And, increasingly, it’s not just about screaming epithets.

U.S. House leaders of both parties condemned threats of violence directed at Democratic lawmakers following approval of the U.S. health-care overhaul.

“We’ve had very serious incidents that have occurred in the last 48 or 72 hours,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland told reporters today. “Anyone who feels at risk is getting attention from the proper authorities.” He said “a significant number, meaning more than 10” members received threats. [...]

Slaughter said Republican leaders appeared “to be fanning the flames with coded rhetoric.” She cited a National Review Online article in which Boehner was quoted as saying that Ohio Democrat Steve Driehaus might be a “dead man” politically in his congressional district.

The article, published on March 18, said Boehner predicted political consequences for anti-abortion Democrats who vote to approve the bill. Referring to Driehaus, Boehner was quoted as saying, “He may be a dead man. He can’t go home to the west side of Cincinnati. The Catholics will run him out of town.”

Boehner spokesman Don Seymour said the Republican leader “does not condone violence and his remark was obviously not meant to be taken literally.”

Of course not! I mean, who’d be crazy enough to take assassination threats by a sitting Congressman literally?