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Fake But Inaccurate

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FIORINA OF HP AND CAPELLA OF COMPAQ AT MERGER PRESS CONFERENCE.

Ross Douthat asserts that Carly Fiorina was confused rather than dishonest:

Now it’s very clear what scene she’s referencing: It’s a section of this Center for Medical Progress film, the relevant portion of which you can find right here (warning: tough-to-watch content), that weaves together interviews, graphic footage, and excerpts from the CMP’s sting videos of Planned Parenthood officials to tell an anti-PP story. The specific clip in question features a former technician for Stem Express, Planned Parenthood’s (erstwhile) partner in fetal-tissue procurement, describing her work at a Planned Parenthood clinic; this interview is intercut with video footage of a fetus twitching while it expires in a metal bowl, which is not from the abortion/procurement being described, but taken from a different undercover video at an unidentified clinic.

This is…problematic:

So far, the video Fiorina described has not been made public. This latest video most definitely is not it.

The video, titled “Carly Fiorina was right” (warning: extremely graphic), was provided by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. They are the group that provided an image of a fetus, moving slightly, that is used by the Center for Medical Progress in one of their videos. This new video shows the context: The fetus is pulled from a woman and placed in a bowl. At no point does anyone say, “We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” There is no sound. There is no indication that we are inside a Planned Parenthood–affiliated clinic.

The only new information this video adds is the revelation that the fetus came out of a woman’s body. If that surprises you, then you have no right to weigh in on debates over women’s health care.

Jen Gunter:

It is easy to see how someone who has no obstetrical training might think this could be something other than a previable premature delivery. Cunningham’s statements clearly show he is no medical expert and isn’t in the position to explain it. However, I am.

Here are all the issues with the video from start to finish:

  1. It is illegally and clandestinely shot. I feel very badly for the poor woman in question and wonder why Fiorina and our elected officials are not as outraged as I am about her violation and exploitation. I had second thoughts about watching it myself given the lack of consent from the woman, however, I felt if I could end the conversation about it faster by weighing in. Time magazine or Slate have links.
  2. The prep of the patient. The physician (I’m assuming) pours surgical prep/cleaner on the woman’s perineum. We don’t do that anymore for spontaneous deliveries or for abortions that involve induction of labor. This tells me this video is at least 15 years old or from another country.
  3. The delivery. It is a spontaneous delivery as the operator waits for the fetus to be expelled. This is what we do with a previable premature delivery. If this were shot mid way through a 2nd trimester abortion (meaning the Laminaria in the cervix, which are osmotic sticks that help the cervix dilate, had just been removed) it is highly unlikely the operator would have waited for a spontaneous expulsion.
  4. The cord is clamped on the fetal side. If this were an abortion it would just be cut. Really. No one ever does this with an abortion as it serves no purpose.
  5. Waiting for the placenta. The clamp is left on the placental end and at the end of the video the placenta still hasn’t delivered. If this were an abortion the placenta would be removed with suction immediately, no one would wait 11 minutes. Ever. Every abortion clinic has a suction machine.
  6. There is no proof this video is in a Planned Parenthood clinic never mind in the United States. This could easily be an operating room.

So, in summary, Fiorina’s description of video evidence of Planned Parenthood is fundamentally unexceptionable even though the footage 1)didn’t come from the videos Fiorina was discussing, 2)there’s no evidence that the footage comes from a Planned Parenthood, and 3)there’s very good evidence that it doesn’t involve abortion at all. Well, I’m convinced!

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  • Crusty

    Fiorina is not a scientist.

    • efgoldman

      Fiorina is not a scientist.

      No but she is a liar, telling lies. Words which our media will not use.

    • Joe_JP

      Maybe, Ben Carson can comment.

    • Pseudonym

      Hers was not intended to be a factual statement.

  • sharculese

    “Given that all facts are unknowable abstractions, we should err on the side of those who would drag us back to the 14th century,” is Ross Douthat’s default argument. It’s only the specifics of it that change from column to column.

    • tsam

      BRING BACK THE PLAGUE!

      • Yes, plague, please!!

      • socraticsilence

        “Plague gets a bad rap, sure it killed off nearly 1/3 of the known world’s population but it also presented economic opportunity for millions and brought people together re-instilling traditional values like faith and family.”

        Its the classic Douthat– 1 part reasonable and somewhat justifiable supposition combined with 1 part inane and asinine point.

  • cpinva

    is “confused” the new term for “lying through her teeth”?

    • DrDick

      It is for Pantload.

      • joe from Lowell

        I though Jonah Goldberg was Doughy Pantload.

        • DrDick

          You are correct. I have bronchitis and have been operating on half a brain for the past week.

          • Snarki, child of Loki

            Ah, angling for a NYT Op-ed slot? Well good luck, either with the job or the recovery.

        • Kathleen

          Doughy – Douchehat – They all look alike.

        • Pseudonym

          Ross Douthat is rather doughy as well (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and it would be irresponsible not to speculate about the state of his pants.

    • so-in-so

      In 2008 it was “misspoke”, time for an update!

  • Fine, let’s grant La Beard’s premise that Fiorina was confused on the night of Sept. 16th, when she made her statement about the video.

    The only ways to explain her continued insistence that what she saw wasn’t faked is to say she’s too stupid to tie her shoes, she’s too stubborn to admit she’s wrong and/or she’s a friggin’ liar.

    Dross might see those as good qualities in a president, but I suspect he’s just excited because she attacked PP.

    • howard

      The exact point I wanted to make: if she’s still “confused” at this point, she has no business running for president (admittedly, this could be said of everyone in the clown show).

    • brad

      I think it’s a form of pandering to the anti-abortion portion of the Repub base, which is to say the Repub base, who don’t care about literal truth when all them tiny lil angel babies are being massacred by the socialists and this spiritual war has to be waged on every front and so on.
      But I’m very open to the idea that I’m giving her too much credit.

      • Cassiodorus

        It’s exactly that. I discussed the video with a buddy of mine who is a staunch conservative, and his response was that he knows it’s a lie, but it furthers the cause and therefore is good. I’m reminded of the scene in 1984 where they ask about acid.

    • humanoid.panda

      I honestly don’t understand how the people in the New York Times, most of whom I believe do not want to make women into fetus containers, pay the salary of RD, who if he could would cuff any pregnant woman to bed to ensure the safety of her precious gift. I mean, pluralism, and conservative voices and diversity is strenght, but still, yuck.

      • CrunchyFrog

        Understand this is a class issue. The people in NYT basically don’t give a crap what happens to the rubes in flyover country or the folks in NY who clean their toilets, which are the people who would be affected by draconian GOP policy proposals. Certainly the NYT managers would not have THEIR access to women’s medicine cut off. They know Ross supports lowering their taxes and bombing the crap out of the middle east. What else matters?

      • joe from Lowell

        Well, the Boston Globe runs Jeff Jacoby.

        It’s sort of like Fox having Alan Colmes back in the day, except that balance and diversity of thought are actual values for liberals, and not just a slogan like they are for conservatives.

        • Murc

          This.

          There is some value in saying “well, this is the political ideology of a little less than half the country, it makes sense to have a few columnists who espouse it.”

          Chillingly, Douhat is better than many they could have gotten.

          • Davis

            Well, he is better than Jeff Jacoby, who is no better than Mark Levin.

          • joe from Lowell

            There is some value in saying “well, this is the political ideology of a little less than half the country, it makes sense to have a few columnists who espouse it.”

            Especially if you’re trying to get people to pay for it.

          • Origami Isopod

            He’s “better” simply because he’s verbose, and a lot of people mistake that for profundity. In some ways it’d be better to have a fire-breathing overt bigot in that slot — although I’m also aware that such a strategy could backfire by further normalizing such rhetoric.

        • efgoldman

          Well, the Boston Globe runs Jeff Jacoby.

          Yeah, but Jacoby’s right every three or four years, sometimes, on immigration and on the need for a viable two-party system in the state.

          • joe from Lowell

            I really found the Mark Levin comparison up above off. I’ve never seen Levin turn in a gem. Not one.

            Jacoby will surprise you.

            Edit – I am horrified and appalled that I ended that sentence with “up above off.” That’s just not right.

            • Pseudonym

              What did you say up above off for?

    • tsam

      The only ways to explain her continued insistence that what she saw wasn’t faked is to say she’s too stupid to tie her shoes, she’s too stubborn to admit she’s wrong and/or she’s a friggin’ liar.

      Right wingers DO see this as a perfect quality to have in a president. It’s a perfect projection of themselves onto an extremely powerful person, and a hope that this country will be led by someone who has no fucks to give about reality, facts and evidence, but will instead lead from the gut. This is how we ended up in Iraq.

      • howard

        It is exactly how we ended up in Iraq, but no one in GOP circles wants to learn.

        • tsam

          That’s right–none of their voters want to learn either. In fact they’ve gotten worse. Trump’s popularity, despite his profound inability to know stuff, pretty much explains where conservatives’ heads are at right now. They think that if they screw up, they’ll get it right by doing the same thing harder.

        • efgoldman

          but no one in GOP circles wants to learn.

          No one in GOP circles is capable of learning. If they are, they quit the party (Chaffee, Spector, Colin Powell….)

      • Pseudonym

        The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

  • brownian

    I dare Carly Fiorina supporters to watch this video of her physically setting HP’s profits on fire.

  • She’s gonna quadruple down, though. I almost have to admire her pluck.

    (I don’t really admire it.)

  • DAS

    Here are all the issues with the video from start to finish:

    It is illegally and clandestinely shot.

    I would be careful emphasizing this point: there are a lot of clandestinely, even illegally shot videos that we really do need to be available.

    the relevant portion of which you can find right here (warning: tough-to-watch content)

    Essentially the argument is that abortion should be outlawed because it is icky? Given what the video in question likely actually shows, I imagine Douthat will be demanding that pre-viable deliveries and miscarriages be outlawed?

    that weaves together interviews, graphic footage, and excerpts from the CMP’s sting videos of Planned Parenthood officials to tell an anti-PP story.

    I know many documentaries work by weaving together these sorts of things, but in this case I think “weaves together” is a euphemism. Someone could say “As a Democrat, I support the right of people to obtain medical care” and another person could say “I feel that it is wrong to have sex with animals” and someone could “weave together” a clip that says “As a Democrat, I support the right of people to have sex with animals”. Heck, the right is always accusing Michael Moore, et al., of taking things out of context and selective editing … I guess all those accusations are another case of right wing projection?

    • sharculese

      I would be careful emphasizing this point: there are a lot of clandestinely, even illegally shot videos that we really do need to be available.

      I was going to say the same thing initially but I think Gunter actually does a good job of being careful; it’s not just that it’s illegal, it’s illegal because it violates the privacy of the woman being filmed, which is, yes, a thing we should care about.

      • Cassiodorus

        I’d also useful as a corrective to the argument that anti-choicers make that they’re “protecting women.” The argument js stupid in the first place, but the gross invasion of privacy is a cherry on the absurdity sundae.

    • I would be careful emphasizing this point: there are a lot of clandestinely, even illegally shot videos that we really do need to be available.

      Of patients by health care workers?

      If you want to add in, “It was shot without knowledge or consent of the women which is so strongly against medical ethics that is illegal. It is a grotesque violation of her trust and privacy.” I’m fine with that, but I’m also fine with how it was presented.

      People who can’t tell the difference between stalking or up skirting and whistleblowing aren’t going to be convinced of anything useful anyway or not go there.

    • there are a lot of clandestinely, even illegally shot videos that we really do need to be available.

      None of which includes images of a legally performed medical procedure, that are taken without the patient’s consent.

      I’m not sure how someone could be confused here, unless they already struggle with concepts like context and consent. And that’s a different discussion.

      • joe from Lowell

        So, in other words, the problem is not “It is illegally and clandestinely shot.”

        • Is is really a problem to say “part of what’s wrong with this is that it was illegally and clandestinely shot”? I mean, some clandestinely shot video is good even if illegal and but a wide swath of clandestinely shot video is illegal for a good reason.

          Do we make the exceptions define how we frame the issue? Doesn’t that at least need an argument?

          • joe from Lowell

            I would say that it’s a problem to call out “illegal and clandestine” in place of “violates the patient’s privacy.” Note that the way it is written up doesn’t include “illegal and clandestine” as a distinct argument from “privacy and consent,” but treats them as one.

            The substance of Scott’s #1 is actually an argument about privacy and consent, not legalism at all. Giving it that headline frames the problem poorly, as if the problem with showing the video, and the problem of privacy and consent violations broadly, is about breaking rules, as opposed to about the rights of the woman.

            It would be like writing about a boss bullying his secretary for sex as “He violated the company’s fraternization policy.”

            • cant_turn_right

              I agree. I work in a hospital, and if they found out that I recorded a video of a patient without consent and distributed it publically, I would definitely be out of a job. I might also go to jail, as I would be breaking several patient privacy laws.

              Why something is “illegal and clandestine” is very important. “Patient privacy” is very different from “national security” or “ag-gag bill”.

              • Davis

                Of course, which supports the theory that the video was not shot in the US.

                • ema

                  That and the fact that US ORs use surgical drapes, not linens. The ID people would have a cow to see regular sheets on the OR table.

              • Snarki, child of Loki

                “It is illegally and clandestinely shot.”

                It has an unclothed infant. Kiddie-pr0n. Kiddie SNUFF pr0n. I hope Carly doesn’t have too much trouble on the sex-offender list.

            • I would say that it’s a problem to call out “illegal and clandestine” in place of “violates the patient’s privacy.” Note that the way it is written up doesn’t include “illegal and clandestine” as a distinct argument from “privacy and consent,” but treats them as one.

              I still don’t see the problem. The fact that it was clandestine was what shows that it violated consent. It was a breach of privacy and consent severe enough to be illegal.

              The substance of Scott’s #1 is actually an argument about privacy and consent, not legalism at all.

              Again, the illegality is just a marker of its severity. It’s not a perfect marker of course, but I don’t see why it’s a big deal here.

              Giving it that headline frames the problem poorly, as if the problem with showing the video, and the problem of privacy and consent violations broadly, is about breaking rules,

              Er…most people I know don’t think that breaking laws is a mere rule violation. Many people conflate the legal with the moral. *Some* law breaking is regarded as trivial (speeding when you aren’t black, for example). But that doesn’t seem to change the valance of “illegal” more generally.

              as opposed to about the rights of the woman.

              They violated her moral and legal rights.

              It would be like writing about a boss bullying his secretary for sex as “He violated the company’s fraternisation policy.”

              It would be? I don’t see that at all. Indeed, one way I would cast the difference is that bullying for sex is illegal. We made it illegal because it deserved to be.

              This seems to be a different argument that the original one which was more “Since that category of activity is sometimes useful, we shouldn’t stigmitise it”. I think that’s also pretty weak.

              I’m finding this all very weird. Jen Gunter’s #1 seems perfectly unobjectionable and reasonable. I don’t see that it threatens whistleblowers nor do I see it as trivialising of the wrong done to the women. It seems pretty clearly the contrary. If she had said, “It’s illegal but in the way that a speeding ticket is illegal” that would directly enact your point. But she wasn’t any where near that.

        • DAS’ comment acknowledges the illegality of clandestine filming, but points out instances where breaking the law is necessary.

          As I said above, that’s irrelevant because it is never necessary to video a legal medical procedure without the patient’s consent.

          • joe from Lowell

            And as I said above, since the issue here actually is about consent, framing it as one of rule-breaking is somewhat problematic, and DAS is not “confused” in calling gout that problem.

            The confusion here seems to involve getting the wrong end of the “irrelevant” problem. DAS is noting the irrelevance (well, that’s a bit strong) of the legal status.

            I think you completely misread him; you seem to think he was arguing for the public release of this video, instead of making a point about why it shouldn’t.

          • Just_Dropping_By

            As I said above, that’s irrelevant because it is never necessary to video a legal medical procedure without the patient’s consent.

            It’s not difficult to come up with a situation where it would be plausibly “necessary” to record video of a legal medical procedure without the patient’s consent. Off the top of my head: A nurse notices during the early stages of surgery that the surgeon is unsteady on his feet and slurring his speech in a manner suggesting that he may be intoxicated or otherwise impaired. He refuses to call for another surgeon and scrub out even after the nurse suggests that he is not capable of performing the surgery safely. While it may be unlawful to record the scene for a variety of reasons (whether under HIPAA, state wiretap laws, etc.), I’d have a hard time saying it was “unnecessary” if one of the members of the surgical team pulled out a cell phone and began recording the surgeon’s behavior.

            • tsam

              I’m pretty sure if I were in that situation I’d find a way to stop it rather than record the surgeon butchering a patient. I’d give that bastard SUCH A PINCH.

    • matt w

      “As a Democrat, I support the right of people to have sex with animals”.

      I expect this quote to start showing up on right-wing blogs now. They don’t even need to throw in an ellipsis!

  • humanoid.panda

    Let’s say that this is indeed a miscarriage.
    Still, the doctors clearly made the choice of tending to the needs of the sinful, possibly unmarried, container, rather than the sinless baby that container was carrying. How long such abuse of justice will be allowed to stand??

    QED, libtards.

  • D.N. Nation

    Ross “Feminism Gave Me Whiskey Dick, Therefore Women Bad” Douthat:

    Now it’s very clear what scene she’s referencing: It’s a section of this Center for Medical Progress film, the relevant portion of which you can find right here (warning: tough-to-watch content), that weaves together

    Well isn’t that an adorable way of saying “lies”?

    • witlesschum

      I understand that Douthat doesn’t care about the truth, but it’d be nice if the Times would.

      • Steve LaBonne

        It would also be nice if I had a unicorn that shat gold ingots. But I’m not holding my breath on either eventuality.

      • howard

        It is the long-held view of the times, insane as this sounds, that op-ed material is opinion-based and not subject to the same fact-checking as the rest of the paper. Yes, it does sound insane.

        • Steve LaBonne

          Well, they have a pretty spotty record of fact-checking the rest of the paper, for that matter.

          • howard

            Yes they do but they at least make a half-assed effort as opposed to none.

          • Manny Kant

            Why don’t we discuss this further over lunch at Maggiano, in Philadelphia’s world-famous Little Italy district?

            • Hogan

              Updated correction!

              An earlier version of this article misstated the location of Maggiano, a restaurant in Philadelphia. It is in Philadelphia’s Center City; it is not in the city’s “Little Italy” because there is no such neighborhood.

              NYT: where accuracy is Job 2.1.

              • njorl

                Job 2.1? “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.”

                • Hogan

                  And the Lord said unto Satan, “Have you tried the chicken marsala?”

                • Lee Rudolph

                  “Hi, guys! I’m YHWH, and I’ll be your Creator tonight!”

              • matt w

                Let’s see if they use the next correction to get the name of the restaurant right.

      • DrDick

        If the Times cared about the truth, they would fire most of their columnists, especially Douchhat.

  • dp

    Her ability and willingness to dig in and reaffirm the lie when it’s been repeatedly shown to be a lie is remarkable.

    • Steve LaBonne

      Her ability and willingness to dig in and reaffirm the lie when it’s been repeatedly shown to be a lie is remarkable typical of conservatives.

      FTFY.

  • Origami Isopod

    It irks me to see a putative pro-choicer in the NYT comments harrumphing about how abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” No. Abortion should be safe, legal, and available to all women who want one. When you start counting the numbers and bewailing how many procedures have been performed, you’re giving aid and comfort to the fetus huggers.

    • Steve LaBonne

      Damn straight.

    • tsam

      Yeah, rare is a poor choice of words, though education and free, unrestricted access to birth control is what I imagine that should be on the end of that sentence. Rare sounds like “we don’t WANT you to get one, and we’re trying to keep the numbers down, but I guess we’ll let you have this one.”

    • Agreed, but y’all do know that’s a Bill Clinton quote, right?

      • Origami Isopod

        Um, yes? I don’t consider either Clinton particularly progressive.

    • Murc

      It irks me to see a putative pro-choicer in the NYT comments harrumphing about how abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

      Abortion should be all of those three things, especially rare.

      Any abortion that happens means that there’s been a mistake, a failure, or a tragedy somewhere. It means someone fucked up their birth control (or their partner did), or was sexually violated, or they or their fetus have medical issues that prevent it from being carried to term, or a sudden awful shift in their life circumstances made a desired pregnancy suddenly undesirable.

      I hope fervently for the day abortions are so rare as to be next to nonexistent, an exotic and unheard of medical procedure, because that will be the day that women are only getting pregnant because they want to be pregnant and their pregnancies are almost always smooth and uneventful.

      • Origami Isopod

        I’d like a pony, too.

        • Murc

          Pegasus or no deal.

      • Rob in CT

        Yeah, I basically agree with this, but it’s a hard thing to convey well and I sympathize with the idea that the “rare” portion of legal, safe & rare gives aid & comfort to forced-birthers.

        One friendly amendment:

        It means someone fucked up their birth control (or their partner did)

        Or they used it exactly they way it’s supposed to be used but birth control isn’t 100% (just 99.something, depending on the specific method used) effective and they got unlucky. I happen to think that user error is a big factor in unintended pregnancies, but sometimes shit happens to people who do everything right. So I’d say that it also means that BC still needs improvement, along with all the other things that need improvement before your(our) dream could come true.

        • Origami Isopod

          Yeah – user error, but also things like antibiotics. I have had old-school male doctors never bother to tell me that antibiotics can throw off your birth control. Either they never learned about it or they just don’t think it’s important.

        • peggy_boston

          Biologists do not work on 100.000% scales, 99% is close enough leading to the the rare IUD pregnancy like mine. Birth control as a biological process is far from foolproof. Men with vasectomies have gotten women pregnant. Abortion will always be a necessary backup.

  • Mudge

    Some right wing obstetrician (Tom Coburn may pop up on this, or pediatric neurosurgeon or opthalmologist) will dispute Gunter and we will have a “choose sides” argument.

    • Steve LaBonne

      The Times is probably actively looking for one right now. They seemingly can’t report on anything without doing the “opinions on shape of earth differ” dance.

  • witlesschum

    This Kos diary claims to have found the source of the non-abortion portrayed. The woman allegedly says that she doesn’t plan any legal action, possibly because she herself is a pro lifer.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/09/28/1425455/-FOUND-The-source-of-Carly-Fiorina-s-fetus-claim#

    • brettvk

      The link there, to many, many photos of the fetus in question, is (to me) an astounding document of the way some humans mourn their dead.

    • Origami Isopod

      The “how dare you judge that woman?!” concern trolls in that thread drive me up the wall. I damn well do judge her for channeling her grief into political activities that will hurt many other women, as well as children who are already born. Especially since the miscarriage happened more than two years ago.

  • creature

    I am dismayed that I quite probably won’t live long enough to see what happens when Ross didn’tDothat’s children grow up and bust loose on his ass. That would be a NYT column to behold. Also, too, simpleton defending lying ass liars- ‘the enemy of my enemy is my BFF’. Amazing.

  • randy khan

    My standing assumption for nearly any anti-abortion argument that claims to be based on facts is that it’s actually built on lies or, at best, willful misinterpretation of the facts that are cited.

    Many years ago, when I was in college, I had the misfortune to moderate a debate on abortion rights between Bill Baird (a named party in one of the important contraception cases at the Supreme Court) and some anti-abortion activist. There were carefully negotiated rules for the debate, including that no visuals were to be used at all. While Baird was speaking, the anti-abortion activist ostentatiously looked at his notes, picking up each page-protector covered sheet and staring at it. It turned out that the back of each sheet was a photo of a fetus, some in vivo and some after abortions or miscarriages. I had to stop the debate and tell him not to do that (and, as I recall, even then he tried to argue it wasn’t against the rules because he was just looking at his notes). Since then, I’ve understood that the hard core anti-choicers have no interest at all in rules, or fairness or truth – it’s a matter of good and evil to them and they’ve convinced themselves that anything they do is good.

    So, videos that mash up miscarriages with voice overs about abortion – no problem; graphs that make it look like Planned Parenthood has dramatically increased abortions while reducing other services, when making them requires ignoring most of what PP does and using different scales for different lines on the chart – great idea; making up stuff – absolutely. It’s what they do.

    • Cassiodorus

      To be fair, I’m not sure I wouldn’t resort to the same tactics if I thought people were slaughtering thousands of innocent people. The whole “abortion = Holocaust” line is mind-bogglingly stupid, but it really does clarify the terms the radicals see the debate in.

      • Steve LaBonne

        Except that only a tiny handful of forced-birthers (the most dangerous, obviously) behave as though they genuinely equated abortion with murder. For the rest, it has a lot more to do with fear and hatred of female sexuality.

        • Cassiodorus

          It’s not an either or. A lot of them say they’d never put women in jail for having an abortion, etc. And yet, we see it happen every day in many places.

          • Steve LaBonne

            How many women were put in jail last year in the US for having abortions? A hell of a lot fewer than 365 x whatever you define as “many”. Sorry, you’re full of crap.

            • Cassiodorus

              I wasn’t aware this was purely a domestic issue. Women have been sentenced to long prison terms in many places in Latin America. Do you really think that if the anti-abortion zealots were able get it outlawed here that they wouldn’t attempt the same thing?

              And yes, it happens here too. Women have been charged under “fetal homicide” statutes for having a miscarriage. See: Purvi Patel.

              • Steve LaBonne

                You mean, because you were shown to be full of crap you’re trying to change the subject from a discussion of DOMESTIC lying by DOMESTIC Carly and DOMESTIC Ross. Fuck off.

                • Cassiodorus

                  We can look at what happens when people like Ross and Carly gain power in other places. We see exactly how they treat women when they’re not stopped. It’s just not worthwhile to pretend it’s all just rube bait.

          • so-in-so

            There is a portion of the RW, I’m not sure a majority at this point but still more than a couple, who would probably be happy to jail people for ANY view that contradicts theirs about ANYTHING. Favor raising taxes on the wealthy? Off you go. Want gun control? There’s a bunk in the camp with your name on it.

        • In the wider public there’s also a vast amount of ignorance compounded by really terrible and distortive polling, see this great piece by Sarah Kliff. Many oppose abortion purely in the abstract but back it unhesitatingly for women they know. No doubt the GOP thought leaders are mostly simple hypocrites.

      • Lee Rudolph

        The whole “abortion = Holocaust” line is mind-bogglingly stupid, but it really does clarify the terms the radicals see the debate in.

        Yes: they see the debate in mind-bogglingly stupid terms.

        • Cassiodorus

          Maybe I have too much respect for sincere insanity.

          • Steve LaBonne

            Maybe you have a pronounced tendency to see sincerity where it is conspicuously absent.

            • Robert M.

              You know, I don’t doubt that some anti-choicers are mendacious.

              I think the real obstacle to be overcome, though, is the group that is really convinced that every abortion of any pregnancy at any stage is the same as the murder of a person. It’s not a sensible position, but it’s a facially appealing one and it’s constantly reinforced in a lot of American subcultures.

              • Steve LaBonne

                I can only repeat that very, very few of them act, or even advocate policies, as they would logically be expected to if they actually held that belief (as opposed to using it as a rhetorical weapon).

                • Cassiodorus

                  They keep quiet because they know most people don’t agree with them. The same reason they don’t often talk about how they oppose IVF.

                • Steve LaBonne

                  Bullshit.

                • Robert M.

                  I can only repeat that very, very few of them act… as they would logically be expected to if they actually held that belief

                  I get that. You get that. But neither of us (I assume) is relying on our pastors and our friends, all of whom are also authoritarian patriarchalists, for information.

                  Women can use hormonal birth control, barrier methods, IUDs, etc. to control pregnancy. But there are quite seriously people on the other side of the discussion who (a) don’t know much about those options, or (b) know about them but only as alternative forms of abortion.

                  Suppose you’ve already internalized the idea that there’s no meaningful difference between a fertilized embryo and a healthy newborn infant. Now someone you trust tells you that the science behind the IUD is that it kills an embryo that could otherwise have implanted successfully, and all the sources of information you check confirm it. Now you have all the tools you need to conclude that birth control is just another dodgy liberal synonym for abortion.

                  Again, I’m not saying it’s a sensible worldview to divide all women into the exclusive and exhaustive categories of abstinent, pregnant, or sinful baby-killer. But it’s simple, and it’s easy to understand, and it satisfies the understandable urge to protect children.

                  There are certainly people who are lying about their motivations and really just want to hurt and control women. But it’s like racism: there are certainly sneering, mustache-twirling bigots in the world, and there are also people who deliberately manipulate others toward racism because it’s convenient. But most racism is due to… people just being people, not aware that in the aggregate their actions have substantial consequences for others.

              • Origami Isopod
                • Cassiodorus

                  Once again, you’re assuming it’s an either or. I fully agree that the Junior Anti-Sex League shutters at the notion that women may enjoy sex.

                • njorl

                  I think most anti abortion activists don’t genuinely embrace “abortion is murder”, but it’s not really possible to put a floor on a what percentage do. You could put a ceiling on it of about 50% or so, but no floor.

                  However, success changes attitudes. If they start putting doctors in jail for abortions, more people will want to put women in jail for having them. I think the obvious outcome of imprisoning doctors who perform abortions would speed this up.

                  Consider the results if we outlawed performing abortions but did not outlaw having them. Women would still get their hands on the abortion-inducing drugs, then legally go to doctors to deal with the complications. To combat that situation, law enforcement would need to get “leverage” over the women to force them to testify about where they got the drug.

                  All those people who were professing that they wanted to punish doctors but not women (some of whom were being honest in their professions) would then be clamoring for laws to punish the women.

      • Davis

        I don’t believe them. Killing babies and all they do is write articles?

        • tsam

          Not all of them. They bomb clinics and shoot doctors sometimes too.

          Yes, there is a rube bait element to the rhetoric politicians puke on the airwaves. There is also a contingent of fervent true believers who are more than willing to kill people in the name of their cause. Cynical politicians: Chicken. Murderous, self styled soldiers: Egg.

      • ema

        To be fair, I’m not sure I wouldn’t resort to the same tactics if I thought people were slaughtering thousands of innocent people.

        And, normally, you would be given a psych eval and, if necessary, treatment.

        Fortunately, this fantasy involves uterine containers so, by definition, everyone’s fantasies are to be given due deference and taken into account when drafting public health policy.

        • Origami Isopod

          Well said.

        • Cassiodorus

          There’s a difference between saying I understand the motivation of the true believers and believing their beliefs should be given an deference in drafting policy. People sincerely believe a lot of stupid things.

    • efgoldman

      I’ve understood that the hard core anti-choicers have no interest at all in rules, or fairness or truth

      The hard-core RWNJs on any subject. I give you Benghazi! Also taxes, budgets, entitlements, war and peace, religion….

  • Shorter Ross: “She wasn’t lying, she was merely anticipating. The video she was describing hadn’t been made yet. Which also explains why she didn’t describe it very accurately, I mean she’s not clairvoyant, for Pete’s sake.”

  • tsam

    Has anyone checked on James O’Keefe’s whereabouts?

  • gratuitous

    Gee, I hope Ross Douthat’s New York Times can tell me again how untrustworthy Hillary Clinton is, while extolling the business acumen and other virtues of Carly Fiorina.

  • Brooklyn Girl

    If Fiorina “misremembers” something like this, THEN SHE IS NOT FIT TO BE PRESIDENT.

  • Origami Isopod
  • I follow Jen Gunter’s blog and Twitter feed. She writes excellent stuff.

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