Because they are the favored ideology of the American legacy media, liberals are not often called upon to mount a strenuous intellectual defense of their institutions and beliefs. As a result, they are spectacularly bad at doing so, on the rare occasion that one of their institutions actually faces a grave threat.
Never has that been more apparent than during the current Planned Parenthood scandal. Liberals are used to defending the idea that Planned Parenthood is deserving of taxpayer funding, in an absolute sense, at least according to their own warped worldview of what “deserving of taxpayer funding” means. So they have a nice set of pat arguments about how women need birth control, plus they perform cancer screenings (for the most part they have dropped the lie that Planned Parenthood performs mammograms), plus a smattering of anecdotal stories about all the great things Planned Parenthood has allegedly done (carefully skirting any mention that Planned Parenthood performs abortions, of course.
However, they have absolutely no substantive defense to the specific allegation being leveled by the Center for Medical Progress videos – to wit, that Planned Parenthood is profiteering off the sale of aborted baby parts. As a result, the canned defenses being trotted out sound eerily like pieces that have been cut and pasted from an entirely different controversy altogether.
This piece by “[mc_name name=’Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’B000711′ ]”* is a pretty good representative sample. The sole point of this “defense” of Planned Parenthood is that Planned Parenthood has been attacked before, and people still (allegedly) love Planned Parenthood. Also the people who took these videos are dastardly pro-lifers. Okay. But what about the allegation at hand, to wit, that Planned Parenthood is selling the parts of aborted babies for money? Not only is that allegation not denied, it is not even mentioned. If your first introduction to this controversy was this piece, you would be left scratching your head as to why it was even written at all, or what Planned Parenthood is accused of, such that a defense is necessary.
The Washington Post gave Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards some column space on Wednesday, and she did not do any better. Literally the only defense she raised to the actual substance of the allegations was as follows:
These extremists created a fake business, made apparently misleadingcorporate filings and then used false government identifications to gain access to Planned Parenthood’s medical and research staff with the agenda of secretly filming without consent — then heavily edited the footage to make false and absurd assertions about our standards and services. They spent three years doing everything they could — not to uncover wrongdoing, but rather to create it. They failed.
While predictably these videos do not show anything illegal on Planned Parenthood’s part, medical and scientific conversations can be upsetting to hear, and I immediately apologized for the tone that was used, which did not reflect the compassion that people have come to know and expect from Planned Parenthood.
What Cecile Richards is demonstrating here is the principle, well known to lawyers on the losing side of legal arguments, that when you don’t have an actual argument, you should instead respond with the most confident ipse dixit you can muster and hope the judge responds to your tone of voice instead of the actual words you have used. How, exactly, did they fail? Why is the activity on the videos not illegal, in spite of some pretty clear statutory language indicating that it is? IT JUST IS, SHUT YOUR FACE AND ACCEPT WHAT THE PRESIDENT OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD SAYS.
Planned Parenthood’s defenders in official positions have done an even more incompetent job of defending the beleaguered butchers of the unborn. When the White House was asked about the videos, they essentially responded that the videos were “fake” – a defense that even Planned Parenthood themselves has not raised. When this provoked the flabbergasted follow up question, “Where did you get the idea that these videos were fake?” the White House actually cited the target of the allegation – Planned Parenthood.
Thus far, the only substantive defense mounted at all was the defense mounted in the early days that Planned Parenthood was just covering “shipping costs.” The folks at CMP anticipated this defense so well you could almost say they baited Planned Parenthood into making it, just so they could detonate it with the subsequent three videos that clearly show haggling over the prices for various body parts. Otherwise, it’s been nothing but a steady stream of non-sequiturs, ipse dixits, and hoping like hell that no one notices the horror freak show that is unfolding right now on the Internet and that has the abortion industry’s fingerprints all over it.
This isn’t a defense, it’s hiding in a bunker and hoping the next bomb doesn’t break the shelter.
*[mc_name name=’Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’B000711′ ] is not smart enough to have pieced together even this brain dead article. We’re sorry we’re unable to credit whatever staffer wrote it for her, but such is the nature of politics.