February 13, 2016

The P-G's Ruth Ann Dailey Tells An Old Abortion Lie

Take a look.

In an otherwise OK (for her, at least) essay into the place of faith in our current political Sturm und Drang, Dailey goes for the full zombie:
It has long been noted that the religious polarization of modern American politics began with the Supreme Court’s regrettably sweeping Roe v. Wade decision. It swept many religious people right into the GOP, where an anti-abortion plank is always part of the platform.

Democrats, by contrast, would not allow the late Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey to speak at the 1992 convention because of his pro-life views.
It's that last sentence that's a lie and it's been around for years. Both the OPJ and I wrote about it wa-a-ay back in 2009.

I guess we have to restate the truth that this was debunked in 1996 - in a piece by Michael Crowley in The New Republic.  In 2005, Digby typed out a copy of it here.  Take a look:
According to those who actually doled out the 1992 convention speaking slots, Casey was denied a turn for one simple reason: his refusal to endorse the Clinton-Gore ticket. "It's just not factual!" stammers James Carville, apoplectic over Casey's claims. "You'd have to be idiotic to give a speaking role to a person who hadn't even endorsed you." "Why are you doing this to me?" moans Paul Begala, who, with Carville, managed two Casey campaigns before joining Clinton's team in 1992. "I love Bob Casey, but my understanding was that the dispute was not about his right-to-life views, it was about the Clinton-Gore ticket."

The man best able to explain the decision was the late Ron Brown. He addressed the topic during a roundtable discussion of Clinton campaign veterans (published as Campaign for President: The Managers Look at '92). He explained:
We decided the convention would be totally geared towards the general election campaign, towards promoting our nominee and that everybody who had the microphone would have endorsed our nominee. That was a rule, everybody understood it, from Jesse Jackson to Jerry Brown.... The press reported incorrectly that Casey was denied access to the microphone because he was not pro-choice. He was denied access to the microphone because he had not endorsed Bill Clinton. I believe that Governor Casey knew that. I had made it clear to everybody. And yet it still got played as if it had to do with some ideological split. It had nothing to do with that.[Emphases added.]
Furthermore as Mediamatters wrote in 2008:
Here's all you need to know in order to know with absolute certainty that Casey's views on abortion were not the reason he was not given a speaking role: that very same Democratic convention featured speeches by at least eight people who shared Casey's anti-choice position, including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Jr., Sens. John Breaux and Howell Heflin, and five governors.

This is really, really simple: if there were eight speakers at the 1992 convention who were "pro-life," then it cannot logically be the case that Casey was excluded solely because of his position on abortion. [Emphasis added.]
Amazing that the zombie lie is still around.  Ruth Ann, you really need to do your homework before writing and P-G, you really need to fact check your stuff ju-u-st a little better.

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