As you probably know, the Independent Women’s Forum does not take a position on abortion’ we have women who support abortion and women who don’t in our ranks.

But we do take a position on smearing people’ we’re against it.

So we want to comment the Washington Post for its fair and balanced editorial on NARAL?s attempt to smear Judge John Roberts in an ad that portrayed him as a supporter of abortion clinic bombers:

“In releasing the ad, Nancy Keenan, NARAL’s president, said in a statement that she wanted ‘to be very clear that we are not suggesting Mr. Roberts condones or supports clinic violence.’ That’s funny, because the ad does precisely that. It opens with the scene of a bombed clinic — a clinic attacked years after the case in question — and then shows a victim of the bombing. An announcer intones that ‘Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber.’ It closes with the announcer telling viewers that ‘America can’t afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.’ A reasonable viewer can only conclude that Judge Roberts — who served as deputy solicitor general in the administration of George H.W. Bush — had somehow justified or defended a clinic bombing.
‘What really happened? The solicitor general’s office filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 1991 in a case dealing with whether federal courts could use an 1871 civil rights law to prevent physical blockades of clinics by antiabortion protesters. One of the named defendants had earlier been convicted in connection with clinic bombings, but that was not the subject of the case. The administration’s stance in the case and others like it was, while aggressive and controversial, not extreme or legally untenable. Indeed, it prevailed at the Supreme Court on a 6-to-3 vote. In no sense did the brief defend clinic violence, much less bombings. Indeed, Judge Roberts began his oral argument by describing the conduct of the protesters as ‘tortious’ and emphasizing that it was illegal under state law. The question in the case was whether federal law at that time provided additional grounds for legal action. Arguing that it did not is not the same as excusing clinic bombings.”

I never thought I’d say this, but: Thanks, NARAL.

In the same way that CBS’s bogus ‘report’ on George Bush’s National Guard records helped the Bush campaign, this will help the Roberts confirmation. (But I still think it will get nasty.)