TERRORISM…. Michelle Malkin, a leading far-right blogger, makes an observation this morning that bears repeating. (via Sullivan)

Late-term abortion doctor George Tiller was gunned down at his church in Kansas Sunday morning in a thoroughly evil, cold-blooded act of domestic terrorism. Yes, terrorism. Not “extremism.”

I can appreciate the notion that “terrorism” may seem like a loaded, provocative term. But in a case like the Tiller assassination, the word clearly applies.

We’re dealing with an act of politically-motivated violence, against a law-abiding American on American soil, intended to scare, intimidate, and change U.S. policy.

One can support or oppose abortion rights; one can defend or reject the legal medical services Tiller provided for his desperate patients. But whether yesterday’s murder constitutes domestic terrorism isn’t an especially tough call.

Update: It appears that Malkin’s comment may have been intended as sarcasm; it’s hard to say. In either case, the larger point here remains the same.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.