“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?
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.
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.