As the details about Friday’s shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs keep trickling in, news media has done what the always do and asked a bunch of people who will unsuccessfully secure their next job what they think of the shooting.
The reasoning is clear enough, but unless reporters are going to directly take the GOP candidates to task for the lies they told about Planned Parenthood I don’t see the point in asking horrible people what they think about a horrible event. At best it’s another chance for the candidates to deflect any criticism about how their blatant lies might have had an impact on the shooter, and at worst it’s a chance for everyone to manipulate the facts to fit their own belief system and further the myth that perception is as valid as reality. And the winner of that game is Ted Cruz.
The headline “Ted Cruz Describes Alleged Planned Parenthood Shooter As ‘Transgender Leftist Activist’” is unfortunately only true in the strictest sense of the word. In that he said all of those words together in the same sentence. But he never meant to imply that he personally believed that the shooter was a “transgender leftist activist.” What he meant to do was much worse.
What he actually did was intentionally obscure the facts with internet noise. Robert L. Dear Jr. did take hostages inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, he did shoot 12 people killing three, and he did use the phrase “no more baby parts” when speaking to law enforcement. We know these things. And because the conclusions that can be rationally drawn from those facts would draw negative a relationship to some aspects of the pro- life movement, Cruz wants to drown those facts in uncertainty and the appearance of objectivity. By repeating a lie about how Dear is a ‘transgender leftist activist.”
The whole story about Dear being “a transgender leftist activist”? According to one self- identified right wing website, Dear’s voter registration card had him marked as a woman. Which must make him transgender because that’s everything “transgender” entails, and no one has ever made a mistake on paperwork. He’s also listed as “unaffiliated” under political parties so that must mean leftist. The story is, in no uncertain terms, a lie.
But Cruz doesn’t need the story to be true in order to use it to his benefit. Cruz’s actual response to a question about the “no more baby parts” comment was:
Well, it’s also reported that he was registered as an independent and as a woman and a transgender leftist activist.
Cruz doesn’t want us to believe Dear was a “transgender leftist activist.” He just wants to call into question every fact that’s been released about the case. Then he gets to sit back and pretend to be the objective, rational one waiting for the whole story to come out.
It’s the best way for Cruz to avoid dealing with any of the ramifications of the shooting. He can pretend that the falsified videos about Planned Parenthood are still true, that the inflammatory rhetoric surrounding Planned Parenthood had no impact on Dear because he is simply “deranged,” and that we can’t possibly make any further conclusions about the case because we’ll never have all the facts. And make no mistake until we get information showing that Dear’s politics had nothing in common with Cruz’s, Cruz will never admit we’ve gotten all the facts.