In the criminal justice system, like most systems, felonies and misdemeanors are broken down into categories based on the degree of the offense. For example, taking a human life, what the courts call homicide, is regarded as varying degrees of murder, and yet it is still taking a human life and it is reasonable to conclude that all homicides are murder. There can be little difference, then, with being accused of terrorism; particularly because there are no set-in-stone degrees of terrorism it is safe to say terrorism is terrorism. Many Americans have rightly labeled Republicans as terrorists, especially Republicans driven by “the ideology;” what normal people know as evangelical fanaticism. Obviously, calling Republicans terrorists, or saying they act like terrorists, is nearly as much a mortal sin as saying an unkind word about the religious right, and maybe that is why Republicans are apoplectic that former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton compared them to terrorists for their religion-based attacks on American women.
So, what has Republicans in a rage is that Clinton was decrying the non-stop Republican assault on American women and said, “Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.” No matter how one parses Clinton’s remark, not only is it accurate, it is relatively tame and she did not mention that the Republicans’ “extreme views about women” are driven by fanatical religion. Hillary Clinton has been around politics long enough to know not to cite the source of Republicans’ extremist views about women. However, that is not the only way Republicans are “like some of the terrorist groups,” and if one looks back over the course of the past six years it is beyond refute that Republicans are like terrorists beyond their persistent religious attacks on women.
If measuring terrorist activity by degree is no concern, especially regarding the Republicans’ attitude towards women, then Hillary Clinton’s statement is, besides being spot on, very apropos in describing Republicans’ overall mindset as the kind of “people who don’t want to live in the modern world.” Republicans are still treating women as if it is the Dark Age and demand they be subservient to men, any men, because Republicans claim they are incapable making any decision without a man’s approval; especially approval of religious patriarchal Republicans.
It may be true that religious Republicans are not as harsh as Middle Eastern terrorists who behead or stone women for being sexually active outside of a ‘religious’ marriage, but they have devised a punishment they have no qualms holding fast to. Even before the Vatican-5 on the Supreme Court awarded evangelical men power over women’s reproductive health in the Hobby Lobby case, religious Republicans were screaming that no woman, married or otherwise, will ever be allowed to have “consequence-free sex” in their “Christian America.” The concept behind the Republican assault on contraception, Planned Parenthood, and abortion is punishing women for having sexual relations by forcing them to give birth. It may not be Taliban stoning or ISIS beheading, but it is an at least 18 year punitive sentence handed down by religious men who decided, based on their extremist religion, that the consequence of a woman having sex is giving birth. Withholding contraception with a Republican-mandated “consequence” is an act of terrorism against women.
One definition of terrorism is “actions (or the threat of actions) intended to create fear (terror), perpetrated for an economic, religious, or political goal, and which deliberately target or disregard the safety of neutral non-military personnel or civilians.” Using that definition, nearly every action by Republicans over the past six years are terror acts disregarding the safety of the American people for Republicans’ economic, religious, and political goals. The Republican terror attacks began on Inauguration Night in 2009 and have continued unabated.
In no particular order, there are some egregious terrorist actions perpetrated by Republicans that deliberately targeted civilians without regard for their safety or well-being. For example, in 2013 Republicans terrorized the entire nation for sixteen days by shutting down the federal government in pursuit of a conservative political goal; to withhold basic medical care from tens-of-millions of Americans. The result of the Republican terror attack on the government was a cost to taxpayers of $16 billion and they won control of the United States Congress; Republican voters approved of the terror act that makes them as culpable as the terrorist perpetrators.
Republicans also committed an act of terror in nearly causing what may have been a world-wide economic catastrophe when they threatened, more than once, the full faith and credit of the United States by holding the debt ceiling hostage; a terrorist act the U.S. Constitution strictly prohibits. The result of their act of terror was the nation’s first credit downgrade, an austerity budget that jeopardized funding for national security, and increased costs to the government of $18.9 billion due to the credit downgrade and questioning whether America has to pay its debts.
On Inauguration night in 2009, a group of influential Republicans met in secret and plotted to undermine the new administration’s efforts to save the American economy Republican terrorists just spent 8 years devastating after inheriting a budget surplus. Since 2009, Republicans have deliberately destroyed American citizens’ jobs and worked tirelessly to make sure any and every job creation effort failed. It has been six long years of economic terrorism.
Republicans have deliberately, and with malice aforethought, terrorized Americans and Muslims in the Middle East by actively attempting to undermine the President of the United States, and the international community’s, effort to prevent a war. A war, by the way, that will deliberately target and disregard the safety of neutral non-military personnel or civilians in Iran, as well as put Americans in harm’s way to sate the blood-lust of an Israeli Republicans regard as their lord and master. Republicans, forty-seven of them, went so far as to commit sedition by contacting an alleged enemy to provoke that war their Israeli leader yearns for and it is tantamount to ISIS extremists taunting America to provoke an invasion that disregards the safety of innocent civilians destined to be collateral damage.
Hillary Clinton is only half right; Republicans are not “like terrorists,” they are terrorists. It would require a voluminous tome to list and cite each and every act of terror Republicans have perpetrated on the American people and the nation they claim to serve since Barack Obama has been President. Of course, women have seemingly taken the brunt of Republican extremism and acts of terror borne of religious extremism and as Clinton noted, it is Republicans who “don’t want to live in a modern world;” a world where women have the right to choose their own reproductive health and do not have to suffer religious-Republican imposed “consequences,” or punishment, for non-compliance with an extremist religious agenda.
Republicans can bitch and moan till they are blue in the face about Hillary Clinton’s incredibly accurate portrayal of them as “being like terrorists.” There is a reason Republicans are attacking Clinton over non-issues and it is because they are terrified because she is not intimidated and not afraid to label them as what most Americans already know they are; terrorists.
Frankly, it is damned high time that some Democrat steps up and labels the extremist GOP as the terrorists they are; for too long they have terrorized the American people with relative impunity. Although it is true many Democrats have spoken out about the Republican war on women, none of them have made the connection between America’s religious Republican terrorists and those religious extremists in the Middle East who hate the idea of living in the modern world. Like the terrorists in the Middle East, Republicans have targeted the entire population and sought to bring down the government in “pursuit of their extremist religious, economic, and political goals” with blatant disregard for the safety of American civilians or the well-being of the United States.