Suspect Roeder’s rightwing credentials

Scott Roeder, the suspect Kansas police arrested in connection with Dr. Tiller’s assassination, has had his pst explored since his identity was revealed a couple of days ago.  Bloggers found Roeder’s rantings, comparing Tiller to Hitler, on an anti-Tiller website — and the LA Times devels further into Roeder’s past, revealing more connections to the far right.

The 51-year-old man held on suspicion of killing prominent abortion provider Dr. George Tiller belonged to anti-government militia groups, had been convicted of carrying explosives in his car and was outraged by the doctor’s speedy acquittal on abortion-related charges, authorities and antiabortion activists said Monday.

Details after the jump.

Others, however, had long feared Roeder could be dangerous. He was stopped by Kansas authorities in 1996 for driving with an illegal license plate that said “Sovereign private property.” The deputies found he had no driver’s license and was carrying explosives in his car. He was convicted of one count of criminal use of explosives.

He was sentenced to 24 months of intensive probation, requiring him to disassociate himself from violent anti-government groups and visit his probation officer daily.

If you have trouble believing that Roeder was seriously into anti-government propaganda…

Roeder’s ex-wife, Lindsey Roeder, said her husband became obsessed with anti-government theories and abortion in the early ’90s and that it poisoned their 10-year marriage. The couple had one son and Lindsey Roeder told reporters Monday she insisted on custody because she feared for the child’s safety.

“The anti-tax stuff came first, and then it grew and grew. He became very antiabortion,” she told the Associated Press. “That’s all he cared about is antiabortion. ‘The church is this. God is this. Yadda yadda.’ “

And it gets worse.

Roeder became friendly with Shelley Shannon, who shot Tiller in 1993, wounding him in the arms, and is serving a life sentence in a Kansas prison. Another of Shannon’s visitors at the prison was David Leach, who published Prayer and Action News, which advocated using violence to stop abortion doctors.

It’s kinda funny how killers, like Poplawski and now suspected killer Roeder, have connections to anti-government and anti-tax movements.  One wonders who spawned these movements…

It’s early April, tax time, and Grover Norquist is moving into high gear. The President’s $1.6 trillion tax cut package is working its way through Congress, and Norquist–president of Americans for Tax Reform and arguably Washington’s leading right-wing strategist–is rushing from meetings on Capitol Hill to strategy sessions with antitax activists. One minute he’s putting the finishing touches on planned demonstrations in Washington and all fifty state capitals on tax-return filing day; the next he is juggling appearances on right-wing talk-radio shows and stints on MSNBC and Fox. And, as he has for nearly eight years, Norquist is coordinating the agenda for his signature event, the regular “Wednesday meeting” that draws more than a hundred representatives of conservative groups to a standing-room-only conference room at his organization’s L Street offices.[…]

To Norquist, who loves being called a revolutionary, hardly an agency of government is not worth abolishing, from the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug Administration to the Education Department and the National Endowment for the Arts. “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years,” he says, “to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

How do we go from mainstream anti-government advocates like Norquist to anti-goverment advocate/murderers? Prehaps more importantly, can the right continue to avoid the growing cancer of extremism festering on their side?

Like I said in my previous post, I can be (have been…) accused of trying to score political points by lacing political blame on Tiller’s murder, or the murder of Pittsburgh cops earlier this year, but when the suspects are found to be spouting the same ideological talking points heard on conservative talk radio, how can the notion of rightwing extremism be denied?  Something’s happening.  Now nobody is suggesting that the entire right is nuts (well, I’m not, at least), but when we see people murdered by those immersed in rightwing ideology, something’s up.  The right needs to take a look at its movement to see just what went wrong and how it can be corrected.

[Troll comments will be deleted.]

4 Responses to “Suspect Roeder’s rightwing credentials”

  1. Rosa says:

    I agree the right isn’t totally nuts, there are plenty of truly “pro-life” advocates out there who are appalled by the Tiller murder. However, like you said, it seems like the kook right is becoming more militant in its extremism. I have read countless blogs with rhetoric suggesting that the Tiller murder was justified and that his death was deserved which is more than troubling. In a way it makes his death even more tragic because Tiller dealt with the threats of the extreme fringe on a daily basis. Here he is talking about why he did it: http://www.newsy.com/videos/the_killing_of_george_tiller

  2. tas says:

    I have read countless blogs with rhetoric suggesting that the Tiller murder was justified and that his death was deserved which is more than troubling.

    Exactly. I’ve seen condemnation, which in a previous post I praised and called necessary… But there’s been a hell of a lot of faux-condemnation coming from the right, too. For example, Operation Rescue’s statement on Tiller’s murder sounded hollow, and that point was hammered home by Op.Rescue’s founder Randall going before the National Press Club and claiming Tiller “reaped what he sowed.” Randall made this as an offhand remark — watching it escape his lips, you can almost hear him thinking “Oh shit, I let that slip” afterwards — but it was made while he was saying that the pro-life movement was not responsible for Tiller’s death, and then the very next thing he said was that Tiller is a “mass-murderer”. The irony here is so rich that it makes Randall’s “sowing” comment icing on the cake. You can’t condemn and disown responsibility while spitting on the murdered person. You can’t say “Murder is wrong” while insinuating how fair you think it is in some cases.

    Certainly the majority of people on the right are not capable of pulling the trigger, nor would they think of it. But there has not been mass, meaningful, forceful condemnation on this — and anybody pointing this out is loudly ridiculed as a partisan-motivated leftist scumbag who’s just looking to score political points, and yadda yadda. I’ve been the butt of that argument this past week. It’s really disappointing to see how the right — with it’s attitude of a persecution complex firmly, seemingly always, in place — cannot take an objective look at its own movement to see hatred festering there.

  3. JakePlumb says:

    Interesting site. If you guys expect any ideology to apologize for the action of a few crazies within, you’ll be waiting a long time. Respectfully, it’s a little bit naive to think Newt Gingrich or any Republican thinks they are responsible for Tiller’s shooting. Some people secretly think it was justified, but will never say so.

    But let’s be fair, this same theory applies to the Left as well. I took part in demonstrations during the 60’s, a few took it to another level setting off bombs and using guns. They ended up killing people. Those of us involved in the movement would never say somebody deserved to die, but secretly we felt this was a necessity for our cause. Many are still unrepentant for their actions, not me.

    I was watching a History Channel special on Pol Pot the other night. He killed, starved, and mutilated millions of Cambodians over the years. During his last interview he simply brushed off accusations of his brutality, said it was necessary to keep order. Some are inherently prone to commit heinous acts throughout all History and in every corner of the World today. It’s not a specific ideology that’s prone to hate.

    Crazies are crazy whether on the Right or the Left.

  4. tas says:

    But let’s be fair, this same theory applies to the Left as well. I took part in demonstrations during the 60’s, a few took it to another level setting off bombs and using guns …

    Crazies are crazy whether on the Right or the Left.

    Yeah, but the leftist (and I use the word “leftist” in sense of its actual meaning, not the way rightwing pundits and bloggers throw it around to (mis)label any moderate Democrat) protesters of the 60’s protested the Democrats as much as they did the Republicans. It was the 1968 Democratic Political Convention that is famous for leftist protests against it. The Democratic Party did not embrace extremist ideology.

    With the rightwing terrorists, on the other hand, they are found to be spouting off the same talking points as mainstream rightwing pundits. That’s the difference. It’s easy to say that extremism exists despite ideology, but in the case of the right we see direct evidence of the mainstream party fostering extremism. This is not the case on the left.

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