Saturday, November 28, 2015


As of midnight last night, after the Colorado Springs gunman was in custody, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had already tweeted words of solidarity with Planned Parenthood. But none of the fourteen Republican presidential candidates had issued a public statement on the incident, as Emily Atkins of Think Progress noted:
The lack of response from presidential candidates may have been because of the Thanksgiving holiday. However, some candidates tweeted about other topics as details of the shooting unfolded Friday evening....

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), for example, sent out a tweet about his campaign merchandise.

... Rubio’s tweet was likely scheduled in advance....

Donald Trump was also tweeting during the Colorado shooting, though he steered clear of the topic entirely. Instead, he tweeted about his polling numbers and how he “cannot be bought.

Shortly after the shooting suspect was apprehended, Trump also released a statement insulting a New York Times reporter he had made fun of earlier in the week. The reporter suffers from a physical disability.
It's my understanding that this radio silence still holds.

Abortion rights supporters are horrified at what Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger said yesterday on CNN while the siege was still under way, but trust me, any statements by the presidential candidates of Kinzinger's party will sound a lot like what he said. No, maybe not this part:
It was while that siege was still going on, though, that Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger decided to take to CNN’s air and demand an apology from Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, if the perpetrator turned out not to be an anti-abortion terrorist:
“When I heard that statement, I thought that was very premature. We may find out this person was targeting Planned Parenthood. If we find out he was not targeting Planned Parenthood, I would fully expect an apology from the Planned Parenthood director for saying that.”
But certainly the rest of the statement:
" ... But regardless, if somebody is targeting Planned Parenthood, it’s not indicative of what folks that are opposed to some of the practices Planned Parenthood commits, how we feel, you know? We saw these barbaric videos, and that was something that many of us have a legitimate concern about. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to take guns and walk into Planned Parenthood clinics. Obviously, this is a person that has a mental health issue, that’s to some level psychotic and crazy. And if he’s targeting Planned Parenthood -- and again, we don’t know -- if he is, he has taken a legitimate disagreement with the practice and turned it into an evil response, which is to go in and shoot people. But again, we don’t know that answer yet, and I’m sure we’ll be finding out shortly.”

The GOP presidential candidates are going to say that this attack was evil, but Planned Parenthood is also evil. They'll say, however, that they absolutely oppose launching a violent attack on Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that they've repeatedly described Planned Parenthood as an agent of mass murder.

They probably won't attack the head of Planned Parenthood for saying this in her statement:
We don’t yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack. We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country.
But they are waiting for what they'll consider a lucky break -- a dearth of anti-abortion and conservative material in the gunman's home and on his computer, and possibly evidence that he's profoundly psychotic or schizophrenic. Then they'll pounce on others who (they'll say) "rushed to judgment" and tried to slander Christians and conservatives by linking them to this deeply troubled man and this unfortunate incident that shows how much we need to reform mental health care in this country. (If it's discovered that he is, in fact, deeply political, the candidates will just double down on "genocide doesn't justify a violent response.")

But they don't even want to start the process right now. In part, that's because they hope they can pigeonhole the shooter as a crazy man -- but it's also because nobody wants to be first out of the gate even with a statement that passes right-wing litmus tests by condemning both the shooting and Planned Parenthood's work. Just saying something at all about this incident would be read in Iowa, South Carolina, and other states full of religious-right Republican voters as a sign of excessive sympathy with baby butchers.

So they won't say much -- at least not now.


UPDATE: Ted Cruz breaks the silence:

Well, it's a start.


Victor said...

You can't have this many "Lone Wolves" without them straying too far from a like-minded pack, imo.

Of course, when all of the socio-psycho/pathic GOP Presidential candidates get their Frank Luntz organized and tested wording in order, and finally create a chorus about this incident, it'll sound like what "The Cars" songwriter Ric Ocasek, would have written, if the title of the song was, "Let the Bullshit Roll..."

mlbxxxxxx said...

We saw these barbaric videos, and that was something that many of us have a legitimate concern about. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to take guns and walk into Planned Parenthood clinics.

Why not? If I thought there was a place where people were killing babies and cutting them into pieces to sell, I'd be inclined to go in guns blazing I don't care what the law said. They call abortion "baby killing." I call bullshit -- they don't believe that themselves. Those that do, attack abortion clinics and doctors. This douchebag in Colorado apparently had the courage of his convictions. There really is no way to tolerate "baby killing." Who could?

Conservatives need to moderate their rhetoric or accept responsibility for inciting murderous maniacs. You hit the nail on the head recently with your post on conservatives' inclination to exaggerate every threat. They live at the top of a permanently slippery slope and believe, as Marilynne Robinson said recently, the truest thing they can say is the worst thing they can say. Everything gets turned up to 11. Then we get stuff like Planned Parenthood in Colorado.

I wonder if they will urge us all to "call this what it is?" I'm guessing not since to do so will mean they will have to accept him as one of their own. Maybe they'll understand how the moderate muslims feel about "islamic terrorism." Who am I kidding?

moodshifter said...

See e.g., Stephen Miller, for the fulfillment of your prophecy.

Erik C. said...

This asshole is my Congresscritter, too. Thought he was one of the more moderate kind, but I guess even he has a wingnut streak to him.

Unknown said...

Except it's a lie, isn't it? Cruz isn't ACTUALLY praying for them, or anyone other than himself; he's posing as praying, while asking for more prezzies.

By December 1, this incident will have been turned into something else - the NYTimes today does it's bit in that process: "surreptitious tapes", my fifth nut. And the Nick Nolte Disordered arrest process pics are already performing their magical transformation.

'Alwight now, evewybody, we need to get vehwy, vehway quiet, sighwent wike a mouse; don't say anything, not one wewd, untew the Times pwints aw those expwoitabew signs of possibew mentew ewness ... annnnnnd: NOW!'

'We at Fox News are fortunate to have eminent consulting expert psychiatrist Doctor Keith Ablow to inform our viewers what should be said about this shooter. Next up, you won't want to miss Sean Hannity grilling a representative panel of NRA officials on how President Obama, the Democrat party are ultimately responsible for this American tragedy of a genocidal program against innocent babies. Then it's The O'Reilly Factor, hosted by award-winning no-spin journalist Bill O'Reilly, as tonight Bill asks New York Times best-selling author historian Bill O'Reilly today's Big Question: Retribution, or Just Desserts? Bill's guest tonight is South Cackalacky Congressman and Church of Christ The Extremer elder Jordan "Rip" Yooterrusout.'

Victor said...

Erik C.,
There is no 'moderate kind' of Republican left in politics - outside of the Northeast, anyway. And even then...

Steve M. said...

Kinzinger is regularly described as a RINO at RedState (he supports immigration reform and Jeb Bush). He's argued that what's in the Planned Parenthood is comparable to medical experimentation in Nazi Germany, but the right won't give him points for that because he opposed a government shutdown over PP funding.