence took place, she said.

Former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White was convicted of the 1978 murders of Mayor George Moscone and openly gay supervisor Harvey Milk. Gay rights activists and some others at the time saw a link between the assassinations and the violent debate over gay rights that had preceded them for years.

During a rambling confession, White was quoted as saying, "I saw the city as going kind of downhill." His lawyers argued that he was mentally ill at the time. White committed suicide in 1985.

Pelosi is part of a generation of California Democrats on whom the assassinations had a searing effect. A resident of San Fransisco, Pelosi had been a Democratic activist for years and knew Milk and Moscone. At the time of their murders, she was serving as chairwoman of her party in the northern part of the state.

On Thursday, Pelosi was answering a question about whether the current vitriol concerned her. The questioner did not refer to the murders of Milk or Moscone, or the turmoil in San Francisco three decades ago. Pelosi referenced those events on her own and grew uncharacteristically emotional.

"I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made," Pelosi said. Some of the people hearing the message "are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume," she said.

"Our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe," she added. "But I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause."

Pelosi's office did not immediately respond to a request for examples of contemporary statements that reminded the speaker of the rhetoric of 1970s San Francisco.

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 3, 2009 at 10:42 AM
    She is comparing apples to trucks. WE SHOULD ALL BE CONCERNED ABOUT NANCY'S GOVERNMENT RHETORIC! The 3 Stooges are running America! Obama, Biden and Pelosi!!! Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest! My name is Darryl and this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl!
  • by Derek Location: Greenville on Sep 30, 2009 at 03:26 PM
    did you even watch the video OSOC?
  • by Derek Location: Greenville on Sep 30, 2009 at 03:25 PM
    How about the 16 american military members that were killed by the shoddy work by Blackwater and its subsideries, or the fact that the major food supplier to the armed forces overseas uses the same ice to cool both the military casualties and the food they serve - I think that is more relavent than one ACORN sting, don't you? Or do you prefer not to care that 16 military men died because of government contractors? Fair and balanced? I didn't say anything about the ACORN sting, I am just saing that to take away their funding means the gov't should take away funding for Lockhead Martin, Blackwater and the other military contractors to....why? Because its in the constitution you and Fox keep citing. Make up your mind for once OSOC, instead of letting Ailes and Murdock do it for you. I am surprised your retort was rather short, maybe you learned something while watching that video.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 30, 2009 at 09:48 AM
    Derek, once again, go look at the videos on UTUBE about the footage shot for yourself, than, rather than Rachel Maddow making up your mind, try using your own. Was it corruption that was exhibited or not?
  • by Derek Location: Greenville on Sep 30, 2009 at 07:01 AM
    OSOC - I hope you still check this blog. Anyways, here's a rebuttle to defunding ACORN, (which is unconstitutional by the way) check out Rachel Maddow's report on youtube:
  • by usa Location: home on Sep 26, 2009 at 05:59 AM
    you cannot sing about God in school ,but it is ok to sing about that fool obama, WRONG!! that teacher is pushing her own agenda ,all who knew better should be Fired, and my kids would not attend school till they were!!! 2010-2012 REAL BIG CHANGE COMING *** YES WE WILL - YES WE CAN !!!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM
    None of the other networks are showing the story of the NJ school that is teaching the songs of praise about Obama to children. The principle refuses to apologize for it. But she is black and will scream racism if she receives any kind of punishment for it. The parents need to stand up and get her kicked out of the school. Then she can go get a job working for ACRON.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 25, 2009 at 05:55 AM
    Derek, so here you are! Voter was looking for you on the ACORN story on witn. Well, James is right, Fox news reports facts, the other report nothing. GE owns NBC, Jeffrey Immelt is CEO and gets money from Obamas programs, therefore, do the math. Witn cannot report on their own, they are an NBC affiliate. I watch all forms of news and decide for myself, try it sometime, opens the thought process and what is the truth. Like acorn, if you think this org was clean, your blinders are on way too tight....
  • by American Location: AMERICA on Sep 25, 2009 at 05:44 AM
  • by Anonymous on Sep 25, 2009 at 05:16 AM
    "Gerrick made $340,000 a year, making her among the highest paid employees in state government." Copied from WITNs story about the highest paid NC employee having to be removed from her job. Nancy, government has many concerns.

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