Via Tim Murphy at Mother Jones:
Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, who is currently challenging President Obama in the Democratic presidential primary, will begin airing graphic campaign ads featuring what purport to be aborted fetuses, during local news broadcasts.
…Although networks and their local affiliates have the authority—and a legal imperative, in some cases—to block “indecent” material from the airwaves, there’s an exception when it comes to political spots, so long as they’re within 45 days of a primary or caucus.
Per a release:
The ad has multiple graphic images of babies [sic] murdered by abortion, and makes the argument that to vote for Obama knowing that Obama supports the murder of babies [sic] is a betrayal of the Catholic Faith.
The ad will run on every TV station in Iowa and the five state regions that surrounds Iowa (Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, and Minnesota). The ad will run on at least one news broadcast per station.
Mr. Terry has recruited several other “candidates” to run in elections they have no intention of even trying to win: the sole purpose of the exercise is to blast major media markets with their gruesome ads, presumably to
inform inflame really stupid people about what abortion actually is. Murphy previously reported:
David Lewis will not be the next congressman from Ohio’s 8th District. But for Lewis, an unemployed former IT technician who is challenging House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in next year’s Republican primary, winning isn’t the objective.
By running for federal office, Lewis can compel local television stations to run grisly anti-abortion ads that would otherwise never stand a chance of making it on the air. Emphasis on grisly: Lewis’ ads feature what purport to be dismembered fetuses, tied together in neat little bundles, or simply mangled beyond recognition. “The FCC says that 45 days out from a primary and 60 days out from a general election, we can run ads on a television station with FCC licenses—unedited, uncensored, they can’t deny it as long as we buy the spot,” he explains.
Terry said in an interview, “By running campaign ads in the top 25 media markets, we can reach one-third of the nation with a message about the truth and horror of abortion.”
I wonder: who will reach one-third of the nation with a message about the truth and horror of abortion restrictions? Sadly, it will not be Planned Parenthood. And this is not because of funding cuts: it is because they advocate a reasonable, reality-based, “common ground” approach when dealing with their mortal enemies. That is Planned Parenthood’s right of course, but unfortunately for them (and most unfortunately for women and girls) the evidence is overwhelming that this tired tactic simply has not worked (“the first half of the year saw Republicans in statehouses passing ever more outrageous [anti-choice] laws — 80 in all this year, more than double the previous record.”) This is true for many reasons, but primarily because the enemies of choice are not reality-based, and/or they are sociopaths. Either way these primates are misogynists by definition. But in any case there is no common ground.
In an excellent post excellently entitled Respect Mah Forced Pregnancy Dickishness, Tbogg at FDL recently reported:
Wombless fetus-humper Steve Ertelt is very outraged that Planned Parenthood is providing guidance on how to deal with God-bothering douchebags like Steve Ertelt who like nothing better than to interrupt a perfectly pleasant Thanksgiving dinner conversation about football and favorite episodes of Two and A Half Men and ‘can you pass the rolls, thank you’ by suddenly blurting out, “You know, women who kill their unborn babies are whores who have consigned themselves to a fiery eternity of pain and agony in Hell because they have angered a vengeful God”. Well, yeah. After that it is kind of hard to get back to talking about what a great season Aaron Rogers is having. So did Planned Parenthood advise making light of the situation with a good old fashioned joke (“Hey, anybody know how to make a dead baby float?”)? No, they didn’t – although they should have.
(“Fetus humper.” Hahaha.) Eschewing dead baby jokes, Planned Parenthood’s proffered advice on speaking to the rabid anti-choicers one may encounter at holiday dinners instead stresses “diplomacy” and “understanding.” For example:
“Debating when life begins or whether or not abortion is federally funded may get you nowhere. Instead focus on your shared values and the big picture—for instance, talk about how you believe everyone should be able to afford to go to the doctor, or how the decision about when and whether to become a parent is a personal one.”
The obvious problem with this approach is that these are not shared values: it is an easily demonstrable fact that conservatives do not believe everyone should be able to afford to go to the doctor, nor do they believe that the decision about when and whether to become a parent should be a personal one.
Planned Parenthood knows this, just as surely as Randall Terry knows that the incidence of abortion is not reduced by legal restrictions and therefore criminalizing it will only result in the disfigurement and death of American women and girls. And just as surely as the Catholic Conference of Bishops and those @$$holes at the Southern Baptist Convention know that birth control bans cause unconscionable misery on a scale that makes Dickensian England look like Disneyland. So why does Planned Parenthood advocate a failed communication strategy? I’m guessing there are several factors at work here, not the least of which is the dominant instinct on the political left to be “civil” and “non-confrontational” no matter how unproductive (or even counterproductive) this has proven to be. Another factor could well be projection: because the people promoting this strategy are themselves relatively reasonable and compassionate, it is all too easy for them to assume that their opposition is also reasonable and compassionate. To be fair, in a few instances this may indeed be the case. For example, there are undoubtedly reasonable and compassionate people who are simply uninformed — or deliberately misinformed — and who, when confronted with facts and evidence, will thoughtfully reconsider and ultimately change their position to one that reflects reason and compassion.
But such people are not the real problem: they are but a symptom of it. More importantly, they are not the ones picketing clinics, or photographing the women who enter them and posting their pictures online, or harassing, firebombing, and killing abortion providers and staff, while feverishly working to elect troglodytes like Michelle Bachmann to force their evil agenda on the rest of us. Treating these assclowns with deference and respect — even while disagreeing — sends the unambiguous message to them and to everyone within earshot that their positions actually deserve deference and respect, when they do not. What they deserve is across-the-board social and political marginalization. In the same way that vast sections of American society now routinely call out bigotry to the point that racists are wary about espousing their noxious views in public, so too should extreme misogynists like Randall Terry and his ilk be openly mocked and condemned at every turn until they remain silent and stewing, isolated and alone, in their seething resentment of the humanity of women.
But Iris, you may inquire, what can we do to effectively marginalize these primates? Well, thank you for asking! That is truly an excellent question. And it will not surprise loyal readers to learn that the answer is: a constant, unrelenting application of mockery and ridicule.
Even before George W. Bush and his snowflake babies photo op, conservative loons like Randall Terry got the message loud and clear that their sick agenda enjoys massive public support, or at least no formidable opposition, and this perception has naturally emboldened them. The result is that there are more and more of them, on the streets and in the state houses, proudly proclaiming that women are property — specifically, incubators — and that these incubators are to be used at the sole discretion of a fetus, a man, or the state.
Here’s some more TBogg, who speaks my language fluently:
You see, trying to find common ground and pointing that abortion is a very personal and private decision that should be made by the woman and her doctor and the deity of her choice is actually an act that is the moral equivalent of feeding newborns into a woodchipper,* so you and Planned Parenthood should be ashamed of yourselves because, as Steve says, you’re “promoting abortion”. In fact, failure to completely agree with Steve that all abortion should be banned and doctors who perform them should be hunted down like animals and immediately dispatched to hell with a bullet between their eyes means that you probably don’t love God as much as you think you do.
If that is the case, and since you are going to go to Hell anyway, you might as well as go all in by dispensing with the Planned Parenthood ‘diplomacy’ and telling the Steve Ertelts in your family, to, oh I don’t know… “Why don’t you mind your own fucking business you panty-sniffing twatwaffle”** or the ever popular, “What? Aren’t there already enough kids in the world for you to molest?.” Not only will the subsequent uproar change the direction of the conversation, but the dinner may come to a premature ending meaning more pie for you.
And who doesn’t like more pie?
I don’t know about you, but I love pie. And it should go without saying that there should be no more pie for the Randall Terrys of the world.
*In general, anti-choicers do not really believe that an abortion is the moral equivalent of feeding newborns into a woodchipper, although they may emphatically insist that they do. To test this, ask what he or she would do in this scenario:
You find yourself in a cryo facility that stores hundreds of frozen embryos for future implantation (Snowflake baybeez! Yay!), and a terrible fire has broken out. There is a terrified, screaming infant on one side of the room, and a freezer chock full of frozen embryos on the other. The fire is raging and you can only possibly save one or the other: the crying baby, or the contents of the freezer. What do you do?
If the answer is “save the crying baby,” you have just demonstrated that the person does not in fact view an embryo and a newborn as having the same moral standing. (Neither does the bible for what it’s worth, which is of course nothing.) On the other hand, if the answer is “let the kid burn a fiery death and save the popsicles,” then you need to stay as far away from this person as possible: anyone who expresses this view of humanity is giving you a clear indication of just how dangerous, unhinged, and evil they really are.
**One can do this without gendered insults, obviously.