Dog Bites Man: Twists the Truth

The folks behind the scurrilous “General Betray Us” ad have latched on to another issue to distort.

One of the cool things about Facebook is that it provides a painless way of gaining exposure to alternate points of view.  Liberal FB friends sometimes inspire me to rethink my own assumptions.  Other times, like this, they provide low-hanging fruit for a blog post.

Here’s the text that caught my eye this evening, in a link posted by a liberal friend I respect:

Republicans want to change the law so only certain types of rape “count.” Date rape? Not rape anymore.  Drugged? Nope. Show the GOP “no” means “no” — sign the petition demanding Congress oppose this horrible legislation.

The first clue that an interest group is pulling a fast one is when they post an online petition about a bill but don’t give a link to the actual text of the legislation. Here it is: Turns out it’s not a bill about rape, it’s an anti-abortion bill, and it makes no effort to define rape, let alone re-define it.

MoveOn has spun its web of deception out of the text of Sec. 309, which reiterates the long-standing rape exception to the ban on federal funding for abortion. The bill uses the term “forcible rape,” an undefined term that inevitably will be clarified in committee if the bill gets that far. But the idea that the bill excludes statutory rape or date rape springs solely from the fevered imaginings of the Left.

BTW, the only reason I posted a screenshot of the “Republicans want to change the law” screed — rather than just linking to it — is that Move On seems to have scrubbed that text from its site.  But if anything, the text the group is using now is even more dishonest:

Right now, federal dollars can’t be used for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger. But the Smith bill would narrow that use to “cases of ‘forcible’ rape but not statutory or coerced rape.”

Nope.  The “not statutory or coerced rape” text is quoted from a New York Times editorial.  The legislation makes no reference to statutory rape.

If I were in Congress I would vote against this bill, because I’m pro-choice. But I’m not an absolutist, and I have to say I think prohibiting federal funding for abortion — so that abortion opponents don’t have to pay for what they oppose — is a reasonable compromise to reach in a society that is so deeply conflicted about abortion.  It could well be, in fact I think it’s likely, that the drafters of the legislation used the term “forcible” rape for clandestine purposes.  But that’s what committee markup sessions are for.  It’s a long way from that single word in an 1,800-word bill to the declaration that “Republicans want to change the law so only certain types of rape ‘count.'”

Update: No surprise