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The Coffin on Carnahan's Lawn Was Part of Prayer Vigil, Not Threat

11:25 AM, Mar 25, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Now, is it possible there's a separate coffin left on the lawn by an entirely different set of protesters at another time? Perhaps, but the likelihood that such a thing would truly represent a threat is very low, and there's no photographic or video evidence of it.

It takes just the barest curiosity of the actual facts in most of the recent accusations of Tea Partiers to discern that they're not part of a widespread campaign of violence and racism. The incident still under investigation at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello's brother's home is, of course, the notable exception, and has been officially denounced over and over again.

In this case, the eye-witness accounts, video, local news media, and photo evidence point to the fact that this is free speech, and not even remotely objectionable (or, "disturbing," as Carnahan spokespeople put it).

Characterizing it as anything but simple speech is irresponsible of both the media and Carnahan.

Update: Rep. Mike Pence puts it rather well when he says, "I strongly condemn bigotry, threats or vandalism. I also condemn the smearing of law-abiding citizens."

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