Are We Really in Doubt?

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Everything I mentioned yesterday in this post (“Malign Hesitation“) seems only more relevant today. Colorado Springs police continue to refuse any comment on the possible motives behind the Planned Parenthood massacre over the weekend. For probative evidence, we know that he attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic, an organization which is a potent and pervasive symbol of the abortion rights debate across the country. We also have police sources telling journalists that Dear ranted about “no more baby parts” after being taken into custody. Absent some dramatic, game-changing new details, it’s very difficult to imagine this wasn’t what it looks like: a domestic terror attack targeting abortion rights – both a specific facility and to terrorize people trying to exercise these rights.

This comes as Republican presidential candidates struggle to come up with an alternate and more ideologically comforting theory of the crime. Ted Cruz is pressing the right-wing rumor mill offering that Dear, far from being a reclusive and possible mentally unstable right wing fanatic, was actually a transgender left wing activist. Yes, you heard that right.

To the extent we have to address this nonsense on its own terms, let’s say Dear appears to have been very, very early in his transition.

Carly Fiorina is more aggressive than nonsensical, claiming that any suggestion that Dear’s rampage was triggered by the phony ‘body parts’ attack she played a big role in pushing is “left wing tactics.”

Let’s conclude by saying it is a challenging day for self-awareness among Republican presidential aspirants.

We’re trying to look into what’s behind this reticence this morning. We want to open to the possibility that authorities are simply being cautious and methodical. The shooting happened Friday. It’s now Monday morning. But local authorities do seem quite agnostic on the motivations in the fact of what seems fairly probative evidence. And remember – pointing in either direction – they also certainly have much more information than we do.

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