ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NARAL's Idiotic Defense

Now that NARAL has been exposed as an organization full of liars and sleazeballs, they're attempting to address the criticisms that their latest ad has received. I interject throughout.

Far-Right Spin on Roberts Ad

On August 8, NARAL Pro-Choice America launched our anti-John Roberts ad, calling attention to Roberts’ record of siding with extreme anti-choice groups that use violence – even a convicted clinic bomber. The right, as expected, has gone ballistic in a scarily disciplined way. Conservatives have settled on four talking points, all of them disingenuous:

Far-Right Spin #1: The case Roberts argued had nothing to do with violence. It was only over the interpretation of a narrow legal point.

TRUTH: Roberts’ legal activism deprived law enforcement of the tool they were using to combat clinic violence. When Roberts intervened in Bray vs. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic violence was on the rise – in the previous few years, anti-choice radicals were responsible for at least 48 bombings and arsons in 24 states, along with 57 acid attacks, more than 4,000 disruptive acts such as bomb threats, harassing calls and hate mail. Clinics and lawyers around the country were looking for a legal weapon to use against them, and they found it in the Klu Klux Klan Act. Judges across the country agreed applied perfectly, and directed U.S. Marshals to protect health facilities. Radical groups appealed these cases and found an ally in John Roberts. This wasn’t an arcane legal dispute, but a fight over whether or not law enforcement could use their most effective weapon against extremists who use violence.

NARAL's Defense? ANY use of federal power to limit pro-life activists cannot be limited, EVEN IF it's a misapplication of power and EVEN IF there are substantial local, state, and federal laws which could be applied to obtain the same result. If you fail to approve of federal overreach (consistent with SCOTUS), you are guilty for all future violence.

NARAL's Biggest Failure In this rebuttal? Failure to mention how the Supreme Court actually ruled on the matter (ie Roberts position was upheld).
Far-Right Spin #2: This is just about harmless protest activities, not clinic bombings.

TRUTH: Roberts’ sided with a convicted bomber and other activists who preach violence. The plaintiffs Roberts supported included Michael Bray, who had already served a jail sentence for his role in a string of clinic bombings and Randall Terry, who has given a speech calling for doctors who perform abortions to be “executed.” Even purportedly peaceful clinic protests during this period often turned violent and resulted in serious injuries.

Naral's Defense? Anyone who is pro-life is a right-wing, fundie nutjob who would bomb a clinic.

Naral's biggest Failure in this rebuttal? Failure to recognize that Bray was already convicted of a bombing (which isn't the bombing incident featured in the ad) AND the questions which Roberts argued in his amicus brief were not related to Bray's innocence or guilt, nor were they intended to have him released on a technicality. Rather, it was whether a protest demonstration in front of an abortion clinic was discriminatory against women only.
Far-Right Spin #3: Roberts was just a lawyer representing a client.

TRUTH: Roberts was a senior political appointee responsible for shaping legal strategy. By all accounts, Roberts was far more than a government official. He was a senior official described as very close to Solicitor General Kenneth Starr, and appeared to be the Administration’s point person on its strategy around the clinic violence issue. Roberts appeared before the Supreme Court to argue the Bray case, and made media appearances to defend his office’s position.

Naral's Defense? Any lawyer representing a client believes in the opinions, beliefs, and values of their client.

Clearly this is idiotic.
Far-Right Spin #4: Papers released last week show Roberts opposed clinic violence.

FACT: The legal strategy Roberts crafted speaks much louder than a draft of a letter written for a superior. The document released last week was simply the draft of a letter responding to a suggestion from a Member of Congress. Roberts’ actions in Bray were official legal actions of the United States government.

NARAL's Defense? Sure, Roberts has filed conflicting docs, but the one where he's representing the administration are more important.

NARAL's Biggest Failure in this Rebuttal? They failed to mention that Roberts' amicus brief in Bray vs. Alexandria actually denounce the violence practiced by Bray, consistent with the draft letter.

THE BIGGEST "RIGHT-WING SPIN" THAT NARAL FAILS TO ADDRESS?

THAT THE WOMAN PICTURED IN THE AD WAS INJURED IN AN ATTACK 8 YEARS AFTER ROBERTS FILED THE GOVERNMENT'S AMICUS BRIEF!!!!!

Surely they can do better than this? Actually, given the sleaze that they've gotten into, I s'pose they can't.

But hey, if you're a knee-jerk, NARAL-believing liberal reading this, I suggest that you go read the frigging court decision yourself. And if you haven't already, check out Annenberg's Political FactCheck.org which destroys NARAL's ad. No, this isn't "Right-Wing Spin" as NARAL would have you believe. These are objective facts.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler