Photo courtesy of Women's Enews
The first and most important lesson of the Planned Parenthood shootings in Colorado is that we have to get serious about keeping guns away from crazy people. The second lesson is that we have to stop feeding the crazy.
All week, Republicans and their media enablers have been passionately denying that over-the-top rhetoric about Planned Parenthood has anything to do with the killing spree at the clinic in Colorado Springs.
Never mind multiple reports that the shooter said “no more baby parts” in an interview with police—echoing Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and the creators of the deceptive Center for Medical Progress videos that falsely claim Planned Parenthood illegally trades in fetal remains.
Carly Fiorina made headlines with her gruesome and totally false account during a Republican debate about a live baby aborted and then kept living so its brain could be harvested. Now, she is calling Planned Parenthood irresponsible for stating that such lurid stories help create a dangerous environment for patients and staff.
"[T]his is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing the messenger, because they don’t agree with the message,” Fiorina said of Planned Parenthood’s measured statement about the tense environment around its clinics. Then Fiorina doubled down on her attack—exaggerating the degree of public opposition to Planned Parenthood: “The vast majority of Americans agree, what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong. That’s why the vast majority of Americans are prepared not only to defund Planned Parenthood, but also to stop abortion for any reason at all after five months.” (The vast majority of Americans do not believe what Planned Parenthood does is wrong, nor do they support defunding the organization, according to FactCheck.org.)
A state representative in Colorado went Fiorina one better, justifying the shooter, The Colorado Independent reports, and saying the attack was Planned Parenthood’s fault.
“Violence is never the answer, but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit. The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any Planned Parenthood facility is Planned Parenthood themselves,” said State Representative JoAnn Windholz.
That point of view, while impolitic, is right in line with national Republican Party talking points.
Marco Rubio earned a hearty congratulations from Glenn Beck for opposing abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
Ted Cruz touted his endorsement by Operation Rescue leader Troy Newman, who decries the “blood guilt” of people who have or assist in abortions, and whose group was in involved in a plot to blow up a clinic.
Republicans are playing with fire, appealing to rage and fear, and bypassing facts and reason altogether.
At the same time, they are demanding even easier access to guns.
When their hyped-up rhetoric has a predictable result, they blame “leftists” and double down on the same talking points.
Ruth Conniff is editor of The Progressive