Archive - Jun 2009

June 1st

The Two Hundred And Seventy Fourth Trimester

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Memo to Right-Wing Extremists: YOU ARE A THREAT.

Man, remember back toward the end of April or so? The Department of Homeland Security released a report (or the report was leaked, depending on whose story you believe) that identified the growing dangers of right-wing extremism in America. Now, even though the report was ordered during the Bush administration, and even though a similar report on left-wing extremism had come out a few years before, the usual suspects went apeshit.

Every blogger, columnist, radio host, politician, and news anchor to the right of Arlen Specter were outraged at the possibility that violent extremism might break out on their side of the political spectrum. If there was one recurring theme of all there whining, it was "I guess I'm a terrorist!"*. They took it personally. I'm not sure why they felt they couldn't separate their own sane, reasoned ideology with the crazy people on the fringes the report was targeting, but I have some very strong, and very insulting suspicions about it.

The collective hissy-fit was retarded. It made no sense, and contained the usual "stop picking on the brave troops" bullshit just because the report mentioned the possibility that disgruntled veterans of our stupid, stupid war might be recruited. It was, of course, taken very seriously. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized, the report was said to be a "draft" and withdrawn, and everyone went about their business, safe in the knowledge that we had nothing to fear from conservatives.

Of course, yesterday, in Kansas some asshole shot Dr. George Tiller dead outside his Kansas church. Tiller, who was 67, was one of the few providers of late-term abortions in America. One of the reasons he was one of the few providers of late-term abortions in America was that in 1993, a right-wing extremist shot Dr. Tiller a few times. He survived. His clinic was frequently protested and vandalized, most recently a few months ago. But he kept on, until yesterday, when a proud upholder of the Culture Of Life terminated him in his 274th trimester.

This is exactly the kind of shit the DHS report was trying to point out. This is terrorism. If the guy they have in custody, the alleged Scott Roeder, is the guy that did it, then that guy is a terrorist. Because a terrorist is someone who uses violence to both further a political goal and induce fear into the target community. And that's exactly what this murder was, and anyone who tells you different is aiding and enabling terrorists.

And oh, people will tell you different. They will try to paint him as a simple murderer, a lone nutjob, not representative. And he's not representative of the entire anti-abortion movement. Like any other political movement, it contains a wide variety of people. Some people who genuinely mourn the murder. Some people who publicly decry the violence while privately not feeling any remorse about what happened. Some who openly celebrate the act on Twitter. And then there's Randall Terry. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions."

And if you need any more proof that the embryo-fetishist movement is a form of right-wing extremism that breeds violent gunmen, look no farther than this sentence. Calling the victim a mass murderer. Imply that he's currently burning in hell. And being worried that this murder might make you surrender your most effective rhetoric and actions.

You know what? If your most effective rhetoric and actions are close enough to "gunning doctors down as they head to church" that they might be threatened by, say, someone gunning a doctor down as he heads to church? Then there's something seriously wrong with your most effective rhetoric and actions. And maybe you should scale back to putting up offensive billboards and getting your bullshit viewpoint enshrined in license plates for a bit.

The truth of the matter is this. Whoever did this is at the far end of the line, yes. But he's still part of the line. He's not separate from it. Randall Terry sits on that line, and ends up looking better as a result because, well, at least he never shot a doctor. Bill O'Reilly sits on that line, and ends up looking better, because hey, at least he never said the doctor was gonna burn in hell. Sean Hannity sits on that line, and ends up looking better because, unlike his buddy Bill, never called Tiller a Nazi. And so on and so forth.

Which is why a lot of these fuckers were so scared of the extremism report. Because deep in their hearts, they know if this society ever regains even a fraction of the sanity it's lost over the last 30 years, the shit they spout on a daily basis will no longer give them a paycheck and a seat at the table with the grown-ups. None of these fuckers pulled the trigger. But every one of them had a hand in convincing a guy in Kansas that he should.

That's not illegal. Nor, in America, should it ever be. But just because it's not illegal doesn't mean it should be rewarded with high-paying jobs where you invite other extremists on your TV show and spend an hour trying to convince us that your extremism is actually the center. While throughout the Midwest, desperate women in need of a necessary and legal medical procedure get to wonder if anyone else will have the courage to fill George Tiller's shoes.

*Although to be fair, Pat Robertson's take was that some faggot must have written it. Although he used slightly less crude terminology because he was on Fox News at the time.