It’s official: Despite Fox “News” and every right-wing media outlet in the Midwest desperately claiming otherwise, Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear is a card-carrying member of the Konservative Krazy Klub. And an Evangelical wife-beater who’s into S&M, at that.
So now says the second of Dear’s three ex-wives, who granted an interview with NBC earlier today. Barbara Mescher married Dear in 1985, and divorced him in 1993 after (one assumes, regrettably) having one child. Barbara, as it happens, is the daughter of Bill Mescher, a conservative South Carolina Republican senator who was elected in 1992. The senator was as hard right as Republicans get, except in one fairly interesting regard: He was a vehement supporter of marijuana legalization. Granted, very little of this has to do with Robert Dear, but it might explain how Barbara wound up in Colorado married to a psychotic conservative.
The lonely, snow-covered field where Dear lived. Either that, or a Norman Rockwell painting titled “Exactly Where You’d Expect to Find the Psychotic Right-Wing Loner.“
In her 1993 divorce affidavit, Mescher claimed that dear was a “violent, isolated man with no friends,” a loner who moved to the Middle-of-Nowhere, Colorado specifically to “live off the grid” and be “left alone.” He had a habit of disappearing for days on gambling trips, then showing up at home to beat his wife. On one occasion, he’s reported to have kicked his wife and dragged her around by the hair; on another occasion, he “knocked [her] out and beat [her] head against a concrete floor.” Dear also reportedly pushed his third wife out of a window in 1997.
But, according to Mescher, a bigger lover of Jesus you’d be hard-pressed to find in Colorado.
“He claims to be a Christian and is extremely evangelistic, but he does not follow the Bible in his actions. He says as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases. He is obsessed with the world coming to an end.”
Aaaand…there’s every Christopher Hitchens argument ever, condensed into a single paragraph.
But no man walks by faith alone, and Dear’s longstanding history of violence and hatred toward Planned Parenthood goes way back. For those who don’t recall, abortion became a conservative political football in 1989, when televangelist Pat Robertson brought it up to take the moral high-ground over George W. Bush (among others) in the Republican primaries. Soon, every last Republican candidate had to proclaim profound faith and a hatred of abortion just to stand on the moral pedestal as Robertson. So began the fusion of religion and politics that defines the Right today. Shortly afterward, Dear himself jumped on the conservative bandwagon and planned his first act of sabotage against Planned Parenthood.
According to Mescher, in or about 1990, Dear went after a local Planned Parenhood clinic. Not with violence, but with glue. Specifically, glue squirted into the clinic’s door locks. Mescher told NBC “that was over 20 years ago when he did that.” Of her ex-husband’s intent to assault Planned Parenthood this time:
“For him to plan this and go there, he meant to go there. There is no doubt in my mind.”
But why? What would trigger this particular assault on Planned Parenthood after all these years? It could have been just a matter of time. Dear has apparently been wildly unstable for decades.
“He would spin on a dime from being OK to being furious. He was abusive — very abusive emotionally, abusive physically. You never knew. It was always nerve-racking because you never knew what he was going to be like.” She continues, “Rob’s anger erupts into fury in a matter of seconds, and is alarming. You have to constantly monitor his emotional state.”
So, as a great man once said, all Dear’s violent insanity really needed was one…little…push. And where might said “push” have come from? Well, if you believe Colorado lawmaker JoAnn Windholz, it was all Planned Parenthood’s fault. She said in a Facebook post just today:
“The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any pph (Planned Parenthood) facility, is pph themselves…So pph, YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS.”
Some people are easier to push than others. Some people want to be pushed. But when the next act of violence comes, at least we’ll know who did the pushing.