We knew the passage of the health care bill would fan the flames of discontent among its detractors, but who could have been prepared for this?

“House Democratic leaders on Wednesday said they are concerned about the personal safety of lawmakers because of threats linked to intense opposition to the new health care law.”

That’s from an Associated Press story (via NPR) detailing the violence of anti-health care legislation protestors on Capitol Hill and around the country.  Some Democratic representatives have been threatened, their offices been vandalized, and protestors have even been hurling racial slurs at black lawmakers.

A spokesman for Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY), Kentucky’s only Democratic representative, says neither the congressman nor his office have been threatened, although “we’ve heard from some hostile people from out of state.”  Many Republican lawmakers are denouncing the threats and violence, including Yarmuth’s contender in the next election.

By Kristin Espeland Gourlay