Obama: Soft On Domestic Terror?

For reasons I won’t explain, I’m raw and angry from Tiller’s death. Obama’s statements about abortion before Tiller seemed entirely too mealy-mouthed, the statements of a politician who refused to spend any political capital on an issue that I care a lot about. Now it is clear that our dormant domestic terrorist problem has resurfaced. The terrorists hate our freedoms. They will use violence to achieve the goal that our Constitution denies them.
None of us should think that the way to deal with terrorism is to give in. None of us should think that the way to handle people who hate us for our freedom is to give up our freedom. But Obama’s mealy-mouthedness has continued after this terrorist slaying, and I will not moderate my disgust and anger. Obama sounds like he wants to compromise with these people. The right churned up silly outrage that Obama would be soft on Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, but I think we are in much greater danger that Obama will be soft of Christian fundamentalist terrorism.
Six thousand acts of violence. We have our domestic Christian fringe to thank for the Oklahoma City bombing, the killing of eight physicians including in their homes and churches, a shooting spree at a Unitarian church; and Rudolph’s bombing spree, which included two women’s health clinics, a gay bar and Centennial Olympic Park.
We have terror cells operating in our suburbs, living among us, egged on by radical clerics who then deny connection to the violence and its perpetrators. These extremists are trying to change our politics by killing civilians. How will our President respond? He should go on national television and tell the nation that we do not give in and we will not negotiate with terrorists. He should, but he won’t. He won’t do it next time, either. And there will be a next time.

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8 Comments

  1. johanna in dairyland
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Echoing my sentiments exactly.

  2. llevinso
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    What has Obama said about Dr. Tiller’s murder? Sadly, I haven’t been able to find anything.

  3. Mollie
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention the attempted (and thankfully foiled) terror plot to bomb NYC synagogues and shoot missiles at ANG planes flying out of a base in Newburgh, NY. The 4 men were from right here in Newburgh.

  4. pleco
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Here’s your lip service:
    “I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.”
    And here’s the important part: U.S. Marshals have been sent out to protect certain clinics and abortion providers around the country. Obviously this threat IS being taken seriously.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/31/pro-life-groups-fear-backlash-tiller-murder/
    I really dislike the idea that Obama *has* to respond to everything immediately and with a beautiful speech like the ones given during the campaign. If you would really like to peek into his brain on this subject, examine this case commentary from a 1990 Harvard Law Review, which discusses a fetus’ right to sue its mother for injuries incurred during pregnancy: http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/files/obama_case_comment.pdf Specifically, note the number of times he refers to women’s autonomy, scrutiny of women, and laws that disproportionately affect women.
    (The original Politico article where they detailed discovery of the case comment is here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12705.html)
    For you to say it sounds like he wants compromise…I can only assume you are referring to the recent speech at Notre Dame. I think you are mistaking a desire for civilized debate for a desire to roll over and offer up abortion rights to the dicer. In fact he argues against exactly what you are doing: demonization of people who disagree with you. Just because one terrorist exists who believes X doesn’t mean all people who believe X are terrorists.

  5. pleco
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Corrected Politico link (I hope): http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12705.html

  6. wyo_cowgirl
    Posted June 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    The crux of the matter for me is this: Obama’s innermost, personal thoughts and beliefs about reproductive justice (as may or may not have been hinted at in the case comment linked above) are essentially immaterial. It’s what he says in national forums–how he uses his position to help shape a domestic dialogue on the issue–that might actually have on impact on the state of abortion rights in America. And I have to agree with the OP that the tenor of his recent public comments on choice leaves much to be desired. The bulk of his discourse on this issue (his statement on Tiller’s murder; his speech at Notre Dame; and various comments he gave during his campaign and earlier this year) frames the debate in a very problematic fashion. He has repeatedly used language that casts abortion as a moral gray area, and a decision that is frequently harmful to women–thus playing directly into anti-choice rhetoric. In his insistence that anti and pro-choice camps try to find “common ground,” he has given the far right far too much credit and respect.
    I apologize that I don’t have time to round up all the links I’ve perused this week that have led me to become increasingly disturbed about the way the president has portrayed the issue. I may come back later and do that; for now, I can start by recommending people visit http://www.shakespearessister.blogspot.com. Bloggers there offer some good analysis of both the Notre Dame speech and an earlier response by Obama to a press query on the subject. Others have done so as well.
    I do not think it should be too much to ask that Obama make an unequivocal statement supporting Roe v. Wade. I do not think it is too much to ask that he plainly and publicly acknowledge this trend of domestic terrorism directed at abortion providers. As a clinic worker, I very much appreciate the aid we’ve been offered from law enforcement. Taking this threat seriously, albeit under the radar, is much better than not. But if this administration truly wants to protect abortion care workers from the violence which has become an accepted occupational hazard, they need to attack the problem at its roots, rather than slapping on the proverbial band-aid. A few well-chosen words could help spark a paradigm shift away from the type of political climate that incubates hate and inequality. But so far, I haven’t heard any such words from Obama.
    And it isn’t that I don’t understand a thing or two about why he might choose the words he does. Much of the democratic party seems to be finding it politically expedient to pay lip service to their opposition in a variety of disturbing ways. But hell, people. Remember “Change you can believe in?” To me, a president who at long last refuses to play politics with women’s lives would be exactly that sort of change.

  7. rashoodollison
    Posted November 4, 2009 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    He has repeatedly used language that casts abortion as a moral gray area, and a decision that is frequently harmful to women–thus playing directly into anti-choice rhetoric. In his insistence that anti and pro-choice camps try to find “common ground,” he has given the far right far too much credit and respect.
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  8. rashoodollison
    Posted November 4, 2009 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    As a clinic worker, I very much appreciate the aid we’ve been offered from law enforcement. Taking this threat seriously, albeit under the radar, is much better than not.
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