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Monday, June 01, 2009

We Were Warned

Tiller's body being loaded into hearse
Yesterday, Kansas abortion provider George Tiller was shot dead at church, while he wife sang in the choir. Scott P. Roeder was arrested in the killing a short time later. Tiller, one of the few doctors in the nation performing late term abortions, had been dubbed "Tiller the Killer" by anti-abortion groups and had suffered from this sort of terrorism before. According to Agence France-Presse, "A lightning rod in the bitter culture war over abortion, George Tiller has been picketed, bombed and shot in the arms."

The term "pro-life" has often seemed this inapt -- Tiller wasn't the first person to die at the hands of anti-abortion zealots. A more apt term would be "pro-forced pregnancy," since their goal is actually to force women to remain pregnant against their will. "Pro-life" is just a PR term -- only lunatics and neocons are "anti-life." And, as we've just seen demonstrated, anti-abortion extremists are often very selective about whose lives they're "pro-" about.

But we were warned about this. We were told that there was a danger of this happening. A Department of Homeland Security report listed right wing extremists -- including those in the anti-abortion movement -- as the greatest domestic terrorism threat facing the country. The right, for their part, were quick to take offense, as they always are. While they like to portray themselves as rugged individualists, heirs to the cowboy myth, they're the whiniest bunch of cowpokes in American history. Quick to point their fingers at everyone else, let someone hold them responsible for their rhetoric and they break down in tears and play the victim card.

Never mind that the report singled out the "far right" -- nazis, religious zealots, survivalist groups, and anti-government militia types -- mainstream Republicans were quick to claim these lunatics as their own. That's the difference between left and right; the right refuses to condemn their own nuts until it's too late. You don't have to look far to find a conservative pundit condemning Roeder's crime, but you'd have one hell of a time finding one willing to condemn the extremes of the anti-abortion movement. Even today, when all the hysterical "he's a murderer!" talk has led to its logical conclusion.

When the DHS report came out, Michelle Malkin wrote a post about it titled "Confirmed: The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real." Shelly, always the level-headed commenter, called it a "piece of crap report" that "is a sweeping indictment of conservatives." I guess neo-nazis and abortion clinic bombers were considered mainstream Republicans then.

"My b.s. detector went off the chart, and yours will, too, if you read through the entire report -- which asserts with no evidence that an unquantified 'resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalizations activity” is due to home foreclosures, job losses, and... the historical presidential election,'" she wrote.

Except this wasn't an "Obama DHS hit job." It came from Bush's DHS. What was being reported as an existing report was a draft begun on Jan. 23, 2007 -- the date on the draft Malkin says she read through. Either she was so eager to be offended that she didn't notice or found that date was inconvenient to her contrived outrage. Frankly, I'll believe either -- Michelle Malkin is not known for here rigorous journalistic process or her commitment to truth.

Malkin is just my example here, the entire right did pretty much the same thing. Barack Obama -- secret Muslim terrorist and president of the Bill Ayers fan club -- had a lot of guts calling out the right for their terrorists, killers, and nuts. They grabbed the skinheads, the pipe-bombers, the people stockpiling guns for when the UN takes over, and held them close. "We are them and they are us," they basically said. "We're all right wing extremists."

That is, until one of the people we've been warned might go fullblown terrorist goes fullblown terrorist. Then they're a lone nut. When Jim David Adkisson went on a shooting spree in a Unitarian church -- because the church supported what he called "weirdos and sickos and homos" -- he wasn't a Republican anymore. Never mind that investigators found his reading list consisted of by Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly.

"I'd like to encourage other like-minded people to do what I've done," Adkisson wrote in what he thought was his suicide note (he was overpowered by church members before he could kill himself). "If life ain't worth living anymore don't just kill yourself. Do something for your country before you go. Go kill liberals."

A right wing extremist went terrorist -- just as we were warned some would. But the right continued their pretense of offense. When a right wing nut job was busted with the ingredients of a dirty bomb in Maine, they continued to pretend to be offended. They took the idea of being a "right wing extremist" to their stupid tea bag protests and made it a rallying cry. Google "'right wing extremist' proud of it" and you get 55,400 hits, starting with the, which bills itself as a "site is dedicated to all of those who [DHS head] Janet Napolitano calls Right Wing Extremists!"

Yay for neo-Nazi skinheads and wild-eyed bomb-tossers!

After all this feigned and weepy complaining by the right over the report, Napolitano pulled it. Conservatives did a little dance, having won what they saw as a minor victory over Obama, but anyone who believes that DHS isn't keeping an eye on right wing extremists anyway is a complete idiot.

Republicans can continue to cry and whine that worries about right wing terrorism are unfair, but until right wingers stop being terrorists, those complaints are just stupid. The right chose to own these people, when they pretended to be so insulted by the DHS draft report. No one forced these people on them, they grabbed them with both arms in a big old bearhug. How dare we worry that anti-abortion crazies might shoot someone? How dare we worry that some talk-radio addled moron would equate liberals with terrorists and shoot a couple? How dare we worry that some crazy racist recluse, reacting to the first African-American president, would put together a dirty bomb? How dare we take freakin' reality into account?

What we should be doing is pretending that every right winger everywhere is angelic and all this talk about the "second holocaust" of abortion isn't going to drive someone to do something about it.

Republicans love their nuts -- until those nuts act. Then those nuts aren't Republicans anymore. The right is proud of their right wing extremists -- until they're not.


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