Maybe it matters how we talk about abortion

Mike Huckabee called the shootings "domestic terrorism" and abortion "dismembering of human babies."

Mike Huckabee called the shootings “domestic terrorism” and abortion “dismembering of human babies.”

On Friday, an evidently deranged man in Colorado Springs killed three people and injured nine others in an armed standoff with police at Planned Parenthood. “No more baby parts,” a senior law enforcement official reported him as saying. It appeared to be a reference to a series of undercover videos shot by an anti-abortion activist in which Planned Parenthood administrators discussed fees associated with the donation of fetal tissue for research. Or, as Carly Fiorina described it in a nationally televised Republican presidential debate:

“Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says ‘we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.'”

That video doesn’t exist, you can’t abort a “fully formed” fetus, and no one ever said that about harvesting a brain. But she was just describing something she felt strongly about, in terms that, if they were true, would probably justify armed intervention.

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The President should not dignify ISIS by calling it “evil”

A mural decrying the Great Satan on the former US embassy in Tehran. Photo by John Kavanaugh

A mural decrying the Great Satan on the former US embassy in Tehran—photo by John Kavanaugh

Yesterday on Air Force One, the president condemned the ISIS beheading of aid worker Peter Kassig, whom Obama said was “taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group.” I agree that beheading aid workers is awful, and that ISIS is perhaps the most reprehensible pack of hypocrites to emerge from a region famous for producing them. But it is a mistake to call them or their acts “pure evil.” Everything about how ISIS presents itself suggests that they want to operate on the continuum of good and evil, ideally with the west at the other end. It’s their best hope of transcending what they are: a crime syndicate masquerading as a state masquerading as a religious movement.

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Tea Party Nation continues transition to ethnic identity group

Yeah, who is the President of the United States, really? So little is known about him.

If you don’t already subscribe to the Tea Party Nation newsletter, you are missing some great stuff. The TPN is only one of several groups that claim to be the national Tea Party organization—it’s unclear yet whether they’re the Bolsheviks or the Mensheviks, so to speak—but they are the canary in the dark, radon-filled mine that is America’s conservative subconscious. First of all, sorry for cramming three metaphors into one sentence. Second, TPN’s most recent screed, entitled The Horrors of Illegal Immigration, is short and spooky enough to quote at length. Check it after the jump.

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Rhetoric smackdown! Theroux vs. McCain on Arizona immigration law

The other Citizen McCain

Thus far, Combat! blog has not mentioned the crazy immigration law that the great state of Arizona passed in April, in part because that state has already been fully captured and in part because there seemed to be only one side to the coin. Nobody thinks that random* proof-of-citizenship checks are a good idea. Nobody thinks that letting private citizens** sue cops for not performing said checks is a good idea. Like a novel about an old racist woman*** and a black orderly who become unlikely friends in a nursing home, the discussion was boring because no sensible person would put himself on the other side. Enter Paul Theroux. The travel writer is not a sensible person, and he’d be happy to explain to you why the Arizona law is no big deal. He even brought his own straw man. And there, on the horizon like a majestic ship, or maybe a jet ski detached from a much better ship, looms Meghan McCain, who argues that people should stop being angry at Arizonans. It’s straw man versus non sequitur, and only the old and/or politically well-connected will survive.

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