GOP Absurdly Denies Planned Parenthood Terrorism Culpability

UPDATE: As Think Progress reports, GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz managed to roll up all of the falsehoods about alleged terrorist Robert Dear into one big steamy package of BS:

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is the latest presidential candidate trying to downplay the role anti-abortion rhetoric may have played in motivating the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs Friday afternoon. When a reporter asked him at an Iowa campaign stop Sunday evening about suspect Robert Lewis Dear saying he was motivated by “no more baby parts,” Cruz countered that he’s also been reported to be a “transgendered [sic] leftist activist.”

Cruz explained, “We know that he was a man registered to vote as a woman.” This discrepancy on Dear’s voter registration was first reported by The Gateway Pundit, a self-described “right-of-center news website,” under the claim that he “identifies as [a] woman.” Conservatives have since run with the claim that Dear is transgender.


Now that Friday’s domestic terrorist attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs has been digesting for a couple of news cycles, we’re seeing the reaction to the attack from Republican politicians and pundits take a major turn–away from vanilla statements of sympathy for the victims, many with no mention of Planned Parenthood at all, to angry denials of even the most peripheral responsibility for alleged terrorist Robert Dear’s actions.

During Friday’s standoff and in the immediate aftermath, wild speculation about the killer on the right sought to put distance between Dear and “normal” pro-life opponents of Planned Parenthood. Early on, some conservative media outlets ran with incorrect information suggesting that Planned Parenthood was not even the target of the attack. This was reinforced by GOP Rep. Kit Roupe of Colorado Springs, who irresponsibly spread this falsehood on social media, doing her constituents a major disservice:


Alleged domestic terrorist Robert Dear. Photo via CSPD

Alleged domestic terrorist Robert Dear. Photo via CSPD

An apparent error in Dear’s voter registration led to widespread breathless claims that Dear “identifies as a female.” Breitbart News ran with it, and dozens of right-wing media outlets picked it up:

He is registered to vote in Park County, Colorado, and The Gazette reports that his voter registration has him listed as an “Unaffiliated female” voter instead of a Democrat or Republican. Dear’s voter registration on Colorado Voters Info lists his gender as “female.”

Now folks, take a look at that photo. Without any attempt at insensitivity, let us just say that we do not see a person who “identifies as a female.” Anyone with voter file experience knows these kinds of mistakes happen. To run with something like this without any checking is…well, it’s ridiculous.

Leading Republican-aligned website The Federalist’s front page as of this writing is dominated by the mug shot you see above, linking to a story titled “Stop Blaming Pro-Lifers For The Colorado Springs Shooting.”

The pro-lifers praying and swaying and holding their placards are as responsible for this shooting as the Beatles were for Charles Manson’s violence…

Got that? Republican accusations that Planned Parenthood “sells baby body parts” are the same thing as the Beatles song Helter Skelter, which Charles Manson “interpreted” to be a prophecy of a coming race war. The only problem with this theory is that in truth, Helter Skelter was about an amusement park ride.

Friday’s shooting, on the other hand, required no creative interpretations.

Headline collage via the Colorado Independent

In the coming days, we’re going to hear more, both fact and speculation, about the motivations of Robert Dear from both sides. We understand that both sides in this debate have an agenda underlying their statements that is bigger than this one tragic mass shooting.

Unfortunately for Planned Parenthood’s devoted GOP antagonists-cum-sympathizers, the facts are not on their side. The connection between the bellicose rhetoric against Planned Parenthood in recent months and Friday’s terrorist attack in Colorado Springs, wishing really hard otherwise notwithstanding, is rationally undeniable.

And if this makes Republicans uncomfortable, that’s because it should.

26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. notaskinnycook says:

    The Righties shrieking at the tops of their lungs that talk radio had nothing to do with this need to go watch Robin Williams' "The Fisher King", then come back and tell us that again.

  2. Moderatus says:

    This is absolutely disgusting, Pols. No one is to blame for the shooting except the shooter. Your shallow attempt to politicize this tragedy will win you no friends. You have no scruples and no sense of decency whatsoever.

    Shameful. Apologize and delete this post now.

    • Smoking Mirror says:

      Well, at least you are consistent.  This is exactly what you wrote on this blog about Paris and those Syrian refugees, right?  Now let me see if I can find a link to that before this post is retracted and deleted by our gracious hosts…

    • BlueCat says:

      So you decided it was time to show your little rat face here again. Why don't you stay away this tim?. You have no credibility or respect here and and have yet to express an original thought. If we want regurgitated talking points we can just tune in rightie radio or wach Fox

      PS Just as disgusting as the things we never said abut Julie’s disabled son, right? You lying piece of shit.

    • OrangeFree says:

      Just remember folks – All Syrian Refugees could be terrorists, so we can’t accept any refugees. But this guy, nah, he’s a lone gunman and his actions are not indicative of the Pro-Life movement. 

      Sorry Moddy, but to use your own words – the blood is on your hands for this one. 

      • BlueCat says:

        Heck.. how about all white American males, responsible for the overwhelming majority of mass shootings in this country. Shouldn't they all be in detention camps because, you know, the whole just one or two poison jelly beans or M&Ms in a bowl or bag theories being repeated ad nauseum on the scaredy cat right?

        Oddly the same people who don't want to let in any Syrian jelly beans are the most likely to support the NRA's opposition to banning sales of firearms to people on terrorist watch lists. Wonder how the percentage of poison jelly beans in that crowd compares to the percentage among the Syrian five year old jelly beans Gov. Christie is so afraid of?

    • DawnPatrol says:

      Oh shut the fuck up, you craven, cowardly, sniveling little bitch.

      The blood here is squarely on YOUR and YOUR PARTY’S and YOUR MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES’ HANDS, you backsliding, irresponsible, immoral crap-pile on legs.

    • TobiasFunke says:

      You're right. Nobody's fault except the shooter, who was OBVIOUSLY INFLUENCED BY ANTI-ABORTION RHETORIC.

      Christ almighty, you're a fucking puppet. How embarrassing for you.

    • COgator95 says:

      Kiss my liberal ass you sanctimonious piece of shit. 

    • Froward69 says:

      As the extreme right preys upon the least intelligent among us… Do not come here and pretend we are just as Gullible.  


  3. Early Worm says:

    The politicians that speculated that the shooting had nothing to do with PP were wrong and should have shut up until the facts were reported.  The idiots on the fringe right (including Rafael "Ted" Cruz) that are stating that the shooter is a transgendered leftist activist, are contemptible.

    But, it is fair to discuss whether the anti-abortion rhetoric is to blame (at least in part) for the shooting. I do not think that the Helter Skelter analogy is very helpful, but how about domestic terrorists such as Robert Dear are to anti-abortion activists as the Weather Underground is to anti-war activists. 

  4. My pro-life and otherwise conservative friends on FB are in a tizzy to try and refute the anti-abortion motive. It's definitely too soon in their opinion for anyone to mention such a connection, especially now that the CSPD has decided that their investigation and the El Paso DA's office's prosecution could be messed up by having any info out there…

    • BlueCat says:

      Unless they also oppose the death penalty and support helping refugees fleeing for survival, helping low income families feed clothe and shelter their children, universal access for all to life saving quality health care,  thorough investigations of police killings of the unarmed under questionable circumstances and torture they aren't pro-life. They are anti-choice. All of my liberal friends are more pro-life than any conservatives I know.

      • Chickenheed says:

        One of my favorite comments about "pro-lifers" is from Sister Joan Chittister in July:

        "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

        She nailed it. These people aren't "pro-life" they are only "pro-birth"

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        You forgot about being Pro-Life for the planet and all living creatures and wanting to see some concrete action on Climate Change mitigation projects.  Really being Pro-Life means being protective of the entire planet and all of it's living ecosystems. 

  5. Chickenheed says:

    Cruz summarized:

    It's too soon to guess Dear's motives, but we do know he thought he was a woman and you know how women are…


  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    Excuse me, but isn't this largely the same group of highly insightful people who do see a "hate Jesus" message in a largely plain, red paper coffee cup??!!?? …

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