December 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm EST | by Richard J. Rosendall
Domestic Terror and GOP Denial
domestic terror, gay news, Washington Blade

‘El sueño de la razon produce monstruos / The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters’ by Francisco Goya y Lucientes (Image public domain)

If America is really as fragile as the fear mongers among us claim, then we are dead already.

Not being dead, you and I can push back against the Trumps, Cruzes, Fiorinas, and Rubios. There is an angry minority in this country that supports white supremacy and running everyone else’s lives while touting small-government conservatism. They are louder of late not due to greater numbers, but because opportunists dredged them up from the bottom of the pond–and because their smartphones give them greater reach than their fathers. They are entitled to their ugly opinions, but not to endanger the public safety.

Statements by Republican presidential candidates read like entries from a psychiatrist’s log in Bedlam. Donald Trump doubles down on his lie about thousands of Arabs in Jersey City celebrating the terrorist attacks on 9/11. He touts bogus racist crime stats. He mocks a reporter’s disability, then says he doesn’t know the guy, despite having known him for years. Marco Rubio says to ignore SCOTUS on marriage because “God’s rules always win.” How does his God get to overrule mine?

Carly Fiorina denies any link between her inflammatory lies about Planned Parenthood and the Black Friday killings in Colorado. She draws a false equivalence between Black Lives Matter protesters and people who bomb abortion clinics. Ted Cruz deflects a reporter’s question about clinic shooter Robert Lewis Dear’s cry, “No more baby parts!” (which echoes David Daleiden’s fraudulent infanticide video), by seizing on a dubious claim from the right-wing blogosphere that Dear was a “transgendered [sic] leftist activist.” The same fever swamp yielded the claim that Michelle Obama is really a man.

These candidates appear convinced that all they need is a strong message and a crowd of yahoos cheering them on, and they can create their own reality. But we don’t have to let their propaganda obscure the source of the violence. Those who have been attacking clinics, shooting black demonstrators, and brandishing guns outside mosques are not blacks or Muslims but mostly white Christian men who think they are this country’s rightful owners. That requires willful blindness and ignorance of history.

Abortion opponents show their tenuous grip on reality when they also oppose contraception. Even most Catholic women have used some form of contraception banned by the Vatican. Bishops can sacralize every sperm, but that imposes no obligation on anyone else.

I am pro-choice because a woman’s reproductive decisions are neither mine nor the government’s to make. They are hers. Recognizing this not only helps my sisters, it is in the common interest. If I only address my own problems and do not build alliances, who will be there when the tide turns against me? My colleagues and I in the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington last week joined scores of groups in signing a letter drafted by NARAL Pro-Choice America calling for the Department of Justice to investigate attacks on reproductive-health clinics as acts of domestic terrorism.

If this doesn’t matter to you, you might consider that a future Supreme Court that reversed Roe on abortion and Griswold on birth control could also reverse Lawrence on sodomy and Obergefell on marriage equality. Preserving our hard-won rights requires broad-based coalitions. Cooperation and compromise are built into the American system as the only way a republic full of diverse interests can long endure.

Slander-fueled violence is no mere tragedy. It is murder designed to instill terror. That is why we must resist any temptation to sit back and wait for the fanatics to defeat themselves. Saboteurs needn’t be plentiful to be effective. The provocateurs need to pay a price at the polls. The longer we put off a reckoning, the more civil unrest they will foment.

If we mobilize and vote, we can keep the fascists and know-nothings from controlling all three branches of government. This is but the latest skirmish in a long struggle. Our opponents’ obstruction and violence will continue. Beating them back requires vigilance and perseverance.

America has seen panic-driven campaigns of intolerance before, as the movie Trumbo shows with the story of the Hollywood blacklist. Goya wrote, “The sleep of reason produces monsters.” To defend our country, we must defend her founding ideals.

 

Richard J. Rosendall is a writer and activist. He can be reached at rrosendall@starpower.net.

Copyright © 2015 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.

10 Comments
  • **Those who have been attacking clinics, shooting black demonstrators, and brandishing guns outside mosques are not blacks or Muslims but mostly white Christian men who think they are this country’s rightful owners. **
    .
    **That requires willful blindness and ignorance of history. **
    ——————–
    Conflating the destruction and death of ‘domestic terrorism’ with an implied causal link to the entire Republican Party is inaccurate and unfair. It borders on an implied demonization of millions of Republicans

    Moreover, Rick’s opinions, cited above, are just that– likewise not very accurate.

    The truth is, the overwhelming majority of the ‘domestic terrorism’ assaults and killings that Rick presumably refers to, are lone-wolf attacks. Many, if not most, are done by perps with obvious mental health issues.

    These ‘traditional’ American are hardly the cold-eyed, committed assassins — for example, like those currently trained by Daesh/ISIS or AQAP.

    And they clearly did not get marching orders from the likes of GOP candidates, the Donald, Ben or Carly. Nor even from any talking heads (& NewsCorp heads) at Fox Noise, for that matter.

    Americans, whatever their political affiliations, need to focus on the much larger threat to our national and homeland security– and the fundamental human rights Daesh/aka, ‘Islamic State’ are committed to destroying.

    The French already have focused like a laser beam. The Brits have joined that focus, this very day. Even the Obama WH– after much inept, confusing national security messaging– is getting its act together.

    Multiple, well-trained, well-planned operations by MULTIPLE terrorists, slaughtering dozens – within minutes in the middle of Paris — ought be a wake-up call for all Americans.

    We don’t know yet. But San Bernardino may be as well.

    In any event, blaming America’s terrorism threat on Republicans is as nutty as Trump’s thinking at the opposite extreme.

    • Only the willfully blind could fail to recognize Republicans’ slanderous incitements against Planned Parenthood in Robert Dear’s statement that I quoted. I made no reference to “marching orders.” If you think what I actually wrote is wrong, then you have no need to rewrite it. I did not say that Carly Fiorina literally said that someone should shoot up an abortion clinic. But her slanderous accusations, which she continues despite their having been debunked, were on the lips of–yes–a terrorist murderer in Colorado Springs. I have been accused of genocide for being pro-choice. Such unhinged nonsense doesn’t come from nowhere. There are people who are inspired by it to commit violence. Terrorism comes in different faiths and different colors. It is damn well time that we end the double standards.

      • and of course in congress, repub refused to do anything about the gun problem – simple things likke backgroud checks to see if thte buyer is a known nut case

        stopping the sale of alrge capacity magazines

        doing something about the loop hole that any nut can buy a gun at a gun show and nothing is done about it
        REpubs -of course not all by any means, but the leadership claiming to suppoort life while kissing the ass of a known psychopath, wayne lapier of the NRA -esssentially the successor to murder incorporated – the mob when it took over booze distribution in chicago with submachine guns etc

        • That stance will probably change as localities are likely to take a strong hint from SCOTUS this week.

          If not for Trump’s latest outrage and San Bernardino’s carnage… this would be the the biggest news story on that topic. I posted this on Peter’s Blade Opinion piece earlier today…
          https://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/12/04/will-take-get-ak-47s-off-streets/
          ——–
          So… it turns out major gun control is not dead after all!

          In a full 7 days of news stories that have sparked public outrages regarding distinctly different issues — this bit of news from SCOTUS on Monday has barely been noticed.

          However, this news probably has more relevance to Peter’s commentary here than any other news development since SCOTUS’ *DC v. Heller* 2008 decision finding that a constitutional right to bear some kind of firearms exists.

          Even more interesting, IMHO, is that the NRA, Scalia and Thomas now seem in a rush to get a SCOTUS decision on this particular assault gun ban (high capacity long guns)– which arose out of a suburban Chicago city, Highland Park.

          Perhaps they saw how the High Court let circuit court decisions stand in favor of immediate marriage equality– and how that inevitably built more national support for marriage equality in advance of SCOTUS’ historic June marriage equality decision this year.

          Their seeming alarm may signal they know they don’t have the votes at SCOTUS to stop even more sweeping high-capacity gun control (e.g., hand guns beyond a limited clip capacity).
          —–
          WASHINGTON POST/
          By Fred Barbash – 8 Dec 2015

          **How the gun lobby outsmarted itself and helped engineer its big Supreme Court defeat Monday**
          **
          Instead the Court has alerted other judges, in Heller and again in McDonald, that the Second Amendment ‘does not imperil every law regulating firearms’

          In response to the suit, Highland Park specifically used “mass shootings,” as opposed to older arguments about controlling crime, to urge the court to let the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit stand.
          **

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/12/08/how-the-gun-lobby-outsmarted-itself-and-brought-about-its-big-supreme-court-defeat-monday/

  • Rick, your assertions are often buttressed by nothing more than fallacies. At least you’re not relying on ad hominems and name-calling here.

    But instead, you’re rolling out *either-or*, *begging the question* — liberally punctuated by the ever-poplar *non-sequiturs*.
    ————
    Rick: **I have been accused of genocide for being pro-choice. Such unhinged nonsense doesn’t come from nowhere.**
    .
    Brian: Ergo, that terrorist nonsense must come from Republican conservatives or their presidential candidates– or, especially that slanderous Carly Fiorina, huh?

    **Terrorism comes in different faiths and different colors. **

    ** It is damn well time that we end the double standards.**


    I agree, Rick. Knee-jerk blaming of American Republicans for wacky, lone-wolf terrorism IS an unwarranted, unfair demonizing double standard against fellow Americans.

    Anyone can cherry-pick any source– convenient to his/her premise– and slap it on the lips of any wild-eyed, lone-wolf, mountain-man terrorist.

    But it is pretty obvious that your narrative does not fit at all for the killing of scores in Paris– nor, apparently given more recent reports, the inexplicable slaughter of 14 yesterday in a San Bernardino office which cares for the weakest in our civilization.

    Again, we see cold-blooded killers, claiming the righteousness of such bloody tyranny under a banner and self-identity as Islamic faithful — and, especially, the furtherance of a borderless Islamic State.

    And as ‘SW’ correctly pointed out in his Blade commentary last week, those goals have the solid sympathy of millions around the globe who also identify as Muslim– 10% or more, AND rising.

    Do tell, Rick. What other major “faith” in the world has members who sympathize with murderous terrorism to proclaim a worldwide caliphate for their God– by the millions?
    .

    • I will not continue arguing with you when you keep misrepresenting what I wrote. I will just say this: if San Bernardino was terrorism, so was Colorado Springs. Writing about domestic terrorism does not erase or deny international terrorism. Go back and reread my previous column, in which I mentioned that Obama’s Pentagon took out Daesh leaders in Libya and Syria. I also pointed out that the reckless militarism by his Republican predecessor only made things worse by destabilizing the Mideast. There are many threats in the world. We must face them intelligently and multilaterally, not just use them as excuses to do what we were predisposed to do anyway, which is another invasion. There needs to be a learning curve. For example, we have too many goddamn guns in this country. NRA acts as if the obvious response to mass shootings is more and more guns, which is insane. There was an incident a few years ago across the street from the Empire State Building when a man who had been fired from his job returned to shoot his former boss. He got into an exchange of gunfire on the street with two police officers. A bunch of bystanders were hit by the police gunfire–in broad daylight, from trained officers. Yet somehow ordinary people in a darkened theater amid confusion and chaos are going to have the perfect marksmanship of a hero in a Western. That is ignorance on stilts.

      • Rick, I did read your column– AND– your subsequent commentary referencing it in Peter’s column. Frankly, I thought you were embarrassing yourself given your lack of understanding of Daesh/IS terrorism and elementary warfare strategies that your comments revealed.

        The truth is you don’t even know what you don’t know on the subject.

        Do you seriously believe that ‘Obama’s Pentagon ‘taking out a few’ Daesh ‘leaders’ in Libya and Syria’ made it less of an existential threat today for Americans and our NATO allies?

        BTW, one of those so-called “leaders” you referenced was was the infamous Brit, “Jihadi John.” His ‘leadership’ value was more akin to a ‘Tokyo Rose’ than an Admiral Yamamoto, wouldn’t you say? So

        Here is what the American people– in growing numbers can see with their own eyes– abroad, and now at home. Radical Islamic State terrorists and their Islamic sympathizers are an existential threat to American lives and liberty– at home and abroad– in spite of Obama’s not credible reassurances to the contrary.

        Many Americans likely also recall– despite Joe Biden’s very tough year, personally– his promises (presumably speaking for the Obama Administratio) that they would chase ISIS terrorists to “the gates of hell.”

        That was also a reassuring promise that obviously remains unfulfilled.

        The French, on the other hand, have taken swift, decisive action with a military campaign in Syria and swift emergency powers at home. Those emergency powers will help deny French Daesh terrorists their murderous veil of “religious liberty” hideouts/ safe houses and social networks.

        We might have to take a page from that French playbook soon, too.

        Yesterday, the Brits joined our fight against Daesh/IS targets in Syria.

        The French understand this much larger terrorist threat. So does the British government and its opposition party. So do an overwhelming majority of Americans.

        Rick, you seem to be grasping at straws to blame everyone–right-wing Christians, the Republican presidential clown show, American gun owners, even the NYPD– EXCEPT the radical Islamic State/AQ warriors responsible for the rise in terrorism.

        Good luck with that mistaken thinking. Because I think it disempowers anyone’s cause to recklessly disregard the public safety and lives of Americans– whether dancing at a club in DC or attending an American rock band concert in Paris.
        .

  • BTTW despite the lies and even murders by :”operfation rescue, less then 1% of PPs efforts -legal- abortions are done by Planned parenthood

    Virtually all of their work is providing poor people with medical care under medicaid. So eg cancers are caught while they are treatable

    the right wing of the repub party has gone totally nuts,its all about something that has been sleeping in thieir biggest base – the bible belt south where many still believe the wrong side won the civil war

    RE good news recently – portugal, most likey the only nation with Marriage +, finally is ending their ban on gay adoption

    CAnada just went from right of center govt (eg Harper had talked about ending + marriage and kissing the butt of the catholic church re discrimation on gays

    Now trudow, just elected in a landslide victory has a new cabinet – half women, a slap in the face to the 3 large anti gay churches, cath, evan/southern baptist and mormons, who dont allow women to be religious leaders

    allso canada even under Harper has a death grip on the 3 banks, and the great depression hardly hurt them except for drops in natural resources demands

    Bush Jr, widely known as a prolific fund raiser on wall street did nothing to stop the great recession there are lots of reports on suicides but the one I saw some years ago said 5000 in America

    this about matches with our suicide rate in anne arundel county md (central Md, Annapolis state captial

    we had two- one jumped off the bay birige, another did the hoze to truck exaust.

    there are about 3000 couutnies in the USA per the net. the two correspond wutie closeley with the 5000 in the usa (6ooo to5000

    BTW Bush of protect life fame – he had an execution every 9 days, mocked a woman whwo was going to be executed

    perry was worse also perry leased hunting ground with a sign on the big stone at the entrance “NIxxerhead ranch”

    Bush won over dem sitting gov, late ann Richards by the having his pals put signs on church car windows saying “this is what they want to teach your children”

    it had a picture of two guys kissing, one was black, the other white

    welcum to key peoplein the repub party (PS Daddy bush beat MA gov dukakis for pres by using the willie horton affair

    willie got himself into the slammer for some serious crime but as a rehab thing, MA had a deal – be a model prisoner and every 6 mos you get a weekend furlow

    willie got out raped a woman, may have stabber her and got caught and tossed back in jail

    Daddy bush won by making a big deal on this scene including a frightening scruffy pix of willie – who was african american

    Pardon me while I puke over the family, though much too late most of the women, eg daughther and mother etc now support marriage equality

    sorry but pix on the web are copyrighted so they disappear at the pleasure of the owner

    Je bush seems to be the only not nut repub in the race- he has to be, even if he is realaly a good guy, he will be forced by hiss party to bring all kinds of phobes into power or else

    storries on the web that wille ended up in a md prison? maybe BS. or not

    MD replaced their frankenstein castle prison some years ago, ditto MA where Ilived until about 1972

    • btw best woman the repubs could come up with is fiorina, who took a once great company HP, drove it into near bankruptcy , sent 30000 jobs to china and then got a 21 million$ severance package

      Why firoina – because most thinkiing women know about how the repubs support the war on women, which unchecked will end up like in saudi arabia, where a woman cant leave the house with out a male escort at least 5 years of age
      And in saudi land,, as the repubs want eg many counties in TX ban condoms sales, the repubs think their women are nothing but baby fatories

      Be gald for ebay, amazon , candada etc

      EVenunder a decent pope, Francis is having a fit

      it appears that condoms, which are the best protection against ALL sexuaully transmitted diseases, as well as birth control, the catholic church opposes condoms. Its their way of “protecting life” but really a way of creating more followers for the church, and more poverty so people will pray more and get suckered into being baby factories

      this reminds me of the middle ages when the church burned medical info to to keep the people praying for what we know now as the immune system

      In the USA the madness of bitth control by the catholic church is one of its welll known dsgraces and polls shoow 84 to88% if catholics use arterficial bith control’

      the catholic church still has its head on backwards, lookng back imo to its “glory _GORY days when the holy Inquisiton ,well you prob know…

      whille today the cath church runs great hospitals, dont expect to get an abortion, birith comtrol info etc

      I” give pope rrancis a good one. while pope Benny ranted about the ‘ecology of the human body re gay sex, the pope supports stopping global warming

      repubs oppose it because one of their biggest contribs the CROTCH bros own macey coal, the biggest usa digger of the worst polutant re gloabal warmng ever

      Krotch bros wwhere money is truely the root of all evil.

      • ps that pipeline mess from canadaa its not oil, its tar sands At least for every barrel of clean tar,you need to burn another barrel of a terribly poluting mess where today most tar comes from “lakes” in the carribean, used primarly for patching roads

        What if the pipeline shuts down and thet goop all but solidifies in the pipe where temps can reach -30 to -40F in winger

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