Thursday, July 21, 2005

Operation Rescue
and Judge Roberts

Today Operation Rescue (OR), the militant anti-choice group, issued a press release endorsing the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. And well they should.

In 1992, when the case of OR activist Jayne Bray came before the Supreme Court, Deputy Solicitor General John Roberts filed, on behalf of the George Herbert Walker Bush administration, an amicus brief supporting Bray's position that the Alexandria Women's Health Clinic could not restrict his activities around the clinic on the basis of a civil rights statute.

It was quite the bold move, since Operation Rescue was known for harassing pregnant women and blocking their access to health facilities where abortions are performed. In fact, OR founder Randall Terry deemed one doctor who performed abortions a perpetrator of "crimes against humanity" and said he hoped the doctor would be executed.

Furthermore, the government was not involved in the case, and had no compelling interest in it.

As noted in the piece on Roberts that your blogstress penned for The American Prospect Online, the nominee's wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, served as the executive vice president of Feminists for Life (1995-1999), and has been a serious financial contributor to the group over the years. She continues to do legal work for the organization, according to a statement on the Feminists for Life Web site.

While Ms. Roberts' husband argued Operation Rescue's case before the Supreme Court, Feminists for Life (FFL) filed an amicus brief of its own in support of Operation Rescue. The organization argued over the original intent of the framers of the 1872 statute that the Alexandria clinic was invoking. Since those early feminists regarded abortion to be anathema, asserted FFL, the clinic's claim via the statute should have no standing.

Although your cybertrix does not believe that Ms. Roberts had any role in crafting that brief, she is curious to know whether the nominee's wife had yet become a member of Feminists for Life. Two years after the case was decided, Ms. Roberts joined the organization's board of directors.

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Proving the point

Your blogstress has discovered the origin of the "Catholic baiting" charge being lobbed at her by a group of very angry e-mailers. It comes, not surprisingly, from William Donohue of The Catholic League. It's pretty much his answer to any assertion that ruffles his feathers. Don't agree with Bill? Why then, surely, you're anti-Catholic!

Consider it a preview of the right's response to any tough questioning endured by Roberts at the hands of Democrats.

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Fan mail

Your blogstress apparently hit a raw nerve with certain righties when she revealed the strategic genius of the Bush administration in having nominated an anti-choice Roman Catholic for Supreme Court justice. You'll recall that your cybertrix noted the propensity of wing-nuts to accuse their critics of being hostile to religious folk and their faith traditions, and this is especially effective when the figure under scrutiny is a Roman Catholic; for not so long ago, anti-Catholic discrimination abounded in this great land of ours.

This assessment by your Webwench resulted in a dozen hostile e-mails sent her way from individuals accusing your écrivaine of what? Of being anti-Catholic. (Note here that your net-tête is Catholic herself.)

Most of the missive-writers appear to have gotten the same set of talking points, for they rail against your blogstress for accusing President Bush of "Catholic baiting," which most of them put in quotes, as shown.

This is all very instructive in revealing the sophistic tactics of the right.

By putting the term "Catholic baiting" in quotes, the e-mailers imply that the phrase comes from the writings of your cybertrix. Note here that nowhere in your blogstress's writings will you find that term.

Nor does your Webwench accuse President Bush of anything comparable to Catholic-baiting. Instead, she sees inside the set-up that will likely lead right-wingers to accuse any liberal senator who questions the good judge too closely -- on his attitudes towards choice or religion -- of something comparable to "Catholic baiting."

Many of the e-mailers also accuse your blogstress of having made negative remarks about the Catholic Church. In fact, she made no remarks about the Catholic Church, either negative or positive.

Again, let's review the tactics of the right:

1. Imply that your critic has said something that she has not. (Note: wrapping in quotation marks that which you wish she had said is especially effective in making this assertion.)

2. Craft your response to your deceitful depiction of what your critic said.

3. Call your critic names

Here's a sampling of the e-mails in question:

Your contention that the President's nomination of John Roberts constitutes "Catholic baiting" is totally ridiculous. Did anyone even know (or care) about Roberts' religeous background before you advanced your conspiracy theory? Did you accuse President Clinton of "Jewish baiting" when he nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer to the Supreme Court?

NO.... because they are liberals.

That's one of the more tame ones. Here are some more:

To borrow McDonalds' catch-phrase jingle: "I'm loving it!". "It" being you lunatic-lefty bloodthirsy genocidal murdering abortion-loving bastards frothing at the mouth over the potential prospect of gestating humans not being slaughtered by the millions. Fabulous entertainment!

It might make you feel better if you found and watched "The Silent Scream", or some pictures of aborted babies; the visual evidence of their murders should cheer you up.

I suspect it will suck to be you on Judgment Day.

Regarding the question of judgment, your blogstress reminds the writer of this command from his Lord and Savior: "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone." As concerns the 1980s propaganda piece, "The Silent Scream," its assertions have been so discredited that almost no anti-choice group, even , will use it as an organizing tool.

How dare you attack the Catholic faith. Who do you think you are. You wouldn't dare attack the Muslim faith, Jewish faith or the Blacks. I believe anyone who doesn't is a coward because you fear them. If you should be an atheist, agnostic or whatever your still a coward. Believe me when you die you will find out and then you will really know fear. I'm going to pray for you because its your only hope. " Jesus, Mary and Joseph place you hands of this woman and give her the grace to retract every mean and hateful bone in her body."

No need to pray for the blogstress, dear writer. She finds her own prayers to the Blessed Mother to be quite sufficient.

You accuse the President of the United States of Catholic baiting in his choice for the Supreme Court.

Was Your Hero Bill Clinton Jew baiting when He nominated Ginsberg to the bench?

What is wrong with all Americans having equal protection of the Constitution?

I am sorry the constitutional right of life for one segment of our Nation (the unborn) infringes on your concept of Liberty.

Do you support the killing of all life you deem unimportant?

Now, some brass tacks:

Perhaps the world would have been a better place if your mother had believed in murdering innocent children. You were innocent at one time I suppose. It will be a good day when you plink on your uke and keep your hatred to yourself. Better yet, stop by a church some time and have a talk with God (oh gracious, I said another word that liberals dispise, I keep forgetting the f word is good and the G word is bad.)

First, it cannot pass without note, the low trick of bringing la mère de la blogstresse into the writer's rhetoric. Take notice as well of another rightie tactic: accusing opponents of their own character defects (in this case, hatred). And more big lie material: instructing your cybertrix to "stop by a church sometime," as if that is something she never does.

Let it be known that your écrivaine would not have survived covering the hate-filled Republican National Convention were it not for a very special church with a lovely chapel to the Blessed Mother.

You are a PIG. Disgusting, LIBERAL/COMMUNIST. Enjoy President Bushes nominees.

Your blogstress is drawing a blank on the New Testament provenance of these remarks.

And here's the winner for unintended irony:

I find you to be disgusting!!!

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you call the blogstress names, she will not correct your spelling and grammar for you.

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