Thursday, August 11, 2005

Knucklehead Stuff

We don’t need this:

An advertisement that a leading abortion-rights organization began running on national television on Wednesday, opposing the Supreme Court nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. as one “whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans,” quickly became the first flashpoint in the three-week-old confirmation process.

Several prominent abortion rights supporters as well as a neutral media watchdog group said the advertisement was misleading and unfair, and a conservative group quickly took to the airwaves with an opposing advertisement.

Now the story will not be about John Roberts and his views on reproductive choice or gay rights or states’ rights or any of the things that matter. It will now be about NARAL going off on him. It has already turned the discussion away from the story and about the process, and that is just what we who want to examine Judge Roberts and his views do not need.

It also plays right into the hands of the right wing who will portray Judge Roberts as a victim of unfair and “outrageous” tactics. This is what the right wing is best at: playing the poor pitiful victim of the nasty liberals. You can almost hear the guttaral whining (“Gollum! Gollum!”). It makes no difference to them, of course, that they do the exact same thing when they have the chance; vis. “Swift Boat Veterans” last year.

NARAL has been pushing themselves into the corner for the last several years, leaving more moderate and reasonable advocates for reproductive rights such as Planned Parenthood to shy away from their stridency and hope, with some faint hope, that they are not tarred with the same extremist brush that NARAL uses. This howler, however, just makes it worse, and I wish they’d pull it.