Tucker Carlson Calls Dr. Tiller “A Monster,” Endorses Monsterism

Truth to tell: a recent chat with Ana Marie Cox and Tucker Carlson over that the Washington Post has me a little worked up. Here’s an exchange regarding the recent murder of abortion-provider Dr. George Tiller, wherein an anonymous commenter tries to get Tucker Carlson to match up some inflammatory right-wing rhetoric to the recent deeds befitting it:

Anonymous: Over the past few years, Bill O’Reilly has made the following comments about Dr. Tiller:

– He “destroys fetuses for just about any reason right up until the birth date for $5,000.”
– He’s guilty of “Nazi stuff,”
– a moral equivalent to NAMBLA and al-Qaida
– “This is the kind of stuff that happened in Mao’s China, Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union”
– “operating a death mill”
– “has blood on his hands”
– “executing babies about to be born

Tucker, I’m not saying Billo wanted some kook to kill him, but isn’t this playing with fire? Is there some quote by Olberman or any other liberal commentator that even comes close? Who has the craziest of the liberal left murdered lately?

Tucker Carlson: Every one of those descriptions of Tiller is objectively true. I sincerely think it’s appalling that he was murdered. But Tiller was a monster, no doubt.

The most troubling thing about this answer is that it very well may be sincere. But its a sincerity born of a depraved moral incoherence.

Because we live in a world where we do, in fact, kill monsters. I mean, look at that causal nattering about death camps and “Nazi stuff.” What did we do to the Nazis? We killed them, en masse, as many as we could until their power was utterly broken. We didn’t picket Auschwitz or go through Hitler’s mail hoping to find something to embarrass him with at the supermarket. We tore the flesh from their bodies with hails of bullets and bombs, we executed them, sometimes right in front of their families. Sometimes along with their families. These are not pretty things. They were disgusting things. But they are, in fact, what human beings are willing to do, and even to believe is morally justified, when dealing with “monsters.”

The German citizen who might have blown up the crematoriums at Dachu, who might have assassinated Adolf Eichmann back when it could have derailed the Holocaust: they would have been a hero. No one would have been complaining about it being objectively wrong, or that laws were broken in the process. Such laws and what they protected were unjust, end of story. No one would have simperingly said that “you don’t get to kill people you disagree with.”

So if you tell people that someone is a monster, that they are running New Auschwitz down the block, either you’re simply exploiting that rhetoric for a self-righteous smearing (great for raising money and media traffic, no doubt) or you really mean it and had better own up to what it implies, morally. When you use those words but then walk it back and claim to support the rule of law, you’re asking people to tolerate monsters as a matter of course, which is something that even citizens in a democracy just can’t do without it tearing them up inside and sometimes spilling out onto the streets regardless. Because we kill monsters.

Was Tiller a monster? No. Read the stories of actual women facing actual hard choices and understand that he was one of the only people in the country who could help them: in many cases to help them survive. He did it, and for that he and everyone around him was terrorized, threatened with death and destruction. He could have, like so many other OB/GYNs, simply moved on to more lucrative and less dangerous lines of work. He didn’t. We can debate the ethics of abortion later, but painting this man as a modern-day Mengele is madness. We chased Mengele across the globe trying to capture and execute him. Because like it or not, that’s what Tucker Carlson and nearly everyone else otherwise agrees befits monsters.

Except, of course, when Tucker’s trying to be “sincere.”

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~ by Drew on 2009/06/01.

4 Responses to “Tucker Carlson Calls Dr. Tiller “A Monster,” Endorses Monsterism”

  1. […] by the bulk of the movement in question; but on some level, given the cultural milieu into which heated prolife rhetoric spews forth, occasional murders of abortion doctors are the prolife movement’s “cost of […]

  2. […] and yet also condemn murders in the service of stopping it. But plenty of pro-life rhetoric has yet to catch up to those subtleties, preferring proud principles over messy […]

  3. What made the situation all the worse for me was the fact Dr. Tiller was murdered in a church – the very symbol of peace, worship, and sanctuary within his community.

    Did anybody directly suffer from Tiller’s practice (exclusing the pro-lifers who’ve suffered many sleeples night protesting outside his clinic)?

    No. As you’ve pointed out, he gave these women comfort and solace – he gave them a chance at life that other doctors would have shied away from, for fear of the very sort of violent repercussions Dr. Tiller and his family experienced during his career.

    I find it amusing that O’Reilly an Carlson would liken Tiller to the Nazis. I was thinking more Oscar Romero.

    It’s me – Twin-Skies from the Pharyngula blog 🙂

    I stumbled into your blog recently, and if your writing’s always this full of insight, it looks like I’ll be sticking around for a while.

    Cheers.

  4. Myself, I think the fetuses, especially past the 2nd trimester, begin to have some compelling moral interests.

    So in that sense, Dr. Tiller’s clinic was more than just a place of solace. Some pretty brutal and upsetting work was being done there and there’s no denying that. But as I argued in another post, that sort of brutality is sometimes justified in order to respect the lives of women, and in judging their interests to be more compelling in that situation than the interests of the fetus.

    Dr. Tiller’s career was in confronting exactly those sorts of tough calls, and doing so under fire.

    Thanks for the compliments! I just breathe a sigh of relief when I get things out without glaring typos (which my slipshod edited/re-editing process seems to make almost inevitable)

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