Most 2016 Republican presidential candidates daily bellow inflammatory rhetoric to stir the passions of their political base, no matter how many falsehoods are spread by such hate mongering. Consider this: Carly Fiorina’s lies about Planned Parenthood “selling baby parts” likely helped load the gun that Robert Lewis Dear used to murder three innocent people, including a police officer, and wound nine others, when he stormed a Planned Parenthood clinic and took hostages last Friday. That is not an incendiary statement. It is the truth.
In front of an audience of millions, Fiorina and compadres Trump, Cruz et al offer up hate speech that is the equivalent of yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Per Factcheck.org, here’s what Fiorina said, “During the second GOP debate, [as she] described a disturbing scene while arguing to defund Planned Parenthood:
Fiorina, Sept. 16: “As regards [to] Planned Parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, it’s heart beating, it’s legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”
This claim has been debunked repeatedly, but she won’t let go of it. Now three are dead, but if you’re expecting Fiorina or this ilk to take responsibility, they will not.
Pandering to the “right wing entertainment complex” has dire consequences. Candidate Marco Rubio recently indicated we have a moral obligation not to follow certain laws. Here is his statement:
“We are clearly called, in the Bible, to adhere to our civil authorities, but that conflicts with also a requirement to adhere to God’s rules. When those two come in conflict, God’s rules always win. In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin, violate God’s law and sin, if we’re ordered to stop preaching the gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that. We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”
Per Allen Clifton, “[i]n other words, [Rubio] believes that any Constitutional right given to Americans that he thinks goes against “God’s rule” should be ignored – because “God’s rule” supersedes Constitutional law.”
I thought Conservatives valued the Constitution above all. Unless the law of the land is a law they don’t like. So when faced with the hateful posturing of his fellow and sister candidates, what does Senator Rubio imagine will be the outcome of such statements, particularly in the gun crazed society in which we live today.
As reported by The Hill, Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton said:
“The shooting on Friday was at, as you know, a Planned Parenthood clinic, a place where lots of women get healthcare they need — breast exams, STD testing, contraception and, yes, safe and legal abortions. We should be supporting Planned Parenthood, not attacking it.”…
“This is truly unbelievable, that after what we’ve seen in Paris and other places, Republicans will not bring up a bill that will prohibit anyone on the no-fly list from buying a gun in America,” she said. “If you are too dangerous to fly in America, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.
“How many more Americans need to die before we take action?”
Is it fair to say Republican candidates, intentionally or not, may spur the unglued to violence? Fiorina, Trump (and just about all Republican candidates) were painfully silent after the Planned Parenthood tragedy. Gov. Huckabee made a quick admission that the attack on Planned Parenthood was, in fact, terrorism and then changed the subject, seemingly more concerned about the damage to his cause than the cost to the victims and their families. But the bigger issue is Republican candidates’ endgame. They’ve been screaming that the sky is falling since President Obama took office. Since taking back both Congressional chambers, Republicans have done nothing but push anti-abortion laws and hold meaningless symbolic votes to repeal Obamacare.
If the sky is really falling, then why are Republicans wasting vote after vote on a cause that will not bear fruit, or focusing an appalling amount of time attempting to restrict women’s agency over their own bodies, particularly trying to pass laws about abortions after 20 weeks (only 1.4% of all procedures done). That telegraphs Republicans are not serious about solving the economic or foreign policy issues about which they rail.
So either this is all kabuki theater and the sky isn’t falling, or they simply don’t give a damn. They cannot have it both ways. Given an alarming number of gun deaths, Republican candidates will not be able to stick their heads in the sand for much longer. When will they step out of their protected bubbles to admit the cost to people on the ground?
As night follows day, FOX News states that Republicans are planning another bill to — you guessed it — repeal Obamacare and de-fund Planned Parenthood. And do nothing about gun laws.
Clinton is betting that sensible voters on both sides, who overwhelmingly want universal background checks, will no longer tolerate bellicose posturing on guns, and that they will make their voices heard at the voting booth. I’m not so sure that’s true. Yet she may make forward progress on this issue by default as the only adult in the room.
The more Republicans continue to sound phony alarm bells that appeal to the unhinged rather than the reasonable among us, the lower their credibility will be. Let’s hope people stop listening altogether before any more violence might ensue as a result.