Update: TPM has Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Texas as the admitted “baby-killer” screamer. Neugebauer is the co-sponsor of a Birther bill and probably the new hero of the Tea Party crowd, even though many or most of their local chapters had until now tried to paper over social issues like abortion and gay marriage. I guess the Christian right isn’t dead after all, it’s just been hiding.
Republican Rep. John Campbell just confirmed to the Washington Post that a fellow Republican called Rep. Bart Stupak, the anti-abortion Democrat who voted for healthcare reform, a “baby killer.” He declined to say who. Campbell’s Republican colleague, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, said the shout came from an area where the Texas and California delegations usually sit. Rep. George Radanovich, a fiercely anti-abortion Republican from California’s Central Valley who plans on retiring in 2010, is rumored to be the culprit. An entry on Radanovich’s Wikipedia page that identified him as the screamer was just scrubbed but Gawker has a screen capture.
Whether or not the identity of “Baby-Killer” is confirmed, the incident highlights the distinctive similarity between Republican members of Congress and the teabagger rabble who surrounded the Capitol yesterday, screaming racist and homophobic epithets at John Lewis and Barney Frank.
The fact that Stupak is being targeted now after the anti-abortion movement upheld him as its darling is remarkable. He is being described in terms previously reserved for George Tiller. On Sunday afternoon, Red State’s Erick Erickson apparently initiated the right’s assault on Stupak, or at least took the Republicans’ sudden resentment of Stupak to a new level. The comments section of Erickson’s initial post on Stupak yesterday filled up with attacks call him a “baby killer.” Then the smears by right-wing blog trolls spread to the House floor.
I have tried comparing the shout of “baby-killer” that is audible in the video below the fold at :06 with the voice of Radanovich delivering a speech denouncing healthcare reform. It is impossible to tell if it was him.