*cross-posted at 43-Ideas-Per-Minutes
One can't but hear, again, the conservative Right's shriek and cry when the DHS report detailing "Right-Wing Extremism" was released.
Granted I'm a bit late to the subject on this one, but there was something about this whole scene that left a rather foul taste in my mouth.
--- follow me below the fold for some random thoughts on the state of conservativism and the radicals they encourage ---
Was it the very real fact that the conservative media that, in my opinion, is quite complicit in this murder, would gloss over the very real fact that it was the Right-Wing Extremism that they shouted did not exist was what lead to this man's death?
Was it that conservative pundits and bloggers would attempt to show their "Christian" side by claiming they are "praying" for Tiller's family and thereby distancing themselves from the rhetoric that they had dispensed en masse prior to Tiller's death?
No. These were simply predictable. They were bound to happen.
I'm still not entirely certain what this strange feeling is, but I'm quit certain that it has to do with the conservative's alleged "culture of life" stance.
They see life in such stark "black and white" terms that they lack the ability to detect those subtle nuances of thought, deed, and speech. They speak of actions, like those of Dr. Tiller, with this moral arrogance without understanding the very real fact that women aren't dragged into an abortion clinic and forced to end their unborn child's life. As hard as it may be for some of us to understand this fact, there are reasons that abortion is around. You may not wish to accept that, but there are things just as foul that have been done in the name of conservative political gain.
The ultimate folly within the conservative line of thinking is that they feel that if they pretend to "feel sorry" for their deeds, their words, their very thoughts, that they will continue to rule over this supposes "moral high-ground" they claim to hold for America.
The first thing that I noticed had happened in the wake of Tiller's murder was the statement by Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue:
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. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.
Although Terry's statement attempts to balance itself between being a staunch advocate for the unborn and adherance to Judeo-Christian "ethic", the part that really sticks out is his fear, albeit an irrational one, that the Obama administration is going to keep his organization from "acting" - as if he is equating Operation Rescues protests with Dr. Tiller's murder. In point of fact, the Obama adminstration is more concerned with very real aspect that a murder of this type could occur again. No one is attempting to take away a person's or group's guranateed right to assemblage and speech.
His own organization is now attempting to distance themselves from him.
Likewise, on Hot Air, Allahpundit attempts to distance himself - and the entire commenting populous of that blog - from their continual and willfully-ignorant assumptions that since the DHS report on Right-Wing Extremism didn't meet their particular lingustic standards that it was not only irrelevant, but dangerous in it's own right.
Ed Morrissey was one of the loudest and most ill-informed voices there:
They have no threat information. In fact, the report can’t even say definitively whether "extremists" are gaining "new recruits". In order to find that, they’d have to identify the actual groups, note the recruiting patterns, and determine whether in fact they’re gaining recruits or losing members. Bottom line: DHS has no actual data. They’re pulling threats out of their collective arse and publishing them without any supporting research whatsoever.
Ed's seizure-inducing prattling seems to suggest that since the DHS couldn't name a specific "cell" of extremists - in this case, a lone-nut who's motivations were likely stoked through "conservative ideology" - then they had no right to even mention that anti-abortion vigilantism is a very real issue.
Michelle Malkin is more up-front regarding what she hopes will transpire. She seems to be able to summon what little "Christian good-will" it takes to "denounce" the killing and even goes so far as to "show compassion" for Tiller's family by equating anyone that discusses this topic with the Westboro Baptist Church:
Tiller’s family is grieving. Those who have jumped to score political points before Tiller is even buried are no better than the Phelps family thugs of the "Westboro Baptist Church" who respect no bounds of civility.
But, the mask begins to slip within the next few paragraphs:
Unfortunately, it’s too much to ask the cable news networks and hyper-partisan snipers on the Internet to have the decency to restrain themselves.
Prepare for a wall-to-wall onslaught of gleeful finger-pointing on the Left and heated responses on the Right.
Prepare for whitewashed hagiographies of Tiller’s career as an abortionist.
Prepare for DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s defenders to gloat about vindication.
Malkin no doubt knows that her near-salivatory rhetoric in regards to the DHS report was not only wrong, but pushed the bounds of ignorance to profoundly new levels. And now, all of a sudden, she's concerned with Tiller's family? Please.
When one reads Malkin's words, what you are reading is a plea for any and everyone not to remember how they lambasted Janet Napolitano and the DHS for the report. Malkin no doubt ran to her computer upon hearing this news, trying to formulate a strategy that would remove herself and her words from any and all speculation. She did this with the knowledge that she, and all that agreed with her, were wrong.
Now that there is time for them to reflect on this honestly, and all the other instances of Right-Wing extremism since the initial DHS report was released, will they attempt to see Tiller's murder for what it truly is? Will they be able to realize that fringe-conservative rhetoric - in regards to abortion, homosexuality, race, and whole host of issues - has ceased to be simply just "rhetoric" in the minds of some. Dr. Tiller's killer is a prime example of such.
Malkin initially stated that "The Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real", and now - as she see's her words crumble before her eyes - she is essentially begging that no one bring up the very real fact that she, and many like her - were wrong. They can't stand the very real fact that those they were aligning themselves with, showing not only their ignorant ways but their complete lack of rational though, are extremists that are willing to murder in the name of the God that they now are saying demands us all to hold our tongues.
But what of that distance between "conservativism" and extremism? Is it beginning to shrink?
Example after example of people making "threats" and those acting on their impulses, whether they have a military background or not, continue to pile up, even in that face of conservative detractors claiming that these things simply aren't happening.
In the example of Dr. Tiller, Bill O'Reilly - likely the one person within the conservative media that has used his platform to inflame many against Dr. Tiller - is the one that has more blood on his hands than anyone.
The segment that I thought was over-the-top, even by O'Reilly's low standards, was his blatant and unapologetic exploitation of a woman that had a late-term abortion done by Dr. Tiller.
What actually made this woman decide to have a late-term abortion? I know of no woman that has been "forced' to end the life of her unborn child. Do you?
To claim that anyone is "pro-abortion" is to muddy the issue until the subject is so diluted with misinformation and blatant lies that it becomes difficult to have a coherent dialogue with someone of "conservative" mindset.
No one is "pro-abortion". This is simply right-wing spin so as to prevent people from understanding that it is a "choice" that is ultimately up to the woman and should not be decided by the state or federal government. But, that is another issue entirely.
This shrinking distance between the words of the "conservative" movement and those that take it upon themselve to act in the name of "conservativism" is seen perfectly in the shootings at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, as the killer left his "manifesto" and there was little question as to where he got his "information" from:
Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.
Was Dr. Tiller's killer a Christian or not? Certainly their have been crimes equally as distrubing, and worse, carried out "in the name of Jesus". But what we are seeing now are acts of violence carried out in the name of "insert name of best selling conervative author" - acts of violence aimed at "preseving America's image".
The line between conservative ideology and violence is not just shrinking, it is disappearing.