When news first broke of last week’s shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood, our president faced a dilemma: use it to demonize pro-lifers, or use it to demonize gun supporters? After all, can’t let a good crisis go to waste! Decisions, decisions.
I think it’s fair to have a legitimate, honest debate about abortion. I don’t think that’s something that is beyond the pale of our political discussion. That’s a serious, legitimate issue. How we talk about it, making sure that we’re talking about it factually, accurately, and not demonizing organizations like Planned Parenthood, I think is important.
It’s by no means the most hyperbolic comment made by a pro-abortion leader so far, even if a more fair-minded president would have admitted Robert Lewis Dear was a mentally disturbed individual with no history of interest in abortion, which all but eviscerates the link between our rhetoric and his crimes. Let’s also remind him that it’s not “demonizing” if everything we’re saying about Planned Parenthood is true.
But what Obama’s comments lack in direct vitriol they more than make up in hypocrisy. Let’s revisit some of the numerous occasions where Obama himself didn’t think it was so important to make sure his abortion remarks weren’t inaccurate or demonizing.
First, the president said the following during the second 2012 general election debate:
You know a major difference in this campaign is that Governor Romney feels comfortable having politicians in Washington decide the health care choices that women are making.
That might not immediately seem outrageous—“decide women’s health care choices” is how pro-abortion politicians always talk about pro-lifers—until you realize that’s the point. Despite being delivered in mild tones, the most routine mischaracterization of banning abortion is really a malicious slur in its own right. Since when is it civil or respectful to accuse someone of wanting to control people?
Second, Obama’s campaign organization has infamously and incessantly used “War on Women” as a core campaign theme to describe the pro-life movement. If accusing large segments of the country of being so wildly sexist that their misogyny rises to the level of a “war” isn’t demonizing, then “demonizing” has lost all meaning.
Third, during the 2012 campaign Obama also falsely claimed that Mitt Romney wanted to ban abortion in cases of rape and incest, when in fact Romney had repeatedly said he would allow those exceptions. Repeating a line of attack long after it’s been debunked isn’t very factual or accurate, Mr. President.
Fourth, in July 2013, Obama bitterly denounced a proposed 20-week abortion ban:
This bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and shows contempt for women’s health and rights, the role doctors play in their patients’ health care decisions, and the Constitution.
“Contempt for women’s health and rights.” More unadulterated malice toward people who commit the heinous sin of disagreeing with him on whether five months is more than enough time to get an abortion. That’s what makes this one notable—Obama isn’t just demonizing general abortion opposition; he’s spewing bile at resistance to his extremism on the subject.
Fifth, remember in October, when Obama said the following in a New York Review of Books interview?
How do you reconcile the idea of faith being really important to you and you caring a lot about taking faith seriously with the fact that, at least in our democracy and our civic discourse, it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious of those not like them?
Making wild generalizations that devout members of a particular religion are bigoted? You don’t think that qualifies as inaccurate or demonizing, Mr. President?
Sixth, Obama has repeatedly claimed over the years that defunding Planned Parenthood would deprive women of the critical mammogram services they offer… which Planned Parenthood actually doesn’t offer. Really dropped the ball on “making sure that we’re talking about it factually” there. Not to mention the obvious demonizing effect of insinuating that people who disagree with you are putting women at risk of breast cancer.
Finally, during the latest controversy over Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, Obama said Republicans would be to blame for a government shutdown if they sent him a budget resolution that didn’t fund Planned Parenthood and he chose not to sign it as a result (think about that). He said they would be “play[ing] chicken with a $18 trillion economy” and would be “wildly irresponsible,” “hurt working Americans,” and show they don’t “want to support working Americans.” Never mind that he will be the one who chose to veto the government funding sitting right there on his desk.
Obama is a two-faced demagogue who slings counterfactual demonization with the best of them when it suits him, then effortlessly shifts to pretending he’s the adult in the room when it suits him to feign self-righteousness. And from pro-aborts’ own standards about anti-abortion shootings, his constant smears about pro-lifers hating and hurting women should be just as culpable in inspiring violence against pro-life activists.
He isn’t, of course. Sane people are ultimately responsible for their own actions, and insane people are by definition driven more by their personal demons than rational causal links to the words of others. But the double-standard does further reinforce how little pro-aborts believe in their own stated principles—and by extension, how little pro-lifers should let their guilt-tripping rattle us.