Three days ago, a white right-wing Christian terrorist took the lives of three people, including a police officer, in what has been universally declared a domestic terrorist attack. But instead of taking responsibility for the vitriol that caused the senseless murders of two civilians and a police officer, the right-wing has deflected the blame away from themselves, and tried to pin it on the left and on Planned Parenthood. On Sunday, three GOP presidential candidates went on national television and instead of condemning the terrorist attacks they incited, they continued to spread the same sick and twisted lies that are to blame for the murders in the first place.
Carly Fiorina appeared on Fox News Sunday where she was asked, by host Chris Wallace, if she believes her incendiary rhetoric is to blame for last week’s terrorist attack on the Colorado Springs’ Planned Parenthood clinic. She responded by reiterating her outrageous fallacies that the health organization illegally sold fetal tissue, and then promptly blamed liberals for “demonizing the messenger”:
“First, it is not alleged. Planned Parenthood acknowledged several weeks ago they would no longer take compensation for body parts, which sounds like an admission they were doing so…This is so typical of the left to immediately demonize the messenger, because they don’t agree with the message. What I would say to anyone who tries to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion or opposes the sale of body parts is, this is typical left-wing tactics.”
Planned Parenthood did, in fact, stop accepting reimbursement for the shipping costs associated with their fetal tissue donation program, but they didn’t do it because their critics’ outrageous claims of black market “baby parts sales” were correct. The group’s president, Cecile Richards, said it was intended to “take away any basis for attacking Planned Parenthood to advance an anti-abortion political agenda.” This was not an “admission” as Fiorina claims, it was a way to protect to millions of people who rely on the organization’s healthcare services from the vapid and increasingly radicalized “Christian” right.
The Republican Party frontrunner and Liar-In-Chief, Donald Trump, told Meet The Press host Chuck Todd that the attack on the clinic was “terrible” and said the shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, was a “maniac”; but Trump also refused to back away from the falsehoods that caused the shooting:
“I will tell you, there is a tremendous group of people that think it’s terrible, the videos that they’ve seen, with some of these people from Planned Parenthood talking about it like you’re selling parts to a car. Now I know some of the tapes were perhaps not pertinent. I know a couple of people that were running for office or are running for office on the Republican side were commenting on tapes that weren’t appropriate. But there were many tapes that are appropriate… and there are people that are extremely upset about it.”
Actually, none of the tapes were “pertinent” and all of them were heavily edited in order to attack women’s rights.
Finally, Mike Huckabee visited CNN’s State of the Union and defended his position on the imaginary “sale of baby parts”:
“I think that’s a little bit disingenuous on the part of Planned Parenthood to blame people, who have a strong philosophical disagreement with the dismembering of human babies and with the selling of body parts, to say that we would like to retaliate by sending some mad man into a clinic to kill people.”
Not one of the candidates admitted that their attacks on the organization were to blame for the act of terror. Each one of them continued the campaign of lies against Planned Parenthood that has been responsible for at least a dozen murders and multiple bombings over the past thirty years. The Republican Party stands in front of the American people and pushes lies and hate in order to win votes. Their despicable rhetoric infects the minds of their uneducated supporters like a parasite – then, when one of their enraged followers murders people, they refuse to accept responsibility for the monsters they have created.
We have seen this happen time and again, all across the country for years. Doctors have been killed in their homes, Planned Parenthood clinics and other women’s health clinics have been blown up or lit on fire. Women are screamed at and called “murderers” by violent anti-choice protesters as they walk into clinics to have regular health check-ups. I have personally been to a clinic that has a sign on the door warning patients of the potential safety risks of entering because the clinic was the target of bombs threats. The GOP dubs Planned Parenthood clinics “abortion factories” when 97 percent of their services have nothing to do with the termination of pregnancies. Yet, they continue to sell these lies to their base and create actual murderers like Dear. The saddest thing of all is that in this “post-truth” media cycle, where lies go unquestioned and facts don’t matter, a large portion of our society will continue to believe the lies they have been fed. As Trump rallies turn violent and Planned Parenthood clinics are shot up, one shudders to think at what is still yet to come.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.