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Glenn Thrush gets awfully creative in promoting the Right's attacks on Nancy Pelosi over her support for public funding for contraceptives.
It may seem like a nothing, but Nancy Pelosi is facing one of her biggest political threats of the 111th thus far over this birth-control-in-the-stimulus thing.
Wow, really? "One of her biggest political threats of the 111th" Congress? Sounds scary. Until you remember that the 111th Congress is about three weeks old. Then it begins to look like Thrush is breathlessly hyping "a nothing" into "a something."
Drudge, along with CNN and others, are trumpeting a House GOP talking point -- ridiculing Pelosi's support of a Medicaid waiver in the stimulus package to reimburse states for contraceptives. And they they think they have a winner, a classic gays-in-the-military, Honeymoon-killing wedge issue.
Nonsense. Thrush doesn't know what House Republicans and Matt Drudge "think." They might think, as Thrush says, that in 2009, support for contraceptives is as controversial as gays-in-the-military was in 1993. Or maybe they just think they can convince reporters like Glenn Thrush that it is. If the former, they are almost certainly wrong. If the latter, it probably turned out to be easier than they ever could have hoped.
Then Thrush explains:
Third -- and most dangerous to Pelosi personally -- it undercuts her carefully crafted image as a measured centrist, playing into the right wing caricature of Pelosi as a Bay Area liberal who will abuse her power to push her far left agenda.
Thrush provides no polling to back up his suggestion that support for public funding for contraceptives would "undercut" Pelosi's "image as a measured centrist" or that it constitutes a "far left agenda." To the contrary, The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association says such policies are extremely popular. For example, "Eighty-six percent of voters and 85 percent of Catholic voters want the government to fund programs that provide contraception to women without health insurance." (That poll -- conducted by a polling firm headed by Republican Linda DiVall -- is from 2005. It seems unlikely that public support for public funding of contraceptives has dropped from 86 percent to "far-left" status in less than four years, but if Thrush wants more recent numbers, he can do his own research.)
Finally, Thrush seems to invent out of whole cloth the idea that Pelosi's support for public policy that House Republicans disagree with constitutes an "abuse of power."
UPDATE: Thrush has updated his post, acknowledging the high public support for contraception funding.
On Hannity, speaking of President Obama's reported plan to reverse the U.S. government's Mexico City policy restricting federal funding for international family planning groups, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed "[former President] Clinton imposed it." In fact, the Mexico City policy prohibiting the federal government from providing funds to international family planning groups that promote abortion or provide information, counseling, or referrals about abortion services in other nations was imposed by President Reagan, rescinded by Clinton, and revived by George W. Bush.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely suggested that Planned Parenthood mainly provides abortions, saying, "You go into Planned Parenthood for an abortion, all right?" In fact, according to the Planned Parenthood website, 3 percent of its health services are abortion services.
The Hill reports this morning that in 1992 "Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey (D) was barred from speaking at the DNC because of his anti-abortion rights stance."
This is a common claim, but it's completely false.
There were no fewer than eight speakers at the 1992 convention who opposed abortion rights. Therefore, it cannot be the case that Casey was barred because of his stance on abortion.
That really shouldn't be difficult to understand, but those interested in additional details can find them here.
Here's the short version:
1) Casey wasn't "denied" a speaking spot; that suggests he was entitled to one. He wasn't; nobody is (save, I suppose, the nominees for president and vice president and the convention officers.)
2) There is scant evidence from contemporaneous reporting that anyone other than Bob Casey thought it would be a good idea for Bob Casey to speak at the convention.
3) Casey had not only refused to endorse Bill Clinton, he had actively suggested that the party should choose a different nominee at the convention.
4) It logically cannot be the case that Casey was denied a speaking slot because of his views on abortion, given that severals speakers shared his views.
5) Casey planned to use his convention speech -- the possiblity of which apparently existed only in his own fantasies -- for a single purpose: attacking the Democratic Party.
That's why Casey didn't speak at the 1992 convention: because nobody wanted him to, because he refused to endorse the party's nominee, and because he planned to devote his entire speech to attacking the Democratic party; the speech didn't include the words "Clinton" or "Gore" a single time.
Finally, those who insist on pointing to Casey's lack of a speaking role at the 1992 Democratic convention as evidence of the party's lack of inclusiveness are invited to produce an example of a Republican convention speaker who refused to endorse the nominee and spent his entire speach attacking the GOP's position on abortion without saying a single word in praise or support of the party's nominee.
They can't do it, because there is no such example.
Wolf Blitzer, against his better judgment, was quoting right-wing radio talker Hugh Hewitt at length during "The Situation Room" today about how McCain could still win the election if he stressed the topic of abortion during the final days of the campaign.
Blitzer asked GOP consultant Alex Castellanos, was Hugh Hewitt being realistic?
On NBC's Nightly News, Savannah Guthrie falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama was talking about abortion when he said of his two daughters: "I don't want them punished with a baby." In fact, Obama was discussing sex education, not abortion, when he made his comment.
On MSNBC Live, Chris Jansing uncritically aired Gov. Sarah Palin's false claim that Sen. Barack Obama was talking about abortion when he said of his two daughters: "I don't want them punished with a baby." However, Jansing did not note that Obama was discussing sex education, not abortion, when he made his comment. Time's Mark Halperin also uncritically reported Palin's attack without pointing out it was false.
On his radio show, Hugh Hewitt did not challenge Gov. Sarah Palin's claim that the "extreme position" on abortion Sen. Barack Obama took in the Illinois state Senate included "not even supporting a measure that would during a -- after a botched abortion and that baby's born alive -- allowing medical care to cease and allowing that baby to die." But Obama and other opponents said that the legislation to which Palin referred posed a threat to abortion rights and was unnecessary because Illinois law already prohibited the conduct being addressed by the bill.
After airing a clip on his radio show of actress Ashley Judd stating that "Senator [Barack] Obama has a 100 percent voting record for women's privacy and reproductive health," Fox News host Bill O'Reilly asserted that the phrase "women's privacy" is the "new mantra" which allows for "infanticide."
Returning to a previous claim he has made, KSFO's Lee Rodgers asserted: "I believe that the reason a bunch of puckered-butt Democrat women hate Sarah Palin is because her idea of choice was choosing not to have an abortion." Guest Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute responded in part by saying: "[T]here is that very vocal segment of feminist opinion that celebrates abortion as a positive good in the same way that, you know, Southern slaveholders 150 years ago celebrated slavery as a positive good."
On his Fox News program, Bill O'Reilly stated that he is "not sure" whether Gov. Sarah Palin "wants to overturn Roe v. Wade." In fact, during her interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson last week, Palin said that Roe v. Wade "should" be reversed.
In a Politico blog post about an ad attacking Sen. Barack Obama for abortion-related votes he cast as a state senator, Jonathan Martin wrote: "As a state senator, Obama opposed legislation that proponents said would protect legal protection to babies outside the womb." But Martin did not note that the suggestion that at the time Illinois law did not already provide "legal protection to babies outside the womb" is false. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Health reportedly said that the alleged actions cited as evidence that the bill was necessary were already illegal.
On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh continued to repeat the falsehood that Sen. Barack Obama favors "infanticide," saying that Obama "believes and favors infanticide. Not just abortion, but infanticide." He added: "This guy approves of abortion in the fourth trimester."