September 29, 2015

ROSS DOUTHAT: Carly Fiorina, Abortion, And Lies:

If the scene in question literally did not exist, which is what the language of her critics consistently suggests — if Fiorina had conjured up a vision of an intact fetus with a working heart and twitching limbs having its brains harvested out of her hyperactive pro-life imagination — well, that would merit liberal shock and outrage. But she didn’t conjure or invent it: It’s very easy to figure out what scene she’s talking about, and the discrepancies between what’s in the documentary and her description aren’t wild or incredible or weird. There’s no outright fabrication here, in other words, and what Lithwick calls “the big lie about the kicking fetus and the brain harvesting” is a roughly-accurate summary of what the film actually shows. (A twitching, dying fetus? Check. A firsthand description of harvesting a brain from an intact fetus? Check again.)

So for Fiorina to actually be proven as wildly misleading and fundamentally dishonest as her critics keep suggesting, they would need to marshal evidence beyond just a parsing of her words, and demonstrate that the thing she’s describing is an inaccurate depiction of what happens inside abortion clinics that double as tissue procurement centers.

Well, they can’t do that — or, more likely, they don’t want to know whether it’s true or not and so must simply assume it’s false. Meanwhile, the comments are exactly what you’d expect.