If the definition of terrorism is targeting civilians to advance a political agenda, here’s the missing proof that this guy is indeed a terrorist.
Bearded, unkempt and cuffed at the legs and arms, Mr. Dear frequently disrupted the proceedings in state court here, shouting out declarations of anger and defiance.
“I’m guilty. There’s no trial. I’m a warrior for the babies,” he yelled at one point. “Let it all come out. The truth!” he yelled at another.
As Judge Gilbert A. Martinez discussed a pretrial publicity order, Mr. Dear shouted: “Could you add the babies that were supposed to be aborted that day? Could you add that to the list?”
Which is not to say he’s not also a garden-variety nut:
Dear noted that his attorney also represented Colorado theater shooter James Holmes.
He claimed attorney Daniel King “drugged” Holmes, and “he wants to do that to me.”
King meanwhile questioned whether Dear was competent to stand trial.
According to one of his neighbors, “He said he worked with the government, and everybody was out to get him, and he knew the secrets of the U.S.A. He said, ‘Nobody touch me, because I’ve got enough information to put the whole U.S. of A in danger.’ It was very crazy.” YouGov polled people a few days ago, before today’s outburst in court, to ask whether they thought the attack on Planned Parenthood was terrorism or not. The results were, as you’d expect, influenced by party identification:
If you’re a Democrat and thus presumably pro-choice, of course it was terrorism. He attacked a Planned Parenthood and said something to cops about “no more baby parts.” You know how violent and hateful those crazy pro-life conservatives are. If you’re a Republican and thus presumably pro-life, there was no compelling reason to presume it was terrorism. The papers were filled with stories like the one I quoted about Dear coming off like a classic paranoid nutjob to those who knew him. The “baby parts” thing could have meant anything to a mind like that. You wouldn’t do anything violent and neither would your pro-life friends, so who’s to say that Dear had a political motive? You know how quick the left and the media are to jump to conclusions if it means scoring a point on the right. Plus, there’s probably some subset of both parties, although bigger among Republicans, that thinks of jihadism whenever they hear “terrorism.” Dear wasn’t a jihadi. How could he be a terrorist?
It’s worth noting that the parties weren’t mirror images, though. A wide majority of Democrats thought it was terrorism versus a more narrow majority of Republicans who thought it wasn’t. The location of the shooting obviously seemed significant even to some GOPers. This finding, meanwhile, is more surprising:
Almost 40 percent of Republicans think pro-life groups encourage violence? That is … not what I expected. Especially when you realize that Republicans and Democrats are almost equal in believing that violence against abortion providers is wrong:
By comparison, 88 percent of all women say so, meaning that Republicans on average are actually more opposed to abortion violence than women in general are. If the ethic against violence is that widespread on the right, you would think righties would give pro-life groups the benefit of the doubt in assuming they oppose it too. Not so, or at least not nearly to the extent you’d expect. How come?
Incidentally, another poll taken this week found that 58 percent oppose defunding Planned Parenthood while 46 percent agree that “heated political rhetoric” about Planned Parenthood and abortion bear some responsibility for the shooting. Among Republicans, fully one-third (34 percent, to be precise) say so. Huh.