Over the last five years, one thing has become almost as certain as death and taxes. Regardless of the boorishness and nonsense that Donald Trump spews almost daily, the religious right will find a way to justify its continued loyalty to him.
That tone was set soon after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tapes. So what if Trump was caught on tape not just degrading women, but reveling in it? That didn’t matter to the likes of Franklin Graham, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, and Steve Strang. No, no–what really mattered was that Trump was going to appoint judges who would roll back abortion and marriage equality. Apparently that was so important that they went all-in for a guy who used language that these so-called moral guardians would never tolerate if it was directed at their wives, sisters, daughters, granddaughters, or nieces.
It looks like we’re seeing more of the same in 2020. Even though it has been amply established that Trump blew the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic eight ways to Sunday, elements of the religious right are trying to tell us that doesn’t matter. No, no–what really matters is that Trump opposes abortion, and therefore deserves another term.
Take rabidly anti-abortion outfit Operation Rescue, for instance. Last week, it shared a tweet from its senior vice president, Cheryl Sullenger, in which Sullenger wagged her finger at pro-lifers who are hesitant about supporting Trump.
So it shouldn’t matter that almost 200,000 people are dead because Trump mishandled the worst peacetime crisis this country has faced since at least the Great Depression? Or that Trump serves up a steady diet of hateful and outright racist nonsense? Apparently not, according to Operation Rescue. To hear them talk, it’s “hard to believe” any true pro-lifer would be at all concerned about such matters.
But believe it or not, that’s not the most offensive thing Operation Rescue has churned out so far. Not by a longshot. Two days later, it retweeted Sullenger spewing disinformation about masks.
This is one retweet that most assuredly was an endorsement. With this tweet, Operation Rescue has officially gone all in on anti-masker nonsense. And in so doing, it has lost any right to claim that it is defending the sanctity of life. By spewing this easily debunked nonsense about masks, Operation Rescue has announced in capital letters that it doesn’t care about protecting others from this virus. Simply put, with this retweet, Operation Rescue has proven that it is not pro-life, but forced-birth.
Then again, it’s been amply established that Operation Rescue’s moral compass is severely warped. After all, Sullenger was able to keep her job after it emerged she’d helped Scott Roeder keep track of George Tiller’s court dates before Roeder assassinated Tiller in 2009. Sullenger almost certainly knew Tiller was a marked man for pro-life extremists, and yet she essentially gave this information to a guy on the street.
It says a lot about her boss, Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, that Sullenger wasn’t fired. When the most benign explanation is that Sullenger’s actions were reckless and irresponsible, that’s not a good sign. Indeed, one has to wonder how Sullenger wasn’t charged as an accessory to murder.
Seen in this light, it’s no surprise that Operation Rescue is not only churning out anti-abortion red meat in the name of defending Trump, but has fully embraced anti-masker nonsense. After all, it has been amply established that this organization is morally bankrupt.
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