The ladies who gave Plato’s “noble lie” new uses in the hearings of Clarence Thomas are at it again. NARAL is using the image of the abortion clinic bombing by Eric Rudolph to suggest that Judge Roberts would excuse such violence–even though NARAL’s leaders have admitted to the press that Judge Roberts has condemned clinic violence. Indeed, the Washington Post reported last week that in 1986, when he was an assistant in the White House counsel’s office, Mr. Roberts wrote a memo recommending against a presidential pardon for abortion-clinic bombers. “No matter how lofty or sincerely held the goal, those who resort to violence to achieve it are criminals,” Roberts wrote.
In fact, the 1993 case whose name NARAL shows in its ad, Bray v. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, had nothing to do with Eric Rudolph or violence against abortion clinics. As a deputy solicitor general in the first Bush administration, Mr. Roberts filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the Civil Rights Act of 1871, enacted to protect blacks from the Ku Klux Klan, did not prohibit peaceful pro-life demonstrators from standing outside of abortion clinics. The high court agreed 6-3, with Justices Anthony Kennedy and David Souter among the majority.
It is important to point out such a distortion as this for what it is: a lie. Yet my initial reaction was not the same as other conservatives who went on defense. Rather, it was something like this: Do it again, harder, harder–and bring your friends. Having extremist groups spend big money to win over liberal GOP senators is a no-lose proposition, especially when they have to tell lies to do so.
These people will stop at nothing to smear the most unassailable of conservatives. They wouldn’t know the truth if it drove over them with 18 wheels.
John Hinderaker at Power Line has more:
Roberts didn’t “support violent fringe groups” or a “convicted clinic bomber.” He supported the federal government’s position on a specific question of law–correctly, as the Court found. NARAL’s reference to a “convicted clinic bomber” is especially outrageous. The Bray case had nothing to do with a bombing by Eric Rudolph or anyone else, and Rudolph attacked the Birmingham clinic–the bombing that is referred to in the NARAL ad–eight years after Roberts wrote the brief on the Section 1985(3) issues.
For NARAL to suggest that John Roberts has ever done anything to support violence against abortion clinics (or anything else) is so far outside the bounds of civilized debate that one can hope that, even in today’s far-gone Democratic Party, sane voices will be raised to denounce NARAL’s advertising campaign.
Don’t count on it.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood published a sick snuff cartoon–removed from its website yesterday after conservative bloggers blew the whistle–targeting pro-life opponents. Get all the background from Dawn Eden and LifeNews.
Sick. But don’t expect an apology. Being unhinged means never having to say you’re sorry.
Update: Beltway Blogroll looks at lefty bloggers unhappy with NARAL for a different reason.