The good news about Fox News blubber mouth Bill O’Reilly is that he speaks to only a teeny, tiny percentage of the country; the bad news is part of that small and dwindling group actually thinks he makes sense and then goes out and kills people because they believe his vile, hate-filled rhetoric.
Much as a woman who is battered by her husband but won’t leave him or press charges is an enabler of the brute’s actions, O’Reilly may not have pulled the trigger in the Holocaust Museum or in Dr. Tiller’s church but he – and others such as Operation Rescue’s heinous Troy Newman, the bulbous, bilious Rush Limbaugh, batty Michelle Malkin who’s on record justifying racial profiling and interning Japanese-Americans during World War II, and the just plain goofy Ann Coulter – are enablers who give voice and authenticity to crazy people who do the shooting.
It is time for all of us to call these loose cannons what Joan Walsh of Salon.com already did: Hateful, vile people whose words enable violence among the conservative fringe.
A psychiatrist tells me that the ranting, raging voices on the far right – like the killers themselves – all seem to suffer from a common, distorted view of the world, triggered by something called “insufficient attachment disorder.” Developed by Dr. John Bowlby in the 1960s, essentially the idea is that infants who do not develop a secure attachment to their parents early in life can end up as fuming adults who don’t trust others – especially those who disagree with them – and can feel some degree of paranoia, often lashing out angrily at the world in ways both socially accepted and, sometimes, unacceptable.
Like gluing doors shut on women’s health clinics, killing doctors in church, storming the Holocaust Memorial to kill everyone in sight, or spouting utter claptrap ad nauseum on television. Witness O’Reilly’s over-the-top reaction to Walsh Friday when she appeared on his show to discuss the Dr. Tiller killing:
Meanwhile, outfits like Operation Rescue continue to issue press releases that sanctimoniously proclaim it “… will continue to help lead the fight against abortion through peaceful and legal means.” The June 8 statement by Operation Rescue’s general counsel apparently means it’s alright for the organization to post home addresses and phone numbers, and e-mail contacts, on the internet of health professionals performing perfectly legal medical procedures so the crazies can target them.
These holier-than-thou words contradicted by the group’s hateful actions fit the definition of “enabler” held by every 12 Step group in the world.
For example, OR’s “senior policy advisor,” Cheryl Sullenger – who did federal time for being caught with explosives in her car – reportedly has been interviewed by the FBI in connection with Dr. Tiller’s murder since the supposed killer had her name and phone number sitting like a plastic Jesus on the dashboard of his car when he was arrested. Apprently, she’s said on television that she provided Dr. Tiller’s coordinates to the shooter.
Co-conspirators? Unlikely. Enablers? Absolutely.
If I were as crazy as the lunatics on the right, I’d post the residential addresses and unlisted phone numbers that I have of O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Malkin and Coulter with this article so people could go picket their homes. I don’t because, as Richy Brockelman used to say on The Rockford Files, “the thing of it is is this …” Progressives don’t hate the world so we don’t post people’s private information on the web for every lunatic to find and jump in their car with a shotgun under the front seat or explosives and firebombs in the trunk.
Even though O’Reilly et al are vile people who don’t deserve it, we do know where to draw the line. Too bad they don't.
*When I was young, oh so much younger than today, I believed that the United States would become completely unhinged at some point in my lifetime. This...