RachelWatch: Our Very Own Taliban

Today: Rachel calls out the domestic terrorism against women’s health care.


After the cold-blooded murder of Dr. George Tiller this Sunday, Rachel started off with rundown of abortion clinic murders over the past fifteen years, and the stomach-churning extent to which the far right of the anti-choice movement has been cheering on the murderers.

Cheering on, hell. Try idolizing. Some organizations set up fan pages for some of these aberrations. It’s like Tiger Beat for psychopaths.

I can see why they would look up to these people. Nothing says “respect for the sanctity of all life” like killing a receptionist with a letter bomb.

Rachel welcomed legal scholar Jonathan Turley to talk about the problems of stopping the violence while protecting civil liberties.

Normally I like Turley, but I don’t like the hair he splits here in saying that this wasn’t terrorism. Pretending that the suspect in Tiller’s murder wasn’t feeding on the rhetoric of the anti-choice movement is ridiculous.

It boils down to people trying to impose their own version of the law through fear. How is this not terrorism? And why are we pretending that the people who kill doctors for providing legal abortions are any different than the men in other countries who throw acid in the faces of girls for going to school?

Cat Got Your Tongue?

Rachel noted that back in April, John Boehner (R – Ohio) and Michele Bachmann (R – Some Heironymous Bosch Painting), among others, threw very public hissy fits over a report from the Department of Homeland Security on the dangers from the radical right, including extremist antiabortion groups.

We haven’t heard from them yet, but I’m sure they’re just busy crafting their public retractions and sincere apologies to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

No, of course they’re not. But I’m hoping they’re too dumb to stick buckets over their heads and shut up for the week. I’m perversely looking forward to watching them take a streetcar named Defensive straight to the last stop in Gallville.

Incitement to Terrorism

Whoa. Cross off one from my list of places I did not think Ms. Maddow would ever go. I was completely, thoroughly incorrect. (See how that works, Mr. Boehner and Ms. Bachmann?)

Rachel, though a fan of civil liberties and freedom of speech, has had exactly enough of pretending that rabid invective and casually comparing people to Nazis doesn’t incite the unbalanced to violence.

WARNING: The level of smug assholery in the Bill O’Reilly clips in this segment may induce nausea, headaches, wall-punching, bruising of the forehead, fist-induced keyboard or screen damage, and severe loss of tooth enamel due to clenching, grinding, and/or biting your stapler.

It’s worth the risk, though, just for the purpose of contrasting O’Reilly’s complete lack of compassion and self-examination with author Frank Schaeffer’s adult taking of responsibility for his words and actions.

Not to mention the jaw-dropping moment when Schaeffer admits that leaders of the anti-choice movement knew they were “opening a gate” for potential murderers.

I don’t think O’Reilly is directly responsible for Tiller’s murder, and I do think freedom of speech — even dumb, incendiary speech — needs to be protected at all costs.

But that doesn’t excuse him, as a human being, from taking a moment to pause and think about what he’s done to fan the flames. Or from wondering if spitting everything directly from his reptile brain straight out his mouth with no detour to the frontal lobes is such a great policy.

Ms. Information

What, you thought North Korea was going to give us a break just because we have stuff to deal with at home?

Rachel reported that in the middle of the nuclear testing and journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling going on trial this Thursday, Kim Jong-Il has named his successor, his 25-year-old son Kim Jong-Un. There is speculation that there may be some jingoism and saber-rattling to drum up popular support for the new leader. Oh, goody.

Thar He Blows

Dick Cheney, in addition to the many other things he has in common with North Korea, cannot stay off our televisions lately.

Most recently, at The National Press Club he admitted that he and Bush were wrong about 9/11 having anything at all to do with the country that we shocked and awed back to the Stone Age.

Oh, but he also said it totally wasn’t his fault. There’s the Cheney we know and love!

Cheney blamed former CIA director George Tenet. Oh, so you say the CIA misinformed the government, Mr. Cheney? Newt! Get in there! Demand his resignation from being an ex-Vice President!

He also defended Guantanamo by saying that if we didn’t hold terrorists that we captured on the battlefield illegally, our only other strategy would be to release them willy-nilly into the streets of the United States.

So I’m guessing Cheney didn’t go to West Point, then?

Former Senator Bob Graham (D- Florida) and his wonderfully nerdy – and wonderfully useful, as it turns out – notebooks dropped by the studio to point out that maybe you shouldn’t get absolutely all of your intelligence from a country’s exiles.

It’s like getting all your information about the cheerleaders from the flag corps. You might want to do a little crosschecking instead of just accepting everything in the slam book.

Terrorism That’s Working

Rachel pointed out the vast difference between legality and accessibility: A woman cannot get a legal abortion in 87% of the counties in the United States.

Dr. Susan Wicklund, author of This Common Secret, courageously joined Rachel to talk about her friend Dr. Tiller and the barriers we force women to deal with when they’re already coping with an agonizing decision.

But why get all thinky and frowny about women who have to drive across a state and a half to terminate a pregnancy that puts their own health at risk when you can just work under the assumption that they’re sluts who are doing this on a whim, right, Mr. O’Reilly?

Is that why he’s so worried about empathetic judges?

New York Crankees

Kent Jones tried to lighten things up with a segment on the Obamas’ date night in Manhattan and the resulting mass Republican snit.

It’s hard to think of a tougher opener, Kent. You did your best.

Thanks to everyone at The Rachel Maddow Show for putting on a brave, well researched show with a perfect balance of reason and outrage.

I don’t envy you the amount of heavily misspelled, drool-flecked hate mail you’ll be getting. And there will also probably be some stuff that isn’t from Michele Bachman or Bill O’Reilly.