Betsy Snyder with her husband, oldest child and President Bush.

Betsy Snyder normally writes about kids and mothers in her “Little Rock Mamas” blog carried by ArkansasOnline.  This week, she wrote about being afraid to walk outside her house.  Her husband is U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, one of the Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill.  Capitol Police intercepted the death threat.  “The piece of mail mentions looking for him in D.C. or in Little Rock, where we make our home, where our family is,” Betsy Snyder wrote.

Betsy Snyder is a United Methodist pastor on leave to take care of her infant triplets.  She also has a 3-year-old son and has a photo of him with Georgia Congressman John Lewis, as well as with Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a friend and fellow Methodist pastor.  Cleaver was the representative spit on by protesters as he walked to the Capitol to cast his vote for the health care reform bill.

“As I sat here writing this blog late the other night while my children were sleeping, I kept hearing a noise,” she wrote.  “I was already a little jumpy. On occasion, I stopped typing to listen.  The blind was up, and it was dark outside, late night dark.  I wondered if I should go open the front door and look outside, but I admit I was scared.  I felt glued to my chair. Finally, while pausing from the keyboard to strain and listen again to identify the noise, I realized the wind had picked up, and I was hearing the American flag that hangs outside my office window.  It was flapping in the breeze.”

The letter came from a Western state, according to Betsy Snyder’s blog. “In fact,” she wrote, “some of our friends who read about the death threats felt so bad they brought me daffodils. Good ol’ Arkansans, with our Southern manners.”

Indeed, a man with bad Philadelphia manners on the other side of the health care issue has been accused of trying to post a YouTube death threat against Republican U.S Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, calling the Minority Whip “pure evil” and “Lucifer.”

The South, however, has not been without its ill-mannered representatives on the dangerous side of the health care debate.  A 70-year-old Nashville retiree is accused of ramming his SUV into the car of a Nashville schoolteacher taking his daughter home from school, apparently because the teacher had an Obama/Biden bumper sticker on his car.

Mark Duren says the man gestured angrily at the bumper sticker as he accelerated and rammed Duren’s car.  When Duren stopped, he says, the man rammed the car again and tried to push it off the road while Duren’s daughter screamed inside.

Check out our News and Opinion Feeds for a lot more Southern happenings.

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Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.