Republican Enablers Make Attacks on Abortion Providers Possible. Democratic Wimps Make It Inevitable.

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina is seen in undated photos provided by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. A gunman burst into a Planned Parenthood clinic Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 and opened fire, launching several gunbattles and an hourslong standoff with police as patients and staff took cover. By the time the shooter surrendered, at least three people were killed, including a police officer and at least nine others were wounded, authorities said. (El Paso County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina: the latest American Psycho

“We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.”
~ President Obama in response to the shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic

I’m going to engage in speculation here, but I feel certain it isn’t reckless or irresponsible speculation.   The motives and motivations of Robert Dear, the suspect in the Colorado Springs shooting spree  which left three dead and nine wounded, are yet unknown.   What his political leanings were or party affiliation was is also still in doubt, but here’s what I believe isn’t in doubt:  this one is on the Republicans.

I’m not going to lay the blame on conservatism as a whole, but specifically the fault goes to the Republicans. Between Fox News, right-wing radio and opportunistic G.O.P. politicians in cheap suits making Planned Parenthood part of their Axis of Evil, it was only a matter of time before some asshole got their grubby mitts on a gun and started shooting up a clinic. “I’m going to kill cops, patients, nurses and doctors to save the babies because I’m Pro-Life!”

It wasn’t just Carly Fiorina lying her Botoxed face off with a phony video slamming Planned Parenthood as a baby body parts merchant. Fiorina was the one to lie and keep lying after she got caught lying. Fuck the truth and fuck the facts. ARE YOU NOT OUTRAGED?

It’s a goddamn travesty it is even necessary to have police guarding clinics for a woman to undergo a medical procedure.

That’s the Republicans for you. They light the fire, throw gasoline on it, push you in and claim you were clumsy and fell in, then demand an apology for being accused. There is always a chance this Angry White Man could turn out to be a Pro-Choicer who staged a false flag covert op to gin up sympathy for abortion clinics and the movement. We know that’s bullshit, right?

Dr. George Tiller: murdered by an anti-abortion terrorist in 2009.

It is completely acceptable to blame the Republican Party for an abortion clinic terrorist when they have created the political climate in the U.S. that emboldens and then sympathizes with this sort of domestic terrorist action. If wasn’t for the fact a cop was among the slain the GOP would be as sympathetic as they were when Dr. George Tiller was murdered in Kansas by another Angry White Man with a gun.

Dr. Tiller had been singled out by Bill O’ Reilly as “Tiller the Baby Killer” and mentioned him 28 times on his top-rated program. After Tiller was gunned down by Scott Roeder, O’Reilly expressed his sympathy–for his own demagoguery and Fox News’ demonetization of Tiller:

When I heard about Tiller’s murder, I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters would attempt to blame us for the crime, and that’s exactly what has happened. […]

No backpedaling here, madam [Mary Mapes]. Unlike you, I report honestly. Every single thing we said about Tiller was true, and my analysis was based on those facts. […]

Now, it’s clear that the far left is exploiting — exploiting — the death of the doctor. Those vicious individuals want to stifle any criticism of people like Tiller. That — and hating Fox News — is the real agenda here. Finally, if these people are soooo compassionate — so very compassionate, so concerned for the rights and welfare of others — maybe they might have written something, one thing, about the 60,000 fetuses that will never become American citizens. Or am I wrong?

O’Reilly was wrong but no high-profile Republican calling him out for being wrong.

Be clear on this: I am blaming the far-Right, the right-wing noise machine and the Republican Party’s craven opportunism and pandering to the anti-abortion zealots in general and the mendacity of Carly Fiorina specifically. So-called “Democrats” and “liberals” who had nothing to say about the GOP’s propaganda then are useless enabling dupes with nothing of relevance to say now that people are dead.

You can’t play footsie with sort of fanaticism the way Republicans have and then claim it has nothing to do with anything when some nut takes fighting words and turns them into bloody action.

Denial of the pro-life militancy poison the Republicans have injected into the American body politics supersedes any claim of supposed liberal bona fides. Is it polarizing and impolitic to say the Republican Party has enabled and all but abetted this sort of bloody violence against abortion providers and Planned Parenthood? Sure it is, but so is the rhetoric spewed by the GOP for a long time now and if that didn’t honk off these so-called “liberals”, I could not care less if they don’t like it being said.

The Republicans love to bang on President Obama for not using the term “Radical Islam” in response to international terrorism. When the Republicans call what Robert Dear did in Colorado Springs an act of domestic terrorism, they’ll have a point instead of just a talking point.

The timidity of politicians and the refusal of citizens to call this act of violence by its rightful name: domestic terrorism is denying what happens here in the United States is the same damned thing as what happens on distant shores. A day has passed since the attack in Colorado Springs and only two out of 14 GOP presidential candidates have responded to the shootings, so if before gets offended I’ve namechecked the Republican Party, save some of that righteous wrath on the men and woman who want to be your next Commander-in-Chief yet have nothing to say when yet another city becomes a killing field.

Chances Robert Dear was part of some armed anti-abortion resistance like The Army of God are small, but even if he was the latest in a never-ending series of “lone wolves” hard to detect and harder to stop that should be worrisome to all sides of the abortion argument.

As a writer and journalist, I know how much words mean.  Words matter and words like “baby-killer” and “abortion mill” only polarize.  They can’t facilitate reasoned discussion, but they can push an already mentally unstable person to pick up a gun and go off on a mission to kill the baby killers and when one political party specializes in that sort of hate speech they own the consequences of the chaos it creates.

The passivity of consensus-seeing liberals in the face of concerted conservative enabling of ferocious anti-abortion extremism has not and will not elevate the debate to a higher plane of civility. It’s only abandoning women–and mostly poor women–to the non-existent mercies of maniacs like Robert Dear.

Another city. Another rampage. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Another city. Another rampage. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The reproductive rights of women are literally under attack from anti-abortion fanatics enabled and abetted by the Republican Party. That may not pleasant to read, but it’s far less harmful to the ego than a crazed gunman’s bullets are to the body of a cop, client or staff of an abortion clinic. Republican lawmakers have done all they can to limit, prohibit, restrict and legislate abortion out of existence until they get another Supreme Court justice in place to outlaw it entirely. By this time next year they may well be in position to do just that.

The ramifications of a Republican president returning to the Oval Office is too slow and uncertain for the domestic terrorists who don’t want to wait. The radical extremists targeting abortion providers are hoping their atrocities will be minimized and marginalized as nothing more than one nut’s unhinged act of violence. The Left loves to pin a Good Conduct medal on their shirt for being on the “right” side of women’s issues, but when it comes to putting any teeth to the talk, they opt not to offend the Republicans who have fed this Frankenstein monster since Roe v. Wade.

Liberals and Democrats are selling women out under the vain hope by not being blunt about the enablers Republicans have been to abortion extremist they are going to move them to a more moderate middle ground on abortion and all that is doing is getting people killed. This is the flip side of the argument conservatives have so successfully made against the Left over international terrorism but they aren’t anywhere as reticent about hurting the feelings of liberals and Democrats.

Building Up the Tallest Midget

It's not March, but we're down to The Final Four

By any standard, the candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination are a sad bunch of retreads, weaklings, reactionaries and fatally flawed losers. Mitt Romney is the quintessential rich White man who can barely keep up a brave face when he’s mingling with the unwashed masses, but he’s willing to put on a brave face and hold his nose if that’s what it takes to win.

Newt Gingrich is a narcissist and an egotist whose intellectual racism and repulsive personality makes him hard even for conservatives to take. Then there’s Ron Paul. He’s a special case. He’s not a great thinker like Gingrich or a flip-flopping fake like Romney. No other candidate can claim the kind of enthusiastic support as Paul does. No other candidate seems as genuine and unpretentious as Paul.

There’s also no other candidate as extreme and out of the mainstream as Paul. I’ve made my case against Baby Doc Paul that he is an unworthy of the presidency. The Washington Post ripped away Paul’s ass-covering lies that he wasn’t aware of the racist material in his newsletters.

I don’t expect the Paul die-hards and dead enders to be the least bit disabused of their fantasy that he is a kindly old man who speaks truth to power and advocates a handful of positions that attracts uninformed liberals. Theirs is a separate reality where neither light nor truth penetrates.

The true believers are with Paul all the way until the last bomb falls on the bunker. It’s the rail-sitters and undecided who will have to finally make a call and choose between acknowledging Ron Paul either is a racist personally or just a cynical politician and manipulative businessman willing to exploit racial and homophobic fears to make a dirty buck.

What comes next in tomorrow’s primary in Florida?

Romney crushes Gingrich by double digits. The anti-Romney forces will continue to bitch and moan, but their failure to coalesce behind a single candidate makes them an annoyance, not an insurmountable obstacle.  Their choices will come down to holding their nose and pulling the lever for Mitt or watch Obama raising his right hand again next January.  Screw the Tea Party!  They will get nothing but insincere lip service from Romney and they deserve nothing.

Paul soldiers out looking for friendlier (and cheaper) caucus states and other places where the Ron Paul Race War Revolution might play well.  He’ll hang around like a bad odor while he decides whether to launch another rogue run as an independent.  Sonny boy Rand might tell dear old dad to sit his ass down in a rocking chair somewhere as not to cock block his inevitable bid in 2016.

Santorum is toast.  Put the pennies on the eyes.  His moment of glory came and went in Iowa, proving yet again that the best thing that unrepresentative state contributes to presidential contests is exposing weak candidates not ready for the real deal and croaking wannabees who had no business running in the first place.  One less repulsive right-winger gone.  No great loss.

Which doesn’t mean Rick Santorum isn’t deserving of scorn for his reprehensible remarks about rape victims and abortion. Isn’t it always the way that it’s the most pious and supposedly reverentially religious bastards who have so much love in their hearts for the unborn and nothing but contempt for the living?

On the way home the other day I passed a church where there were 150 little white crosses in the ground and a sign that read, “In the last hour there were 150 children destroyed by abortion.”

That’s pretty heavy-handed, but it takes a prick like Santorum to make it even worse for women facing the difficult choice whether to have an abortion. Piers Morgan interviewed Santorum and asked him if he could deny his daughter an abortion if she were impregnated through an act of rape.

Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you.

I despise Santorum. He is one of those far Right extremists whom I am incapable of saying a good word about. Beyond his casual racism, there’s his overt hatred of women. I don’t know how you could characterize Santorum’s stupidly sanctimonious remarks as anything but the most repellent kind of misogyny.

Leave it up to a man who will never face an unwanted pregnancy brought out by an act of violence to make an awful situation even worse. Why is the same people who decry government regulation and intrusions into the private life of Americans espouse views where the womb becomes a state-owned asset?

I don’t have an answer, so I turn to the Church of Carlin for one.

Sanctimonious Santorum will be a historical footnote in a matter of weeks or days. Gingrich will soon follow, but after thwarting his threat to Romney in Iowa and again in Florida, the GOP will try to shoot Newt’s zombie campaign of White Rage in the head and put him down once and for all. The powers that be want an electable empty suit to take on President Obama, not a self-centered “big thinker” who wants to colonize the moon.

The Republican establishment wants Mittens vs. Obama and they’re determined to get it.

Abortion is Not O.K. in Oklahoma.

 

Arizona’s harsh new policy cracking down on illegal immigrants got more attention, but equally punitive legislation went into effect in Oklahoma when the Republican-dominated state legislature overrode vetoes by Democratic Gov. Brad Henry to enact some of the nation’s most repressive abortion laws. 

One law requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound procedure and watch the monitor and hear a detailed description of the developing fetus.  The second law eliminates lawsuits against physicians who do not give the woman information about possible fetal birth defects.   No exceptions are made for women who are victims of rape and incest. 

I can count on one hand how many times over the years I’ve written about abortion and that’s probably something I should  be a bit  embarrassed about, but what is about to happen in Oklahoma isn’t just repressive, it’s downright pornographic. 

These laws exhibit a perverse love of poking and prodding women’s bodies for no good reason—and often for great harm. The ultrasound law specifies that a vaginal probe must be used, even though doctors often prefer to skip that if their patients have been through sexual trauma in the past. But it’s hard to imagine these legislators caring too much about rape victims. They love the idea of penetrating the vaginas of unwilling women so much that this is the second time they’ve tried to pass this law. And the other law is an attempt to encourage doctors to perform amniocenteses on pregnant women, but withhold any information from the patients regarding actual test results. Apparently, sticking needles into pregnant women for no good reason seems like reward enough to these legislators. 

The cliché is if men could get pregnant they would have a completely perspective about pregnancy.  How many guys would want a camera shoved up their butt to see the baby in their womb wiggling?   If you’re pro-life there might be an argument to be made that a woman should be fully informed about her pregnancy options.  You lose me though when it is mandatory that the ultrasound must be performed with a vaginal probe instead of simply using a transducer over the maternal abdomen.   When my wife was carrying our first child there was something magical about the process of seeing the baby on the monitor.  Had the obstetrician gone up the old hoo-had to sneak a peek I would have chilled back in the waiting room. 

This won't be how a pregnant woman gets an ultrasound in Oklahoma.

This is just the latest example of predominantly male politicians asserting their God-given right to control a woman’s reproductive organs since she’s not capable of making those kind of tough decisions for herself.

“Git on back to the bedroom, honey. Put on your sexiest flannel nightgown ’cause I’m gonna go fetch my cowboy hat and spurs. I’m feelin’ frisky tonite”
  

When is the matriarchy taking over and what the hell is wrong with the women of Oklahoma that they would sit back and take this crap without rioting in the streets?   I’ve never been there, but I’m informed Oklahoma is a very conservative and religious state 

I’m not going to call it religious zealotry as much as I’m going to call it subjugated women being submissive and deferential to the insistence of men to control the bodies of women and bend them to their will. 

What’s surprised me most is how few women know extreme the new Oklahoma abortion restrictions are and how even fewer seem to be roused into taking action.   I know that feminism isn’t what it once was and many young women seem more interested in squeezing into a pair of skinny jeans than marching in the streets demanding their reproductive rights be respected.  

Because I can assure them wherever you they there is someone who is thinking right now, “Those restrictions in Oklahoma are fine, but they don’t go far enough.” 

It is not okay when women are treated like ignorant children and breed mares by forces outside of their control. If the bodies of men were being regulated and restricted in this way there would be armed insurrection in the streets of Oklahoma. 

That isn’t to suggest women should take up the gun, but meekly turning the cheek and hoping things will just work themselves out if they don’t protest won’t get them a damn thing except more Draconian legislation designed to take away a woman’s choice. 

Well-behaved women rarely make history and they don’t preserve, protect or defend their basic human rights either. 

  

If young women are “utterly complacent about the state of affairs” maybe it’s because their mothers and sisters were too successful and made things too easy for them. Where there is no struggle there is no progress and for too many kids today a struggle to them means trying to squeeze into some skinny jeans. 

While the defenders of Roe v. Wade were fighting to keep it from being overturned, the pro-lifers were moving on multiple fronts and if they couldn’t get rid of Roe, by God, they would do everything they could to make getting an abortion as difficult, shameful and humiliating as possible. 

Parental notification. Waiting periods. Slide shows of fetuses. Spousal permission required. And when that doesn’t work close down as many abortion clinics as possible and watch the number of physicians willing to provide abortions dwindle. 

You’ve got to give the pro-life forces credit. They had a strategy. They had the money and organization. They had the boots on the ground. They worked the plan and while they haven’t accomplished the Grand Plan yet by overturning Roe, they haven’t given up on it. They’re probably praying for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to hold on until 2012 for a Republican president to appoint her replacement and give John Roberts the sixth vote he needs. 

To what’s left of contemporary feminism I have a message: If you think you can sit back safe, snug and secure in the thought where you are and what happens to women in Oklahoma means nothing to you, you’re living in a fool’s paradise. If the time comes to assert control over your reproductive organs, your silence won’t save you. Repression doesn’t make exceptions for passive non-combatants. You can play the part of Switzerland if you want. When the deal goes down nobody in Oklahoma will give a damn about you either. 

Is this the future of abortion "choice?"

When the day this becomes what “choice” means for a woman in America wanting to end an unwanted pregnancy, maybe they’ll wish they had done something while they still could.