an After abortion: Pelosi's Pinocchio Nose, And Some Americans Just Stay Dumber

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Pelosi's Pinocchio Nose, And Some Americans Just Stay Dumber

Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held forth on abortion in a surreal interview with Melinda Henneberger, editor-in-chief of Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper. Pelosi, the highest-ranking Democrat the House of Representatives, achieved the near-impossible: She left both proponents of legal abortion and opponents slapping their heads in bewilderment.

“I don’t believe in abortion on demand,” Pelosi said. “I don’t believe that abortion is a form of birth control or contraception.” These comments provoked a rebuke from Pelosi’s usual ally, NARAL, the nation’s most prominent pro-choice group. NARAL called her comments “particularly disappointing and ill-advised.”

The group shouldn’t have bothered. Pelosi also said she favors no limits on when abortions should be performed—or why. She claimed that the real issue was “Republican men” who are opposed to contraception, while repeating the canard that the undercover Planned Parenthood sting videos that roiled the pro-life community were “doctored.”

In the interview, Pelosi emphasized her Catholicism. Henneberger, who is also Catholic, refrained from reminding Pelosi about the biblical admonition against bearing false witness against one’s neighbor. One of the Ten Commandments, it is surely the one most frequently broken in U.S. presidential election years.

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In her Roll Call interview, the former House speaker dismissed the undercover videos in which Planned Parenthood officials discuss trafficking in fetal parts as “doctored.”

This is a frequent Democratic Party refrain, but it apparently isn’t true. Melinda Henneberger pointed out to Pelosi that a Planned Parenthood-sponsored study concluded that the tapes were not substantively tampered with. [this blogger's emphasis] “I did not sit down and watch their doctored versions of what may have happened,” Pelosi replied robotically, “and I still say they’re doctored.”

It’s fair to ask when contemplating dissemination of such misinformation from high-ranking public officials whether they are actually lying or whether they are just ignorant—or if that’s a difference without a distinction.

When George W. Bush was president, he insisted that all of the murderers executed in Texas when he was governor had, in fact, been guilty. Surely Bush wanted to believe that, just as he believed Iraq was awash in weapons of mass destruction when ordering the U.S. invasion in 2003. But Texas’ criminal justice system provides scant resources for indigent defendants, imposes strict time limits on criminal appeals, and has little in the way of executive branch or parole-board review of trial verdicts. So Bush was saying what he hoped was true, not really knowing whether it was or was not.

Is this a form of untruthfulness? One Bush critic, liberal journalist David Corn, told me at the time that it was. Corn termed such communication “a kind of willful disregard for the truth, which is the moral equivalent of lying.”

Voters beware.

So Pelosi continues to pull a sort of "Nyah-Nyah," a "Fingers-in-the-ears-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-I'M-NOT-LISTENING-TO-YOU", and those Americans who choose to think like Pelosi are the ones choosing to stay dumber. What a great American leader you've got there.

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