I know we've already moved on to angrily blamestorming over the next mass shooting -- an increasingly obvious act of Islamist terror -- but Planned Parenthood isn't quite finished shamelessly exploiting last week's horrible incident in Colorado:
Is PP trying to associate people who violently attack clinics with those who favor legislative change? pic.twitter.com/z38DxCcNkr— Reihan Salam (@reihan) December 2, 2015
Allow me to answer Reihan's question: Yes. That's precisely, explicitly what they're doing. It's cynical enough to casually conflate actual violence with "incendiary rhetoric" that creates a "climate of disrespect." But that's End of Discussion 101; it's depressingly commonplace on the Left these days. Planned Parenthood's meme takes the slander a step further, lumping in perpetrators of (exceedingly rare and virtually universally-condemned) anti-abortion violence with pro-life Americans seeking to increase legal protections for the unborn through peaceful, democratic means. The abortion lobby is intentionally erasing distinctions between speech, legislative efforts, and physical violence. It's appalling, but it shouldn't be terribly surprising coming from an organization whose business model relies on the routine dismemberment of unborn babies, some of whom are diced up and sold. On Planned Parenthood's rap sheet of moral bankruptcy, smearing critics doesn't rank anywhere near the top of the list. With all that as a backdrop, please enjoy this video from a joint NARAL/Progress Now rally in Denver this week. Watch abortion activist Amy Runyon-Harms attribute the Colorado Springs shooting to "an increase in hateful, ugly rhetoric." "Words matter and over-the-top rhetoric is not okay," she intones -- false claiming that the Planned Parenthood videos have been "debunked," and denying that she's politicizing the shooting to advance an existing agenda. But applying her speech-policing standard can get...highly nuanced, as it turns out (via Revealing Politics):
When the reporter challenges her on the use of "war on women," Runyon-Harms sheepishly smiles and reflexively starts spouting talking points about legislative abortion restrictions. She's only cementing the journalist's point: What if some psychotic, violently-inclined abortion supporter hears that inflammatory term and concludes that pro-life legislators are waging a literal war against women, and that he needs to retaliate with the weapons of war? Hmm? Well, that's different, you see, because no one would take "war on women" literally. Ah. The reporter follows up: "Well, maybe of the people who made some of the [anti-Planned Parenthood] comments that you're referencing didn't think that someone would do that either." Runyon-Harms pauses, then concedes "it's possible," then it's back to the approved script. Two final points: (1) Kudos to these reporters for really drilling down and forcing this woman to confront her incandescent hypocrisy. (2) She mentions in passing that "war on women" is "not a phrase that I use typically." Um, fact check.
UPDATE: Literally one week ago, even before any evidence was confirmed, many on the Left were lecturing everyone about how incendiary rhetoric and demonization were responsible for the Planned Parenthood shooting. According to those illiberal, debate-stifling rules of rhetorical engagement, aren't this week's strident attacks against the NRA putting lives at risk? This Daily News practically a secular fatwa against Wayne LaPierre, no?
The Daily News just quintupled down on its unhinged lunacy, and sick war on the #NRA and its millions of members pic.twitter.com/QuGDDNVF6I — Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) December 4, 2015
Anti-gun advocates ought to pipe down and stop criticizing an organization they abhor because there's a chance some maniac might hear their "hateful" words. Someone could get hurt. Is this really the road the Left wants to go down?
Editor's Note: A version of this item is cross-posted at HotAir.com