The blood on Carly Fiorina’s hands

Not too long ago, struggling presidential candidate Carly Fiorina accused Hillary Clinton of having “blood on her hands.” According to the increasingly desperate former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Secretary of State Clinton, through her “gross dereliction of duty,” had cost Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans their lives during a September 11, 2012 terrorist attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Fiorina, of course, knew full well at the time she made the statement that it was bullshit. She knew that, despite there having been 32 separate, well-funded hearings on Benghazi, not one single instance of administrative wrongdoing had been identified, but she made the statement anyway… Why did she do it? Because she was lagging in the polls and she knew that the mere mention of “Benghazi” would bring conspiracy-minded, Clinton-hating conservative activists to her camp in droves.

Fiorina knew that, if she wanted to compete in the primary against the likes of Donald Trump, she had to aggressively bait the Republican base with red meat, and that’s exactly what she did. She insinuated that Clinton was somehow complicit in the murder of American citizens, and then, having done that, she turned her attention to Planned Parenthood, making the completely unsubstantiated claim that video existed which proved the women’s health organization harvested and sold the body parts of aborted “babies.” Again, it was proven to be completely false, but it served its purpose. Fiorina dominated a few news cycles, got a bump in the polls from primary voters who despise the idea of Planned Parenthood, and earned a place on the main stage alongside Trump. [The video Fiorina keeps referencing, despite her repeated assertion that it shows a Planned Parenthood employee saying of a living fetus, “we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain,” shows noting of the kind. The highly-edited video, produced by an anti-abortion group, appears to show, not an aborted fetus, but a miscarriage, and there’s no indication that Planned Parenthood had anything whatsoever to do with it.]

Sadly, though, it would seem that Fiorina’s repeated claim that Planned Parenthood traffics “baby parts,” did more than just move her up a few rungs on the Republican primary ladder… It’s now being reported by NBC News that Robert Lewis Dear, the man who killed three and wounded nine in an attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood office yesterday, was heard to have yelled “no more baby parts” during his multi-hour siege.

While I suppose it could be a coincidence, it seems highly likely that Dear was referring to these anti-Planned Parenthood comments made repeatedly on the presidential campaign trail by Fiorina, who continues to challenge people to “watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain,” despite having been told several times that no such video exists. I suspect, if Fiorina were brought to court by the families of the three people who were just murdered, little could be done, as she didn’t explicitly call on her followers to kill employees of Planned Parenthood, but it would seem to me that we should at least try to hold her accountable for her actions. If nothing else, the next time someone in her position feels tempted to lie in order to inflame the passions of the violently uninformed, they may think twice. Maybe, if we’d done that back in 2011, when Byron Williams, after listening to one of Glenn Beck’s several rants about the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, set out to assassinate “people of importance” within those organizations, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now.

I know it’s asking a lot, but, at the very least, I’d like to hear someone during the next Republican debate, which is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas on December 15, ask Fiorina what she would say to the families of those murdered in Colorado by the man she likely inspired.

Fiorina likes to talk of others avoiding responsibility for their actions, and having “blood on their hands.” Let’s see how she responds when it’s brought to her attention that the bloodiest hands on the debate stage are her own.

[It should also be noted that others on the campaign trail, seeing how well this approach was working for Fiorina, joined her in attacking Planned Parenthood. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, for instance, suggested that women were getting pregnant just to sell their fetuses to Planned Parenthood.]

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  1. Demetrius
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Carly Fiorina is a poster-child for the American phenomenon of “failing upward.”

    As chair of Hewlett Packard, the company’s stock tanked, and more than 30,000 people lost their jobs. Yet, Fiorina made sure she departed with a golden parachute worth approximately $41 million.

    Next, she ran for Senate in California. Fiorina spent $21 million (despite stiffing many of her loyal creditors, and dedicated campaign workers), yet she still lost to Barbara Boxer in a landslide (around 10 points).

    Based on that abysmal record, Fiorina clearly thought her next logical step was to run for President … and evidently, she is so confident that she “deserves” that job that she has been willing to seize on the fake Planned Parenthood issue … not only telling outright lies, but literally upping the ante each time by making increasingly alarming and outrageous claims in a attempt to get noticed (and increase her poll standings) within an already bat-shit crazy field.

    But as we are seeing … actions sometimes have consequences … and now these outright lies seem to be (at least in part) responsible for the deaths of three innocent people, and the wounding of nine.

    In a normal world, Fiorina would sincerely apologize and contritely withdraw from the race.

    But in the amped-up “road to facsism” political free-for-all we are experiencing this year, I predict she may well “double-down” on the crazy, and she will probably see her poll numbers go up a few points, as well. (After all, why let a little tragedy and unspeakable violence get in the way of your political ambitions, right?)

  2. EOS
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    You’re denying that Planned Parenthood sells the parts of the fetuses they abort??? Are you that clueless or do you think someone could possibly believe your spin?

    By the way, Hilary has not been exonerated for her part in Benghazi. The FBI is still gathering the evidence and the investigation is ongoing. There are a multitude of charges that could be forthcoming in spite of the likelihood that Obama will immediately pardon her. Or maybe not – he doesn’t like Bill much.

  3. Demetrius
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Saying something frequently enough may make some people believe … but it doesn’t make it true.

    Increasingly in politics, it seems, what’s “true,” or “false,” doesn’t matter any more … only that the same things are said over and over, with conviction. Claiming a connection with “religious beliefs” seems to help, too.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Planned Parenthood does not sell “baby parts”. First off, they don’t have anything to do with babies. Among all of the health care services they provide, they do conduct safe and affordable abortion procedures in accordance with state and federal laws, but fetuses are not babies. Second of all, there is not a market for fetus “parts”. Contrary to what you may think, EOS, no one is trying to purchase fetus arms.

    You can read about the procedures offered by Planned Parenthood here:

    Planned Parenthood did, however, accept reimbursement for providing tissue samples to US researchers. This was not a profit center for Planned Parenthood. They merely accepted $60 per sample, which offset the costs associated with making samples available to researchers. Last year, however, they stopped accepting reimbursement. Thankfully, though, they still make tissue samples available to scientists doing research on cancer, aging, Alzheimers, etc.

    You can read more about it here.

  5. Peter Larson
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    EOS is shocked. Yawn.

    I think I’ll give another $100 t0 today on EOS’s behalf.

  6. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    GOP POTUS candidates are personally responsible for this terrorist attack

  7. Dan Blakeney
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    She will not be held accountable – she should be – but she won’t be.

  8. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    It’s not just Fiorina who is culpable (and should be held legally liable) for this terrorist attack, the whole GOP presidential field is responsible for working low-information GOP voters into a bloody lather for poll numbers. There are legions of GOP ideological thugs calling for terrorism against Planned Parenthood, applauding this terrorist attack, or approving of the terrorist attacks at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at Bataclan because it happened to devil worshippers who get what they deserve. The GOP is just a terrorist organization no different from IS, the Taliban, or Boko Haram, christianist fascism is the same as islamism, just wearing Duck Commander gear instead of balaclavas. Abortion is just a pretext for their terrorist ideology.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    When will the pro-gun folks start advocating to arm abortion workers?

  10. Jean Hwnry
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    NO. NO. NO. If you support the Black Lives Matter movement and do so with highly charged rhetoric, you are not responsible for some wackos deciding to kill cops. Neither is Fiorina or any anti-abortion advocate guilty of inciting violence unless they actually incite violence. Hillary is arguably more responsible for the deaths in Benghazi since her policies were being implemented there. I very much understand that everyone is upset, but this kind of inflammatory rhetoric lowers the left to Fox news levels and diminishes everyone. It also pushes both sides into opposite corners of the ring that is the democratic process. Still I would support your and Fiorina’s right to stay stupid shit that appeals to the prideful ideology of your respective sides. I would actually take a bullet for that democratic principle because it works. Free speech is important. It’s particularly important (though frustrating) in exposing insular dogmatic thinking to the clear light of discourse. It’s also really fucking frustrating to listen to/read on either side when they get all lathered up by real tragic human events and utilize them for political opportunism. Most of the time they don’t even see that that is what they are doing because they believe so much that they are right. I can’t wait for primary season to end.

  11. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Fiorina did incite violence with her siege mentality rhetoric, which acts as an impetus for GOP terrorism. She is personally culpable.

  12. Demetrius
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    @ Jean Henry

    I appreciate your perspective. Unfortunately, it only works as long as have a legitimate press standing by to challenge what people in public life (like major-party candidates for POTUS) have to say, and can force them toward something approaching the truth.

    Unfortunately, instead of a fully-functioning Fourth Estate, we mostly have infotainment, and corporate-sponsored stenographers who stand ready to report whatever inane comments come out of a candidate’s mouth, without questioning their veracity. “Fair and Balanced,” and all that …

    In this case, Fiorna’s blatant lies aren’t *directly* responsible for the violence that followed … but by amping up her dishonest rhetoric in a cynical ploy to gain votes (and going mostly unchallenged by the press) she certainly helped foster conditions that caused an unbalanced person to commit mayhem.

    Fiorina and others who have knowingly spread lies are at least indirectly responsible for what happened.

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I am less concerned with media bias and news as entertainment; I am much more concerned with the tendency for people to hold extremely fanatical positions, which they act upon, because they choose to not do a little research. The habitual failure of individuals to investigate stuff (a little) gives power to the liar-leaders on both sides of the political spectrum.

  14. Jean Hwnry
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    1) Fiorina was absolutely lambasted by the media for those debate statements and back-peddled considerably on them. That the right (and increasingly the left) no longer reads opposing viewpoints is due, in part, to the constant inflammatory garbage hurled by each side at the other from their foxholes.

    2) It seems far more likely that the perpetrator was incited by the rhetoric of the extreme Christian right as widely disseminated on the internet (see above), not in the mainstream media, then by a GOP candidate with single digit support.

    3) ‘Blood on her hands’ is different than ;indirectly responsible.’ I would have had no issue, if the header and rhetoric on this post was ‘the inflammatory rhetoric of Fiorina and anti-abortion activists over the last 40 years are collectively accountable to fostering conditions that might incite unbalanced people to violent action.’ But that was not the case.

    4) If you are concerned, as am I, about the dysfunction of the fourth estate, then places like this blog that hold up some journalistic standards become more important. I think the ‘blood on her hands’ headline, while clever rhetorical turn around, is irresponsible. I expect more of Mark and his readers. I expect more because I think those standards are really really important in fighting to quell all the inflammatory shit out there.

    5)If you are concerned, as am I, about the dysfunction of the fourth estate, then evoking the principle of free speech becomes even more critical to public discourse.

    6) Does no one remember when music was being called accountable for inciting teen suicides? Video games responsible for violence? Religious freedom aka Mosques responsible for terrorism? Civil liberties are at great risk in America today. Fear and anger create conditions in which people will accept the diminishment of their freedom. I’m quite shocked that the left is willing to call political speech incitement– even untruthful speech (lying is not unusual in politics). People fear change. History tells us that this kind of thinking will be employed against forces for progress more often than against the right.

    7)Fighting fire with fire is stupid.

  15. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    “Fighting fire with fire is stupid” oh so let’s bend over backwards to help the Far Right spread their reactionary garbage through a thoroughly misguided interpretation of ‘free-speech’. Let’s insist the KKK march through Depot Town every weekend from now on to satisfy your pernicious brand of liberalism, everyone should have a right to espouse their reactionary agenda unhindered. This is precisely liberalism isn’t on the Left, but is a function of rightwing ideology, if you don’t know why fighting fascists is valuable, then you are one.

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Thom, Save yourself some time typing and just say: “Garbage! Misguided! Pernicious! Ideological! Jean Henry is a fascist!”

    Same difference.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I am a total ideologue when it comes to the constitution, it’s true. I have been waiting to be called a fascist in an social media forum for the maybe 5 years since I first bothered with this parallel universe– So please have at it! I think I may get the lady-pass on both Internet and bar fights.
    Meanwhile I’d like to suggest a new version of Rock, Paper, Scissors for progressive (fascist) activism: Fire, Water, Sticks. fire is direct, radical, disruptive action; water is peaceful discourse and working within the system/communities; Sticks represents structural built re-enforcing social systems. fire beats structural inequity; water douses fire/radicalism; sticks withstand water.

  18. Taco Farts
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Insert pic of Palin crosshairs map w/Giffords and the “remove Giffords shoot full auto” Jesse Kelly event and the thousands of references to “second amendment solutions.”

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    taco farts — that’s much closer to incitement, for sure. No inquiry there either. What would an inquiry be able to do– nothing but draw attention to the issue. The press and social media should and can do that but it’s not like an inquiry ever changed anyone’s opinion in the last 40 years. Watergate may have been the last time we cared enough to act. Iran Comtra was much more outrageous– nothing. Anita Hill– nothing. Nothing truly nefarious shocks as anymore; only sex scandals register.

  20. wobblie
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    fighting fire with fire is the most common way to stop forest fires. And a prairie fire is a rejuvenating event

  21. Posted November 29, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been out with the kids all day, and I’m just now getting back to this, trying to catch up. Following are a few of my favorite comments from the Facebook discussion spawned by this post, for those of you who don’t do the social media thing.

    Mark Maynard I could see you point, Jean, if she weren’t lying.

    Jean Henry Then sue her for libel. I can not believe you all don’t see the problem with this. If someone public on the left starts talking illuminati bs and then some guy shoots Jay Z or Will Smith is that the other guy’s fault. I’m actually really upset that you all cant see how this kind of rhetoric can bite the left in the ass… Heavy metal records do not make people kill themselves either. Christ almighty this pisses me off.

    Dan Blakeney Being accountable for what you say is a principle, too. No one said Fiorina shouldn’t be allowed to speak – the question posed was would she be accountable for what she says?

    Jean Henry How should she be held accountable within US jurisprudence? Should people on the left also be held accountable when someone throws a molotov cocktail at an otherwise peaceful protest? The way she will be held accountable is within public discourse. It’s happening right now. Have at it… Free speech is a principle of US constitution. Being accountable for the truthfulness of one’s rhetoric is not.

    Dan Blakeney Being held accountable could take many forms – like having people not vote for you, or appoint you to posts, or hire you to work in their organizations, or just not bothering to listen to you ever again…

    Jean Henry That is how it is supposed to work. I still think using this event to attack Fiorina is opportunistic and takes the low road. (No I don’t think she, personally, is responsible. Not even close, and I doubt Mark Maynard does either– really. It’s not like this all started with the GOP debate.) But all such roads are protected by Free Speech.

    Meghan Kathleen Jean, principles are lovely things to have. However, they mean jack shit when, because of rhetoric like Fiorina’s, there has to be a safe room in a health care clinic. I worked in abortion care for years. Sounds like you’re expounding from a nice safe distance.

    Jean Henry Constitutional principles… not personal principles, Meghan. The same kind of principles that were invoked to make abortion legal. I volunteered at PP when I was young. I would argue that no woman is at a safe distance from the intrusions on bodily autonomy perpetrated by the right. My issue is fundamentally that these same kind of arguments– one person’s inflammatory rhetoric somehow creating responsibility for the violent actions of others– is used more often to suppress political activism on the left than on the right. When we invoke it; we legitimize it. Constitutional principles protect all of us. I also think it’s just gross to use tragic circumstances to forward political agendas period. Don’t care what side does it. I expect more of the left.

    Mark Maynard I never said he wasn’t responsible. I merely said that words have consequences and that Fiorina should be held accountable for setting the stage. Yes, there is freedom of speech and it should be protected, but when one lies in order to further a political agenda, they should face the consequences.

    Jean Henry Do you think Fiorina or even the GOP are unique in lying during a political campaign?

    Mark Maynard Absolutely not. I think there’s more of a willingness among modern Republicans, however, to engage in dangerous rhetoric… And telling people that Planned Parenthood is killing babies and selling their “parts” is insanely dangerous given the current situation in the U.S.

    Jean Henry That is certainly so, but she is not the first to say so. This has been going on for 40 years. She did not act directly; she is not accountable– just like Hillary. The KKK is protected until they act directly. Indirect association is not causation. There is no legal recourse other than libel. The recourse is discourse. I can’t believe you would sacrifice democratic principles for quid pro quo.

    Jean Henry Mark Maynard This same rhetoric is used against the BLM movement. Are you comfortable with them losing their right to free speech if riots break out. Both the anti-abortion movement and the BLM movement hold advocates who perceive the existing circumstances to present such gross injustice as to warrant violence. Should BLM be shut down as well?

    Mark Maynard You must think I’m saying that Fiorina should be imprisoned for what she said. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I believe in freedom of speech. I just think that there need to be consequences for those those who, in hopes of furthering their agendas, tell lies resulting in violent action. For instance, I think it would be great if she were censured by the RNC and excluded from debates. That won’t happen, of course, but I think something like that would be appropriate.

    Mark Maynard Even if it leads nowhere, there should be a public inquiry. We had 32 hearings in Benghazi. Are these 3 lives not worth 1?

    Jean Henry Oh my god. You have GOT to be kidding. More wasted resources and time. making a complete mockery of the democratic process, to make a political point? You all are off your rockers.

    Thomas Edwin Elliott You’re arguing for the Far Right to say and do as they please in some deluded interpretation of free speech

    Julie Dietrich Abuelsamid Jean Henry is right and stop pussyfooting around with this vague “held accountable” bs. Say what you mean. What exactly do you mean by that?

    Mark Maynard By “held accountable,” at the very least I meant that we shouldn’t let it slide. I wasn’t calling for her to be sent to a work camp. I believe in the first amendment, and I don’t think she directly incited violence. I am just tired of seeing good people die because the right wing hate machine continues to gin up controversy and make people think that, for instance, Obama is a Kenyan socialist who took over our government, Planned Parenthood is “selling baby parts” and Hillary Clinton was complicit in the killing of Americans abroad. It’s sickening. And dangerous. And we need to take a stand against it.

    Jim Pyke IMHO the bigger, deeper problem from an cultural perspective is the right wing’s degredation of public (and otherwise) education systems across the country. If more people had better critical thinking skills, the reaction to right wing rhetoric would be different. Then the rhetoric would have to change. There will be at least one generation lost to this sh*t. Possibly two. Many more innocent people will die. Hopefully the nation and the world will not be irreparably damaged within that span of time.

  22. Meta
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Fiorina responded to the news that the Colorado killer echoed her statements on Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby parts.

    In an interview this morning with Fox News Sunday, Republican primary candidate Carly Fiorina said that attempts to link Friday’s Planned Parenthood shooting with anti-abortion rhetoric were “typical left-wing tactics.”

    Fiorina was responding to a statement by Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. In her statement, Cowart said, “We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months. That environment breeds acts of violence.” Fiorina rejected the connections made by Cowart saying, “This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message. The vast majority of Americans agree what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong.”

    The former HP President has been one of the most public defenders of the series of deceptively edited videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. CMP, headed by David Daleiden, claims that Planned Parenthood is engaged in the illegal harvesting and sale of fetal remains. During the September GOP primary debate, Fiorina passionately claimed that the CMP videos showed “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.’” Though the statement struck a chord with primary voters—Fiorina’s numbers did a sharp, but brief, climb—it was patently false. Despite that, Fiorina has stood by the statement, issuing a series of videos that ostensibly backed her claims.

    And Fiorina seems to be sticking to her proverbial guns. Though she called the murder of three people (one that appears to be motivated by ideology) a “tragedy,” she added, “Any protesters should always be peaceful. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters.”

    Read more:

  23. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    An ideologue for the Constitution sounds like the Tea Party to me, you’re so intent on helping the Klan spread their message I really don’t see the difference between you and any other stripe of reactionary. There is no use for ‘freedom of speech’ if all it ends up being used for is propagation of ignorance. These GOP ideologues are responsible for this crime, they crafted the ideology, and they created the atmosphere of a crisis situation that Dear responded to with violence. And now self-proclaimed “liberals” are clamoring to defend their right to lie.

  24. Posted November 29, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    OK, I apparently can’t stop. Here’s more.

    Jean Henry So who would the tribunal be Mark Maynard? Do you really believe she holds singular responsibility for this attack or are you trying to indict a 40 year movement through her?

    Mark Maynard Again, I must not have explained myself well. I’m not calling for Fiorina to be executed, or even imprisoned. I’m just suggesting that we need to have more accountability from our leaders… And, no, I never said she was responsible for the anti-abortion movement. I didn’t even say she was responsible for this attack. He did, however, quote her, which leads me to believe that, yes, her lies helped set the stage.

    Jean Henry I guess I’m not clear what you believe is the appropriate action when you say blood is on her hands? Your blog post suggested civil suit? You also suggested some sort of tribunal for people whose rhetoric appears to indirectly incite violence? I feel like this issue has been well settled by history and the courts. I know you are well aware of this which makes me think your post is mostly political. I think that’s irresponsible and also inflammatory. I expect more. A higher road even in times like this– especially in times like this.

    Mark Maynard Again, “blood on her hands” is a quote from Fiorina. She said it about Clinton.

    Mark Maynard It’s kind of funny that you find my post “irresponsible and also inflammatory” but you’re OK with what Fiorina said.

    Jean Henry Yes. And you are lowering yourself to her level rhetorically while also stating her kind of rhetoric incites her base.

    Jean Henry I’m not at all ok with what Fiorina said. I just believe in free speech. I expect more of my side politically because it’s my house. Also because I think the low road is strategically unsound.

    Mark Maynard How am I lowering myself to her level by asking that we demand truthfulness from our leaders?

    Mark Maynard If I were lowering myself to her level, I’d say that she was selling baby parts online.

    Mark Maynard And, for what it’s worth, no one is likely to quote my post while killing people.

  25. EOS
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly the same deluded tactics that are being tried on college campuses across our nation. Sure, you believe in free speech except when the opinions expressed are those to which you are ideologically opposed. People take offense that others have differing opinions. They expect to silence opposition by the mere claim they are offended. If that doesn’t work then start hurling the most despicable names possible in an attempt that something sticks and humiliates the other person into silence. When that is ineffective, they will gather in large numbers and shout or make sufficient noise to prevent the opposing view to be heard by anyone. If the discussion is on the Internet, there are often comments requesting that the person who holds a differing opinion would be blocked. Most people give up and the result is that civil discourse is diminished. Leftwing groups hear nothing but leftwing propaganda and start believing that everyone is in agreement. 50% of the people don’t ascribe to your Koolaid but no longer contribute to any discussion. But they haven’t changed their opinions. If we can’t find a way to talk to neighbors, we will need to establish two separate nations in the near future. Try a new tactic for a change. Do a Google search and see what the pro-life leadership is saying about this lunatic in the Colorado Planned Parenthood. No sane person is celebrating.

    Jean Henry understands how negative these tactics are for everybody. You need to listen to or read the arguments of those with differing opinions if only for better understanding of how they reacheed their conclusions.

  26. Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Please read what I wrote again, EOS. I am not objecting to the airing of opinions that are not my own. I am objecting to the politically motivated dissemination of lies.

  27. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    No need for two separate countries, there won’t be one, thank the good lord. Why would anyone literate care about the ‘opposing view’ of the Far Right? What am I supposed to learn from the white supremacist christianist element, am I just not open-minded enough to listen to the Klan or other christianist terrorist groups? There’s one correct assertion in your screed EOS, no sane people are celebrating Dear’s prolife protest, that’s not to say there isn’t lots of GOP celebrating, there’s just a dearth of sane anti-abortion masculinists. Jean and EOS in goose step agreement together.

  28. John Galt
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Turns out the killer is one of yours. According to an investigation by Ted Cruz the Planned Parenthood shooter is a ‘transgendered leftist activist.’

  29. EOS
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

  30. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    What beautiful blustery crocodile tears ex post facto. They make sure to do nothing but create the siege mentality, eschatological atmosphere on the Far Right that is a machine that produces outbursts of violence, then they throw up a smoke screen of plausible deniability. I don’t believe for one second these people are in any sense sorry baby murdering monsters were killed, it would be like mourning vampire Nazis.

  31. EOS
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    But at the same time, you accept no responsibility for your politically motivated dissemination of lies. Hillary did mishandle confidential material and Planned Parenthood did provide human fetal tissue for a fee.

  32. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Why precisely is that red herring supposed to be relevant? Am I just not listening hard enough to your informal logical fallecy? I must be missing the all-important proto-terrorist christianist fallacious pov.

  33. Posted November 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Again, 32 hearings on Benghazi turned up nothing. Millions and millions of dollars were spent, and not one instance of wrongdoing was discovered. But they knew going into it that they wouldn’t find anything. That was never the intention. As a ranking Republican recently confessed, the intention of the investigations was to weaken Clinton in the polls prior to 2016, and, in his opinion, they’d been successful in that regard. They were able to make “Benghazi” synonymous with scandal, even though no scandal existed. As for Planned Parenthood, they charged a $60 fee for the transfer of fetal tissue to academic labs researching things like Alzheimer’s and cancer. They did not get rich on the “selling of baby parts.” They weren’t selling baby organs on the black market, as Fiorina would have you believe. They were just being reimbursed by research labs for the transfer of tissue samples that would otherwise be destroyed. This, by the way, was completely legal under U.S. law.

  34. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    None of that matters, all that matters at all is the alternate Far Right Universe EOS and Robert Lewis Dear imbibe with wanton abandon like the Oxycodone that fuels Limbaugh’s delerious radio shows. If Huckabee or Cruz said it, then it’s a fact, no evidence to the contrary necessary.

  35. EOS
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

  36. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Why are (moderate Republican) neoliberal Hilary Clinton’s ‘potential’ crimes relevant in any meaningful sense? Precisely. Did a Democrat burst into a Klan rally and start shooting GOP voters?

  37. Meta
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Jean is right when she says the anti-abortion movement has been alive for 40 years. Violence and threats of violence, however, have increased considerably in recent months.

    In the four months following the release of the videos, there have been at least four suspected arsons that targeted abortion clinics, compared with just one in all of 2014 and none in 2013. There have been at least five cases of vandalism since August. In comparison, there were 12 total cases of clinic vandalism in all of 2014 and just five cases in 2013, according to federation figures.

    In one of the recent vandalism cases, a young man entered a Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire and destroyed medical equipment, phones, and computers. This month, an unidentified person smashed the windows of Kentucky’s only full-time abortion provider, twice in three weeks.

    Anne, the executive director of the clinic, who declined to give her last name for security reasons, told Insider Louisville that in its 20 years of operation, the clinic had never before been vandalized.

    The deaths of three people at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood on Friday were the first slayings linked to an abortion clinic in six years. The last was in 2009, when the abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was murdered at his church in Wichita, Kansas. Scott Roeder, who was found guilty of Tiller’s murder, said he shot the doctor because “preborn children’s lives were in imminent danger.”

    The FBI has also reported an increase in the number of attacks on reproductive health care facilities across the country since the videos were released in July. A spokesperson from the FBI was not immediately available for comment.

    “It’s a concerning time,” says duVergne Gaines, director of the National Clinic Access Project.

    The project, which is a program of the Feminist Majority Foundation, has trained clinic escorts and helped clinics increase security with surveillance cameras, alarm systems, bulletproof glass, and vests. When Gaines spoke with Mother Jones earlier this month, she said “the trifecta of efforts excoriating, and inspiring individuals to go out and target providers by demonizing them” leaves providers vulnerable, and that they were lucky no one had yet been hurt.

    “But we fear that may be around the corner,” Gaines said at the time.

    The violence is intended to silence providers and drive them away from their jobs, but officials from the National Abortion Federation and the National Clinic Access Project say women should feel safe going to clinics. Law enforcement agencies are aware of the issue, they added.

    Indeed, the number of abortion providers decreased 38 percent between 1982 and 2000 and continues to decline today. According to research from an anti-abortion group, the number of surgical abortion clinics dropped to 582 in 2013, down from more than 2,000 clinics in the early 1990s. And in the last two years, surgical abortion clinics have been closing at a rate of 1.5 clinics every week.

    And though it’s hard to pinpoint every cause for the decline, “stigma and fear of violence…are powerful barriers to abortion provision,” according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

    Read more:

  38. Robert Reich by proxy
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Robert Reich on Facebook:

    On Friday, a gunman killed three at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, later telling police “no more baby parts’’ while discussing his motive.

    Last Monday, gunmen opened fire on Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis.

    Meanwhile, the FBI reports an upturn in threats on mosques and Muslims in the United States.

    These are all forms of domestic terrorism.

    The inflammatory rhetoric of certain presidential candidates hasn’t helped. Carly Fiorina continues to allege, despite evidence to the contrary, that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts of fetuses.

    Donald Trump, meanwhile, says Muslim-Americans should be tracked, undocumented workers rounded up, and that a Black Lives Matter protester at his rally “maybe deserved to be roughed up.” Last August, when a man arrested for beating a homeless Latin man told police “Donald Trump was right — all these illegals need to be deported,” Trump didn’t condemn the violence. Instead he said “people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.”

    I’m not suggesting Trump, Fiorina, or any other presidential candidates are directly to blame for the hate crimes erupting across America. But they have fanned the flames of hate. And that is despicable.

    What do you think?

  39. Taco Farts
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

  40. Jean Hwnry
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Oh my. that was fun. I can’t believe you put that whole redundant FB thread up there–. I’m sure everyone was enthralled. I am completely in agreement that the tactics of the far right have been egregious of late– Though they are not entirely different than the tactics of Atwater et al since Reagan, just maybe more transparent. I am so offended by these hyperbolic and inflammatory tactics, I’d rather not see the left use them. It’s that simple.
    EOS and I are not in lock step and never have been. Ever. I would just vigorously protect EOS right to free speech (so that I can argue her points). And I would be very very skeptical of any assertion of EOS’ personal responsibility for an act of violence perpetrated by someone with her political viewpoint. I’d do so on principle, Principles can not be applied selectively or they do not stand.

  41. Posted November 29, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Most people who read the site aren’t Facebook friends, Jean. And there was a lot of good stuff that was said on Facebook today that I thought folks here might find of interest. So, no, I don’t think it’s redundant. If it is, people can skip it though, right? And I didn’t move everything over. What you see above is curated. I tried to just grab things that moved the conversation forward…

    Here, for what it’s worth, is one comment of my own that I didn’t move over.

    Mark Maynard For what it’s worth, I like when real debate happens on Facebook. It feels like we’ve hacked the platform to use it for good.

    And I mean that. I liked the Facebook debate we were all having. It made me feel good about social media, even though we were disagreeing.

  42. Demetrius
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Rights often come responsibilities.

    I’m a (near) absolutist on free-speech, too. I generally defend anyone’s right to say anything – including their right to say things that are unpopular or uncomfortable for other people to hear.

    That said, I also think that with the *right* of free speech comes the *responsibility* of understanding that such speech sometimes has consequences. If a person purports to be a major-party presidential candidate and attempts to gain attention, and traction, by repeating outrageous lies … and then someone believes them, and commits violence based on those ideas … I think that candidate is least partially/indirectly responsible.

  43. EOS
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    13 Million Black Lives have been destroyed by abortion since Roe v Wade. That’s a far greater moral repugnancy than someone who doesn’t use your terminology when expressing their opposition to this practice. IMHO 58 million dead is a greater motivation than a statement that calls it baby parts when you would prefer them to use the phrase fetal tissue. So let’s hold her accountable so that no one ever dares to avoid using your euphanisms in the future.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    So by saying Fiorina is ‘responsible’ or ‘needs to be held accountable’ here you all mean personally, not legally. So this post is just grandstanding and the ‘blood on her hands’ but hyperbolic speech? It would appear you are trying to incite, Mark. My point is and has always been that this is also what Fiorina was doing when she ‘lied’ in order to rally her base. One’s perspective on the offense taken on these things adjusts according to how much one agrees with the speaker. Or, in my case, based on how much one detests that kind of speech.

    For what it’s worth, I enjoyed (mostly) going toe to toe on this issue. That’s dinner table conversation in my home growing up (minus Thom except at the holidays). I do it to work out my thinking, to try to get at the core of what other people are thinking. If I wanted to be right, I wouldn’t argue with people I fundamentally agree with on most things. And my arguments would be shorter. And maybe more entertaining. Anyway, I’m always pleased when it’s understood that no accountability tribunals are required for political speech. The human impulse to such things is very problematic historically.

  45. EOS
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 6:11 am | Permalink

  46. Irony Police
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Jean, for holding Mark accountable for his hyperbolic speech. Accountability is important.

  47. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Look at me! I’m for free speech! Isn’t formal freedom great?! Any malignant rightwing christianist fascist like Robert Lewis Dear, Marco Rubio, or EOS can flood the air with calls for violence against minorities, women’s health care, and women! Because it’s just part of a “debate”! A debate we still need to have, because the Far Right have some really great ideas that we just need to hear over and over again! Like going back to DIY abortions (as they already have by the hundreds of thousands in Texas), rounding up scary religious minorities in camps, having one state sanctioned religion, or forcing gays to be treated with electroshock! We’re so free! Free to consume and protect the Far Right’s extremist rhetoric that is a machine that produces outbursts of violence! Glad that’s settled.

  48. Jean Hwnry
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The recourse is discourse, as I said. Mark was calling for congressional inquiry a la Benghazi. I’m cool with it being worked out in the press.

    You are all understandably worked up., but I find the reflexive demonization of all those on the right to be very disturbing and counter-productive in moving any of them in the direction of moderation. It seems self-gratifying to the left. I keep reading posts that say things like “the GOP should be called a terrorist group.” I find that just as disturbing as Fiorina’s comments. At minimum, I don’t think the left is making a strong case for itself in all this.

  49. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Fiorina is directly, personally, and legally culpable for inspiring these attacks by propagating outright falsehoods that gullible, actively ignorant, masculinist authoritarians like Robert Lewis Dear and EOS believe. These deviants believe that PP is like an industrial hog farm for fetuses, and like the absurd belief that Obama’s real name is Barry Sotero/ that he is a Kenyan communist infiltrator etc, will never go away. Anything their huckster thought leaders tell these people that fits into their incoherent worldview stays there forever, try reading any text by Ann Coulter, they are just a tissue of falsehoods of one unsourced assertion after another about atheist kindergarten teachers and satanic abortion rituals etc. There is nothing to debate with them, because debate requires two cogent sides, and the GOP have long since been incapable of providing anything like rational ideas. EOS for instance is fine with epidemic institutional violence against blacks because PP provides abortions etc. They live in a profoundly ethically surrealistic world, and have nothing of merit to offer.

  50. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Not only are the GOP ‘like’ a terrorist group, they are actively generating terrorism, and preparing for all out shooting war with those they disagree with. They are hoarding guns, training, and creating doomsday shelters for the coming apocalyptic end times, just like ISIS. I would encourage you to shed your naivete regarding the motivations of the GOP, debate is worthless with them, like Neo-Nazis or jihadis (which are just different forms of rightwing ideology), they cannot be reasoned with, they must be crushed.

  51. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    And just let me re-iterate; you’re not on the Left, Democrats are not on the Left, bourgeois liberalism is only ‘to the left’ of plutocratic fascism. I couldn’t care about ‘making a case for the left’ if I tried, one is on the side of history, the other is fascism.

  52. Steve
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I like the term “radicalized” better than “inspired” when it comes to this case. The entire GOP rhetoric radicalized the PP shooter.

  53. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Anybody know what steps I can take to get into the credit card business? (I heard it pays well.)

  54. Jcp2
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink


    Are there historical examples of movements that crush oppression that then stop?

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    It seems Troy Newman is a better target for charges of incitement that Fiorino, but he’s not a candidate, so who cares?

  56. Jean Henry
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    JCP– The United States.

  57. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Regardless of our differing political affiliations and world views, I hope and pray that we can all agree with the wise man who once said “they must be crushed”.

  58. kjc
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The U.S. has sw0rn off oppression? This is great news.

  59. Jcp2
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Now I’m confused. Either we can crush oppression as Thom would like and Jean says we can’t , or we can crush oppression as Jean would like but Thom says we can’t. I’m not big on okay with being confused as long as I’m not crushed. Is there an intermediate position? Not big on crushing either.

  60. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    My advice to Jcp2: Just randomly pick a side and start “crushing”. Your thoughtful, intermediate, confused position makes you a target.

  61. Demetrius
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    @ Thom

    Criticizing or attempting to hold someone accountable for the consequences of their speech is not the same thing as claiming they don’t have a right to that speech.

    Short of inciting outright violence, U.S. citizens have a constitutional right to say, print, distribute, all kinds of crazy things you or I (or others) might disagree with. And, as much as it pains me sometimes, I remain grateful for that.

    I think it is fine that people should question whether Fiorina’s lies played a role in this weekend’s violence, and I think she should be publicly ridiculed … but I’m not saying she should be prosecuted.

  62. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Well you can be grateful for the domination of the US by the Far Right with their ‘dog whistle’ terrorist hacking of so-called “free speech”, and pretend we live in something resembling the system you describe all you wish. I also appreciate your obligatory retread/affirmation of Constitutional rights as though I just don’t know them, instead of actively disagreeing with the mendacity of Enlightenment-era herrenvolk/slavers enshrined there in. Just like whitepower reactionaries can no longer openly (outside of ‘secret Facebook groups’) call blacks the N word or call for their deaths, they also generate prolife terrorism in the same way (through code). You personally contribute to this dynamic by your absurd tolerance of fascism out of misguided idealism and mythologization of the Constitution and liberalism. GOP terrorism counts on this to accomplish its demented ends.

  63. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I also would like to thank reactionary bourgeois liberal “Frosted Flakes” for his ‘peanut gallery’ ignorant commentary which slavishly serves the Far Right. Robert Lewis Dear thanks you for your support.

  64. Jean Henry
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    kjc– I didn’t say the US swore off oppression. Every nation state oppresses to one degree or another. The assumption that I read from JCP’s comment (I may be wrong) was that somehow, once achieving liberation, the oppressed will never stop fighting or create peaceful nations. And so it would follow, fights against oppression are dangerous to civilization. This is clearly untrue. Though it is a common fear. South Africa is another example where people feared liberation would bring chaos and violence against whites when, if anything, it did not do enough to elevate the black population.

  65. Demetrius
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    The U.S. Constitution (and its supporting infrastructure, including the Supreme Court) is far from perfect. The recent “Citizens United” ruling is a perfect example of that.

    Still, I would much rather live in a country where the free speech is at least an aspiration, or an “ideal,” rather in than one in which any individual or group would attempt to decide what is acceptable vs. that which is considered “reactionary,” “fascist,” etc.

  66. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Thom, you might be interested in knowing that Carly has a degree in philosophy from stanford. Just because your favorite philosophy professors told you and Carly that you wrote great essays does not mean that there is not ample room for the two of you to reflect on your arguments and what you take to be true and decent. I for one, read through your comments and become very concerned with all of the de-humanization, generalization, exaggeration and all the little clues that you *refuse* to even understand basic stuff other people are posting. I would like to think one of your philosophy professors would feel responsible enough about your well being to inform you via a private email that what you are doing is not philosophy at all and that your exchanges barely have a human quality to them. Sorry if that sounds judgmental. I am more concerned than anything, actually.

  67. jcp2
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink


    I agree that nations can, and have, overcome oppression. To me, “crushing” connotes the significant use of violence as a coercive means of doing so. I think that is what Thom means when he used that term. Is that what you mean?

  68. kjc
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    “Sorry if that sounds judgmental. I am more concerned than anything, actually.”

    FF, your psychology professor is calling.

  69. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Haha. Good one KJC! I thought about posting that comment anonymously… It probably seems insincere given that I was sarcastic toward Thom earlier. I apologize for my lame sarcasm, on my part, because I think this has been a very important discussion. Jean Henry has raised some very valid concerns. I would have sent a private email but I don’t know Thom. I was actually being sincere about feeling concern, for what it is worth.

  70. Jean Henry
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    JCP– see my Rock, paper, scissors analogy somewhere way far above in this thread for the short answer. Long answer– it’s all necessary. For the most part, violent insurrection doesn’t work and the change doesn’t hold, but without its threat, structural change doesn’t happen. We would not have gay marriage if it weren’t for Act-Up who were considered extremists. So all kinds of activism and activists and advocacy and advocates have a part to play in creating change. Even the Thom’s– and there are many. Progressives spend a lot of time arguing amongst themselves about the right way. My observation is that all efforts for change– even failed ones– help move the needle a bit. Once there is critical mass of dissatisfaction with the current scenario and a widely accepted inspiring vision for change, things happen quickly historically. Impetus is required– that’s usually some kind of hard blow– a war, a catastrophe, revelation of extraordinary corruption, or mass demonstration or a riot. They call them movements for a reason. Not every country can be Canada and negotiate its own sovereignty. Even Canada isn’t Canada– there were wars preceding independence.

  71. Karl
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Jean just said that without the threat of consequences structural change doesn’t happen. Given that, what’s wrong with attempting to hold our leaders accountable for lying to us, especially when doing so puts people in danger?

  72. Jean Henry
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I never EVER suggested that we not hold leaders accountable. We have freedom of speech and press; use them– ideally without demonization and hyperbole. I suggested that there is no legal recourse and a Benghazi like tribunal would be ineffective and a waste of time and energy. I do not think lying leaders rises to the level of warranting riot or even dismantling the current system that elects leaders (although it sure could use some tweaks). If we were to boot all lying leaders, we would have no leaders. We already have a semi-functional system for addressing liars and cheats and creating political change. Fiorini is a candidate anyway, not a leader– and with just 5% of GOP support.

    I need to leave this thread behind me for reasons of time and sanity. There are only so many times a person can repeat herself without going mad. I suggest if someone has a point they would like to direct at me, my answer can be found somewhere in this thread already.

    I find it interesting that suggesting we be better than the GOP and their tactics engenders so much reaction. Are we that incapable of critical self-examination? Are we that dependent on demonizing conservatives who represent half our country? Are we all Thom’s? What do we get out of that? It definitely does not work to the Dems political advantage to alienate half the country. Almost half the GOP support abortion rights. You are pissing them all off.

    It’s primary season folks, you should be leaning back, eating popcorn and watching the GOP make fools of themselves. None of that lot has much of a shot at the presidency.Its a political circus, not the rise of fascism. Chill out. Donate to Planned Parenthood’s Lobbying campaign of you want to address disinformation. You all act like this is new or something.

  73. kjc
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    though i fundamentally distrust jean’s omniscient narrator positioning of herself (there’s plenty of “prideful ideology” to go around), and the varied contestants in the angel of history contest, i can go w/the “it takes all kinds” argument. including guys like mark who throw up posts like this every so often (he’s been doing it for forever—you act like this is new or something!). call it hyperbole, misguided outrage, karmic intuition, call it “stupid shit”, whatever; it’s based in anger and sorrow, not meant to provide policy directives. of course he doesn’t want tribunals. he’s mad. it’s his blog. “the left” is no better than anyone else and they certainly don’t cohere into a home for anyone. (the radical queers of ACTUP ending in the conservative institution of gay marriage being one of the typical ironies.) seems like jean is screaming “forest over trees, forest over trees” and kind of missing the particular charlie brown tree of angsty outrage that mark indulges in occasionally. she took a switch to him like his grandma.

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    A switch? Damn. I don’t think my tone was nearly as nasty as yours, KJC, though it was at times impassioned. And I think Mark knows where I’m coming from. At least I hope so. Your points are valid though all around. I was taught to speak directly and with authority. I’m not from the midwest– not going to equivocate or apologize. Especially as a woman in an online forum. Neither am I going to cloak my points in cleverness to make them more palatable. I figure it’s pretty clear it’s my opinion (not the word of god) since my full for-real name is at the top.

  75. Posted November 30, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I was going to let this thread die down a bit, but a friend just send me a link to an article on Slate titled The Undeniable Link Between Anti-Abortion Rhetoric and the Planned Parenthood Attack, and I wanted to share a clip.

    …Since July, when the Center for Medical Progress began releasing videos purporting to show that Planned Parenthood profits from fetal remains, there’s been an “unprecedented escalation in hate speech and threats against abortion providers,” says Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation. Over the summer, her group met with the Department of Justice’s National Task Force on Violence Against Health Care Providers, which was established by Janet Reno after a rash of anti-abortion murders in the 1990s. “We’re turning over the threats we’ve uncovered to them for their investigation and handling,” Saporta says. “Quite frankly, the threats and hate speech and posts have been too numerous for our staff to keep up with.”

    And not just threats: There have been four arson attacks against abortion clinics since July. In October, someone smashed up a New Hampshire Planned Parenthood with a hatchet. “We have rewards being put out for the murder of doctors,” Saporta says. In late July, the Center for Medical Progress released a video that included footage of Savita Ginde, medical director of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountain, the affiliate that the Colorado Springs clinic is part of. Shortly after, according to a National Abortion Federation court filing, about 50 protesters showed up at Ginde’s home, “holding signs stating ‘Planned Parenthood sells baby parts,’ and leaving fliers around her neighborhood claiming in massive print that ‘Savita Ginde Murders Children.’ ”

    It’s ludicrous to suggest that this climate of incitement can be separated from a disturbed man shooting up a Colorado Planned Parenthood and then telling police, “No more baby parts.” Certainly, unlike previous anti-abortion murderers, Dear doesn’t appear to be closely tied to the anti-abortion movement. From what we know so far, he seems like an unbalanced loner with a host of right-wing preoccupations (handing out anti-Obama fliers in his neighborhood, ranting online about the end times). But this doesn’t mean he wasn’t caught up in the anti–Planned Parenthood fervor that’s lately been stoked by the right.

    “He may very well be an unstable lunatic,” says Brian Levin, head of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. “But so too are a decent portion of those who commit terrorism across the ideological spectrum. When we have folks from other ideologies, we concentrate on the ideology first, not on their mental instability. So it’s a bit of a shell game.”

    Levin is not a liberal partisan. A former cop, he studies extremists of all stripes, from radical Islamists to animal liberationists, and trains law enforcement in dealing with ideologically motivated violence. “Terrorism is symbolic,” he says. “Whether it’s unstable right-wing males or ISIS, symbols are important. It’s no accident that in the folklore of whatever extremist movement you’re talking about, certain targets are identified as primary sources of evil. That’s what makes this kind of attack different from a random attack.”

    Only recently has Planned Parenthood become such a symbol of evil in the right-wing imagination. In the past, the targets of anti-abortion murders were usually specific doctors, not Planned Parenthood as an institution. Barnett Slepian, who was assassinated by a sniper’s bullet in his own kitchen in 1998, had been singled out by the anti-abortion movement for years. So was George Tiller, who was murdered in 2009 after surviving a previous assassination attempt in 1993…

  76. Posted November 30, 2015 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    And, for what it’s worth, I like the imagery of Jean chasing me, grandma-like, with a switch.

  77. stupid hick
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    No reactionary right wing hearts or minds will be won through civil discourse on the internet by weak liberal MM sycophants. They don’t respect you and won’t be reasoned with. Mark should challenge Fiorina to a duel and let God choose who is right. Be a God-favored winner. That’s how to win an argument and get their respect.

  78. EOS
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    How twisted. Blame those who speak up in defense for the escalation in violence rather than those who promote and carry out the slaughter of millions of humans. 42 consecutive years of killing more than a million each year. I think there is enough blood to stain everyone’s hands. Prov 24:11-12

  79. EOS
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    More than 3000 killed each day, subsidized by our tax dollars. Planned Parenthood is the number one abortion provider in our nation. They have over 1.4 billion in net assets, reported more than $127 million in excess revenue last year, and was provided with $528 million in taxpayer dollars. And they did not provide a single mammogram in any facility in the nation.

  80. Jean Henry
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    EOS– Blaming PP and legal abortion for the murders in CO is just sick. Your are blaming the target for the violence asserted against them. But you do that a lot.

    Mark- Saying the rhetoric of the entire ‘pro-life’ movement over the last 30 years incites violence is very different than saying a the words of a single candidate a few weeks ago incited a particular act of violence. That was most of my point.

    There are people within the movement regularly calling for violence, and there are people like EOS who have no problem justifying violence (and terror)– and then there’s Fiorina– who said some stupid ill-informed shit about a video she had not watched.

  81. EOS
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I have never justified violence, merely pointed to the more likely cause of the recent violence.

  82. EOS
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I blame PP and legal abortion for the murder of millions. Mr. Dear is to blame for the 3 murders in Colorado.

  83. Eel
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    “Frustrated Gunman Can’t Believe How Far He Has To Drive To Find Nearest Planned Parenthood Clinic”

  84. Lynne
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    The thing that bothers me the most about this is that it really exposes some pretty nasty hypocrisy on the right but it doesn’t matter because most people don’t care. They are cool with treating Muslim terrorists one way and white Christian terrorists another way. But can you imagine their reaction if a Democratic presidential nominee had said anything that could be perceived as being sympathetic to ISIS after the Paris attacks? They would be going on and on about it endlessly!

    Here is the thing. Words matter. And while I certainly believe strongly in our concept of Free Speech and while I don’t think we need to prosecute anyone for inciting violence in this case as it is pretty clear that no one said anything that can meet that legal standard, I do think it is fair to criticize Fiorina et al for what they said. Do we want to have a President who is OK with terrorists killing people if a legal medical procedure they don’t agree with is being performed on the same premises? Do we want to have a president who is ok with making women second class citizens by not applying the 14th amendment to things like access to medical care? I am not but sadly, many of my fellow Americans are ok with such things just like they are ok with making brown skinned people second class citizens.

  85. Demetrius
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    NYT: The toll of violent anti-abortion speech

  86. EOS
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Do we want a country that allows Planned Parenthood to target minority women and disproportionately slaughter their offspring? Pro-abortionists are doing their best to keep brown skinned persons from ever becoming citizens. I’d like to see the 14th amendment applied to those whose hearts beat in the womb.

  87. EOS
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    In a free and civilized society, we should never allow ourselves to be intimidated into silence by those who prefer that their injustices remain hidden.

  88. anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    “We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated” says the man trying to intimidate women into not seeking reproductive health care.

  89. Peter Larson
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    This is the funniest thread I’ve read in a while.

  90. Lynne
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    “I’d like to see the 14th amendment applied to those whose hearts beat in the womb.”

    It is! The important part is that it specifically gives citizenship upon *birth* but fwiw until you can be compelled to use your body to save my life, if the equal protection clause is to apply, no woman should be compelled to use her body to save a life. So are you cool with being forced to donate blood? kidneys?

  91. Jean Henry
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Can o’ worms–opened.
    More fun for Pete.

  92. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    No Lynne, that’s not a valid comparison. I am not ethically bound to save your life to the same extent as a fetus because your existence was not a direct result of any action on my part. I am morally committed to incur some degree of hardship or inconvenience for a life that was conceived due to physical activity on my part. You can exercise a choice in determining whether or not to engage in sexual activity, but once a life is formed, I don’t believe anyone should be allowed to take action that would destroy that life, regardless of its size, level of development, environment, or degree of dependency. The Supreme Court has ruled that Roe v. Wade can be overturned by simple legislative action that defines life to begin at conception, a fact that is not disputed in the medical or scientific realm. I would gladly sacrifice my life for that of my child, but I’m not so sure about you.

  93. EOS
    Posted December 2, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Also, not taking action to help someone survive is not at all the same as engaging in deliberate action to end another person’s life. I think the government and society has an interest in keeping me from stabbing you or otherwise ending your life, but cannot compel me to donate an organ without my consent.

  94. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Oh what the hell:

  95. Jean Henry
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

  96. Lynne
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Re: ” I am not ethically bound to save your life to the same extent as a fetus because your existence was not a direct result of any action on my part.”

    Yes, I am aware that this issue is more about punishing women for having sex and not so much about saving lives. I find that kind of morality disgusting.

  97. Meta
    Posted December 14, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Chris Cuomo called Fiorina on it:

  98. Edward
    Posted February 10, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Carly is a quitter. She dropped out of the race today.

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