When Tiller equals Hitler

The cold, hard truth about the right’s reaction to the murder of Dr. George Tiller—the truth that most anti-abortion activists are reluctant to admit, at least publicly—is that they’re happy he’s dead.

Well, maybe not “happy.” “Relieved,” might be a better word. Or, less succinctly, I think it is safe to say that there are many anti-abortion activists who genuinely believe that the ultimate good that comes from Dr. Tiller’s death far outweighs the inherent evil of his murder.

Our ever-absent blogging partner Will uses an apt analogy (though since he’s too lazy to write the post himself, I probably should’ve just presented it as my own), the oh-so-cliche thought experiment: If you could go back in time to pre-Nazi Germany, would you kill Adolf Hitler?

Murder is wrong; I think that’s a pretty universal moral standard.  But knowing the crimes Hitler committed and the horrors he wrought, few would consider it immoral to preemptively kill a man who would ultimately be responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of innocent men, women and children. And while many of us might lack the fortitude to commit the act ourselves, neither would we mourn Hitler’s death. Indeed, we’d welcome it.

Yes, murder is wrong, but not all killing is murder, and as a society we tend to make moral exceptions in circumstances such as war, executions, and self-defense.

Now let’s look at the rhetoric anti-abortion advocates have used to describe Dr. Tiller, both before and after his death.

Few on the right have publicly condoned Dr. Tiller’s murder (though the crazies like those at Free Republic are always willing to to jump to the defense of any moral outrage), but even in disowning and/or condemning the assassination, some very public figures continue to describe Tiller as a “serial killer,” a “baby killer,” a “mass murderer” and worse.  Even anti-abortion activists and organizations who genuinely disavow violence have referred to Dr. Tiller as “Tiller the Killer” and “Dr. Death,” comparing him to the infamous Nazi war criminal, Dr. Josef Mengele.

Many, many people in the anti-abortion movement, mainstream and extreme alike, have used and embraced this sort of rhetoric, and I see little reason to doubt their ingenuousness. These people believe that Dr. Tiller was a serial killer who brutally murdered thousands of babies, and who would have continued his killing spree for years to come… had he not been stopped by an assassin’s bullet.

Undoubtedly, most would have preferred that he were stopped through legal means, and damn few would have had the personal fortitude to pull the trigger themselves. But don’t kid yourselves. They don’t mourn Dr. Tiller’s death any more than I did the deaths of Saddam Hussein and his two odious sons, regardless of my opposition to the Iraq war itself. And they don’t think his killing was particularly immoral, especially when balanced by the thousands of babies who might have been saved in the process.

The cold, hard truth is, political and PR considerations aside, many in the anti-abortion movement are happy Dr. Tiller is dead. Or relieved. Or at the very least, comfortable with a moral calculus that, in their minds, balances the life of one guilty man against the lives of thousands of innocent babies.

And that is a disturbing truth the so-called “pro-life” movement needs to come to terms with.


  1. 1

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    And I’ll be more than comfortable with and happy about hearing of similar fates befalling those on the right who condone terrorist acts like those employed in this case.

  2. 2

    Michael spews:

    Judging by the comments left on the News Tribune’s website I’d say they’re quite please with Tiller’s death.

  3. 3

    Michael spews:

    Tiller’s death will not save lives. However, it might contribute to the death women in need of a late-term abortion.

  4. 5

    headless spews:

    How much of this will it take before serious action against these loonies is taken? Late term abortion of a foetus that has no brain is not murder.

  5. 6

    sarge spews:

    It isn’t “disturbing” to them. They have already come to terms with it, just as you described.

  6. 7

    GBS spews:

    The whole “Would you kill Hitler before WWII” secnario is stupid.

    First, time-travel and altering history is impossible.

    Second, even if you could you go back and alter history, you cannot predict the outcome of your actions with certainty.

    Given the turbulence in Germany’s political envrionment at the time, another and worse leader may have risen to power.

    One that acquired the atom bomb early on in WWII and used it to destroy the allied forces and we’d all be living in German work camps as slaves producing for the “Father Land.”

    Whether or not you agree with the LAW, Dr. Tiller was operating within the bounds of the law.

    The anti-abortion crowd routinely operates outside the bounds of the law. Therefore, we should be prosecuting them. Using the FBI to track their anti-law, anti-American, anti-LIFE agenda.

  7. 9

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    @4 and what’s really funny is that more girls from religious schools get abortions than those from public schools so let’s hope some of those botched abortions and deaths come to the children of the right wing nutjobs who think this is all fun and games.

    I repeat – I’d consider anyone who decided the right wing extremists deserve to be murdered for this conduct to be a hero.

  8. 11

    ArtFart spews:

    9 “…let’s hope some of those botched abortions and deaths come to the children of the right wing nutjobs who think this is all fun and games.”

    Uhhh, let’s not, M’kay?

  9. 12

    Michael spews:


    I’m pro-life. I don’t want to see anyone get shot, I’m generally ani-war, don’t want to see anyone die due to a botched abortion, want to see more rail transit and fewer folks dying in car wrecks…

    About 40K people die every year in car wrecks, why aren’t pro-lifer’s protesting outside car lots?

  10. 13

    Jason Eckelman spews:

    @ 8 – considering that Tiller was murdered in a Christian church, I’d say they probably won’t care. As long as it’s not their particular church, they could give a fuck. It really isn’t even a “Christian” issue at this point. It ultimately comes down to how fanatical and psychotic you are…

  11. 14

    Jason Eckelman spews:

    @ 11 – Yeah, I’m with ya. I’m all for hyperbole, but let’s not go completely fucking crazy, people~

  12. 15

    Sam Adams spews:

    Pro lifers celebrate this murder?

    Oh….make that “..reluctant to admit, at least publicly….” so you don’t have to prove it.


    And get off the botched and alleyway abortion justification. Fact is safe clinical abortions will not go away and there will not be a run on coathangers.

  13. 16

    Michael spews:


    You don’t have to look too hard to find examples of people being happy Dr. Tiller is dead.

    Damn straight safe abortions wont go away. They’re part of a woman’s right to privacy and protected by the Constitution.

  14. 18

    Michael spews:


    The argument that there needs to be tighter regulation, especially of late term, abortions could probably be made. But, that’s not what the pro-life crowd is trying to do. And they’re certainly not trying to protect a woman’s right to privacy.

  15. 20


    And also don’t forget that many on the left are happy the soldier at the recruiting center was murdered.

    And that is a disturbing truth the so-called “anti-war” movement needs to come to terms with.

  16. 21

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    No it IS time to go fucking crazy. The moderates have been edged out on this issue. So you’re either with the inbred, stupid, cowardly, right wing, ass-licking, motherfucking, piece of shit, asshole terrorists who want to kill people like Tiller or you’re not. If you say you’re not, what are you going to do about these terrorists?

    We have no problem killing Iraq’s citizens when we say they are terrorists. Why should these so-called Christian hypocrites be treated any differently?

  17. 22

    Michael spews:


    Nobody on the left is happy about the shooting in Little Rock.

    The idea that we had some sort of tit-for-tat with a member of the right shooting a doctor and a member of the left shooting a requiting station is nonsense.

  18. 24

    Michael spews:

    One of the entries from Dr. Tillers guest book

    June 03, 2009
    Dr. Tiller’s practice was like none other in the United States-he was a God-fearing man and he cared about not only the physical health of his patients, but our mental health as well. Due to life-threatening anomalies, so many women including myself have been forced to make the heart-wrenching decision of late-term abortion. Dr. Tiller made it possible for my husband and I and so many others to heal. I pray that doctors will have no fear and continue to carry on his methods so that women like me who lost my daughter to severe Hydrocephalus will have the same care. God Bless the Tiller family.
    Renee Shutes

  19. 25



    So you think there are some on the right that happy the abortion doctor was killed, but think there are no people on the left that are happy the soldier was killed?

  20. 26


    I have an honest question for everyone.

    Would you be surprised if all four suspects in the Walmart armored car killing were black?

    Also, take into consideration that Washington state’s black population is only 3%.

    If you wouldn’t be surprised that all four all black, please tell me why.

  21. 27

    GBS spews:

    Troll, it must suck to always be on the wrong side of the debate.

    By all means, please don’t stop trying to conflate your racists points of view with the murders of Dr. Tiller and our Soldiers

    One is black, one is white.
    One is a Muslim, one is a Christian.
    One is socially conservative, the other a bat shit crazy, right-wing extremist, conservative Christian Republican.

    Both are TERRORISTS.

    So, what’s it like be an American Taliban like you?

    Really, what difference does it make if the gunman in the Walmart shooting all black, a mix of races or all white?

    Would you be surprised that all Klansman are white?

    Of course not, you attend the meetings so you know it’s ALL WHITE POWER ALL THE TIME.

  22. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 “Whether or not you agree with the LAW, Dr. Tiller was operating within the bounds of the law.”

    It’s not quite that simple, GBS. Roland Freisler sentenced Hans and Sophie Scholl to death for distributing anti-Hitler pamphlets under what, at that time, was the law in Germany.

  23. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, I’m not suggested there’s any similarity between Roe v. Wade and Nazi Germany’s laws repressing opposition to the Hitler regime. Obviously there isn’t. All I’m saying is the law is not always a guide to the moral, or vice-versa. Laws can say anything. The law is a jealous mistress and there are consequences for disregarding her demands, that’s all.

  24. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Troll is always full of shit, but rarely has he been as full of shit as he is in this thread. His comments in this thread are a new low even for him.

  25. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The soldier in Little Rock was killed by a foreign-trained terrorist. He is a casualty of war just as much as our soldiers killed in Iraq are. Nobody on our side cheers those deaths, Odious Lying Troll. All we’ve ever said is that you cowardly troop-hating traitors shouldn’t have sent them to die in your recreational war. If you wanted to fight Iraq, you should have gone yourselves, and done your own dying.

  26. 32

    GBS spews:

    RR @ 28-29:

    I agree with you 100%. Because a law is written doesn’t make it Just. For instance the banning interracial marriage, civil rights, women’s right and slavery pop to mind.

    Back to Dr. Tiller’s case, he was, as far as I know and haven’t heard anything to the contrary, operating fully within the confines of the law of the land, yes?

  27. 33

    proud leftist spews:

    Troll’s insidious and insistent references to race show us how much work we have left in this country to become colorblind. I guess we should thank Troll for teaching us that we can not sit back on our heels just because we have elected an African-American president. Is it too late for Troll’s mother to undergo a late-term abortion? I’m sure she’d undergo the procedure if she could knowing what scum she has produced.

  28. 34


    Let’s keep it civil, people. There are plenty of political blogs out there where flaming is the norm, but here at HA, we like to discuss the issues with passion, but remain friends at the end of the day. If you can’t abide by our credo, perhaps this isn’t the blog for you.

    – The Moderator

  29. 35

    proud leftist spews:

    Troll @ 34
    How’s this for keeping things civil? Troll, you racist piece of shit. Why don’t you and manoftruth go off to your KKK Klavern and leave civilized people alone. If you somehow think there is some humor or irony in what you post, you are dead wrong. You are what people scrape off their shoes before going where decent people go. Here’s some more civility, Troll: (credit to Rahm Emmanuel) go commit an anatomically impossible sexual act with yourself.

  30. 36

    Steve spews:

    Troll and manoftruth serve as a daily reminder that our Puddy, Mr. “50%”, is one spineless SOB.

  31. 37



    Why do you call me a racist? Because I used the N-word? Jesse Jackson used the N-word to describe Obama. Does that make him a racist? Chris Rock says there are regular black people, and then there are niggers. Does that make him a racist?

  32. 38

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    The solution to this late-term abortion issue is to have the abortions done earlier. Oh yeah, good birth control is a must, also. Good birth control trumps abortion any day of the week: avoid the problem BEFORE it becomes a problem!!

  33. 39

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Remember when that ass-sucking scumbag Troll was stupid enough to think his act pretending to be a Dem was working? Shows what happens when inbred parents spawn.

  34. 40

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Troll if the suspects in the WalMart robbery were black we know that rules out Puffybutt because he’s just an oreo!

  35. 41

    proud leftist spews:

    Troll reminds me that no one has one the Golden Goat in awhile. I’m wondering which other troll is going to step up and defend him–Puddy, wherefore art thou? Cynical, Mark1, Marvin, won’t one of you step up and defend this piece of shoe shit?

  36. 42

    Rujax! spews:

    What in the HOLY LIVING FUCK are you talking about?

    34. Troll spews:

    Let’s keep it civil, people. There are plenty of political blogs out there where flaming is the norm, but here at HA, we like to discuss the issues with passion, but remain friends at the end of the day. If you can’t abide by our credo, perhaps this isn’t the blog for you.

    – The Moderator

    06/03/2009 at 6:18 pm

    You’re no more a fucking moderator on this board than I am, you stupid son of a bitch.

    Jesus H. Christ!!!

  37. 43

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    “I have an honest question for everyone.”

    No. You do not. If it were an honest question, you would provide the answer.

  38. 44

    Rick D. spews:

    Goldy needs to get over this Tiller thing.

    The guy was an absolute fucktard that made millions committing infanticide.

    Quit your blubbering for your role mode, Goldy and turn the page. Tiller’s mengele resume’ stands intact no matter how much bullshit justification you give it.

  39. 45

    Goldy Loves George Tiller spews:

    George Tiller the “baby killer” is dead. Why weep about an inhuman, josef mengele protoge doctor 3 days after his death? showing your true colors there Goldstain.

    My advice? grow up. Also, quit banning screennames you don’t like…if you’re going to censor, have the balls to do it outright with an IP ban.

    Rick D.

  40. 48

    Goldy Loves George Tiller spews:

    @ 45 – Given the dumbassery displayed in 44, it was a wise decision.

    If it took dumbassery to get banned, your pervert ass would have been kicked to the curb years ago. Do you have a life YLB? Or is a 24/7 ‘life’ of trolling one pathetic ass hate site your version of “living”.?

    I have my new title for you, you little pervert. Nightwatchman for the David Goldstain waste treatment plant. Seems about fitting. Plowed Leftist can be your day shift relief…

    Rick D.

  41. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @44 Ricky Dickhead doesn’t look very banned to me. Merely as stupid in his new incarnation as he always was in the old one.

  42. 52

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @38 “Oh yeah, good birth control is a must, also … avoid the problem BEFORE it becomes a problem!!”

    Boy, does this apply in spades to #44! Unfortunately, in Ricky’s case it’s too late. What was his mother thinking when she didn’t abort him? Little Ricky Dumbass is a clear-cut example of why Dr. Tiller’s services were a necessity.

  43. 53

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @20 “And also don’t forget that many on the left are happy the soldier at the recruiting center was murdered.”

    Bullshit. Oh, and FUCK YOU, you lying piece of wingshit shit. You’re lower than a cockroach.

  44. 54

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 “So you think there are some on the right that happy the abortion doctor was killed, but think there are no people on the left that are happy the soldier was killed?”

    That’s right. Now let me ask you a question — are you so utterly STUPID that you need this spelled out for you? Okay. Some rightwing fanatics have made public statements saying they’re glad the doctor is dead. We didn’t make that up; that’s a fact which has been reported by the media. You have NO evidence that anyone other than the shooter has expressed gladness over the death of the soldier in Little Rock. You made that up. You peeled it off the wall. You’re a lying wingnut piece of shit. You’re lower than a cockroach. Does this help your understanding?

  45. 57

    Right Stuff spews:

    Hydrocephalus is detectable during prenatal ultrasound examinations, so if a woman were to want to abort, she could before 22 weeks.

  46. 58

    ArtFart spews:

    The spectacle of the “right-to-life” ultra-fanatics publicly expressing their glee over Tiller’s murder is chillingly reminiscent of the jihadists dancing for joy over 9/11.

  47. 59

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Proud leftist cracked Puddy up with this drivel:

    Troll’s insidious and insistent references to race show us how much work we have left in this country to become colorblind.

    PL, you forget the commentary of your good buds rujax, stillbentover and headless lucy. They are your buds, peas of the same pod!

  48. 60

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Why does Proud Leftist dwell on goats? Is PL missing his goat on the Peninsula? Did Steve or Ekim steal it? Maybe rujax is giving it a workout? Enquiring minds don’t really care though. It’s a leftist HA swineflu weasel thing…


  49. 61

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Steve, Puddy is a spineless SOB?




    Puddy been asking for a headless rebuke for years. Steve, yous a moron! Even after reviewing the facts and headless didn’t answer you, yous still a moron!

  50. 63

    Michael spews:


    Unless they miss it, or it’s minor at the time, but then the fetus’s brain swells to 250% of its normal size and puts the woman’s life in jeopardy.

    Plus, the pro-life movement can never get too far from their theology, which is really neither here nor there and has no place in formulating public policy.

  51. 64

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Pelletizer farted:

    You have NO evidence that anyone other than the shooter has expressed gladness over the death of the soldier in Little Rock.

    Ummm… yes we do. There is no HA swineflu weasel thread.

    Daily Kurse Search:”arkansas recruit shooter” Found 0 results, displaying

    From the dummocraptic overground – More likely a soldier who was lied to by recruiters and got back from his 3rd tour in Iraq with post tramatic stress.

    From the dummocraptic overground – maybe it was the same guy that shot that doctor.

    Now that was some of the best and brightest from the moronic leftist pinheads.

    That’s proof positive you are wrong AGAIN!

  52. 65

    Steve spews:

    Sigh! Puddy, Puddy, Puddy, what are we to do with you? You know darned well that I’m trying very hard to help you grow a spine, get you off the Kool-Aid, and get you back on a progressive track. Why are you so unappreciative of my efforts?? Getting someone like you, that is, someone (heh-)with a brain as dense as spent uranium, to alter course is no easy task, you know.

  53. 66

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Steve, where was your rebuke of headless?

    Time and Date Stamp

  54. 67

    Steve spews:

    Sigh! Oh, Puddy, Puddy, Puddy. I’m not going to rebuke Headless until you rebuke manoftruth at least 50% of the time when he posts. I believe you understand the program. However, if you will call Marvin a “goatfucking piece of shit” or some such for his hateful attacks on your friend GBS, calling him a bigot and worse, then I’d go ahead and rebuke headless.

  55. 68

    The right wing sings castrato spews:


    Puddybud will not rebuke manoftruth until everyone on his list denounces headless lucy first.

    Can I get on your list Puddybud? And can my friend, “The right wing is a bunch of idiots” be included as well?

  56. 69

    Dawn Jones spews:

    Hydrocephalus is a treatable medical condition. With a modern shunt, most children do NOT have intellectual disabilities. My son’s IQ is normal, and he is a happy little boy who enjoys swimming, martial arts, and biking. I really do not like hearing this negative talk about hydrocephalus as I know an engineer and an active duty soldier who have hydrocephalus. Please go to the hydrocephalus association website and educate yourselves. Dr. Tiller’s patients died from abortion, not hydrocephalus.

  57. 70

    Michael spews:


    My point really was more that things can and do go wrong in pregnancies and sometimes late term abortions are necessary.

    I know someone that had a late-term dilation and extraction abortion. Despite all the hard work of her doctors, her baby had zero chance of surviving outside the womb. Dilation and extraction allowed her and her husband to have an “intact” child which to grieve over and to bury.

  58. 71

    Michael spews:


    Glad to hear you kid is doing great. I spent a long time working with people with developmental disabilities and I love to hear about the success story’s like yours.

    Personally, I’d rather disabled kids were born than aborted, but I’ve seen the level of support that is required to raise those kids and what having a disabled kid can do to families. Not all the story’s are success stories.

    HA’s comment threads tend to distort positions. If we were to meet in person, we probably agree on a heck of a lot more stuff than we ever will on here.

  59. 72

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    The right wing sings castrato@67,

    Not quite true… Puddy requested 50%+1 HA swineflu weasel libtard. Steve knows this.