Randall Terry crawls out from under his rock

Guess who’s running the Schiavo racket?

Terri Schiavo’s parents have asked noted anti-abortion racketeer and gay-baiter Randall Terry to lead the campaign to save their daughter. (I just got this fundraising pitch from NewsMax.)

Forgotten Randall Terry? Operation Rescue? Does “racketeer” seem a rather harsh description? The jury in a RICO civil suit didn’t think so. Here’s the way he ran his anti-abortion “protests”:

One doctor, Dr. Susan Wicklund, was grabbed and slammed against a car as she tried to get through the blockade and into her office. Patients were tripped and pushed to the ground. One clinic administrator was grabbed by her hair and thrown to the ground by an Operation Rescue leader. Another was viciously choked by Operation Rescue protesters, leaving serious bruises on her neck. One patient, who was trying to enter the clinic — not for an abortion but for post-operative care following cancer surgery — was beaten with an Operation Rescue protester’s sign. The protesters clawed at her and attacked her, causing her sutures to rupture, and she passed out.

So when Randall Terry threatens to “picket” the home and workplace of Michael Schiavo, that’s a serious threat.

Here’s a sample quotation from the man running the campaign to which the Republicans in Washington are busy pandering:

I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.

On the other hand, when he’s not in full terrorist mode, Terry can be a loveable scoundrel. Consider the classic dirty trick he pulled on Jerry Falwell. It seems that the Liberty University bookstore is a Barnes & Noble. An Operation Rescue operative went in to the store and ordered an art photography book with pictures of nude children. The store didn’t carry it, but accepted a special order. When the store manager saw the book, he cancelled the order and refunded the money. The OR folks then went out and bought a copy elsewhere, and showed it around as something purchased at Liberty University as part of a campaign to call Falwell a purveyor of child pornography. Couldn’t have happend to a nicer guy, but keep that in mind when you read Terry’s claims that Schiavo is responding to things said to her.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com