Of Course: FrumForum’s Guardiano Sticks Up for Anthony Weiner; UPDATED

Remember John Guardiano, the David Frum cultist (how sad do you have to be to choose David Frum of all people to sell your soul to, anyway?) who lied about Andy McCarthy and refused to come clean when caught dead to rights? Well, the Soulless Sycophant is back, this time raking conservatives over the coals for making a big deal out of Weinergate (hat tip to Robert Stacy McCain).

First, here’s his asinine characterization of the scandal:

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York), of course, is accused of… Well, it’s not clear what, exactly, Weiner’s being accused of. His Twitter account apparently was hacked, or used by a trusted friend or employee for illicit purposes. And so, a close-up shot of a man’s crotch in underwear was sent from his account to a woman in Seattle.

By contemporary standards, the shot is pretty lame and tame. And, as soon as the Congressman realized the pic had been sent from his account, he disavowed and deleted it. The woman from Seattle, likewise, immediately repudiated the notion that she was some sort of love interest of Weiner’s […]

It’s clear, I think, that Weiner himself never sent this lewd pic to the 21-year-old college student in Seattle. However, others with access to his account or the pic perhaps did. We just don’t know — and we really shouldn’t care.

It’s not clear what Weiner’s accused of? I know FrumForum doesn’t put a premium on reading comprehension or basic logic, but come on. He’s accused of sending a photo of his crotch to a young female supporter. And while some have wondered about an odd reference to Seattle on one of his tweets and the student’s own description of Weiner as “my boyfriend,” nobody I’ve heard is claiming that they were having an affair. The gist of what is suspected to have happened – Weiner sending a lewd pic to a young female groupie for kicks – is pretty obvious.
And no, it’s not “clear” that “Weiner himself never sent” the photo. Guardiano talks at length about how easy it is to get hacked by mischievous pranksters on the Internet, but he doesn’t spend a single word on Weiner’s behavior after this came to light – not his refusal to ask law enforcement to investigate, not the glaring inconsistency between what he says happened to him and what he wants done about it, and not his preposterous inability to say “with certitude” that he’s not the guy in the picture. None of this strikes you as just the tiniest bit suspicious, John? Really?
Second, here’s the way he characterizes the “manufactured and phony hype”:
Case closed, right? I mean, things happen; accounts get hacked (or sometimes misused by trusted friends and employees); we all realize that; and so we move on.
Well, no, because to impassioned partisan bloggers, both Left and Right, any such incident is a chance to score political points. It’s a chance to beat up the other side, bloody them politically, and pile on the points for your team. And so this non-story quickly — nay, immediately – became the latest “SCANDAL!”
Now, I understand how Guardiano might not see the significance of a story pertaining to a politician’s ethics and morals, since rejecting both is a prerequisite for working at FrumForum. But maybe I can explain this in terms even they can understand. There are three possible scenarios here:
  1. Weiner sent the photo and had some sort of relationship with the girl. In this case, he’s a married man and a public servant having an affair with someone young enough to be his daughter.
  2. Weiner sent the photo unsolicited. In this case, he’s a married man and a public servant exploiting one of his supporters’ fondness for him and sexually harassing harassing her.
  3. Someone else sent the photo. In this case, somebody committed sexual harassment against this girl, framing a United States Congressman in the process, but for some reason that congressman doesn’t want the perpetrator brought to justice.
Obviously, none of these scenarios describe a “certifiable non-issue.” Or at least, it should be obvious. But then, sound judgment on sexual impropriety stories has never been FrumForum’s strong suit… 
So, to recap: “conservative” blogger John Guardiano takes a story about a horrendous far-left Democrat engaging in sleazy behavior and badly lying about it, completely ignores the key facts of the case, and spins it into a story about conservatives being irresponsible. At least he’s following his master’s example to the letter.

UPDATE: Now that Weiner’s fessed up to the whole thing, Guardiano has another post. Does he admit that his asinine claim that it was “clear” Weiner didn’t send the photos was totally wrong? Of course not. Instead, he rips on conservatives who are openly enjoying Weiner’s disgrace and insisting that the scandal is all about Weiner’s private life, which should be off-limits:

Anthony Weiner was caught doing a wrong and stupid thing: By his own admission, he “exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years.” Some of this communication took place after Weiner was married, and he lied about at least one explicit tweet.

That’s sad, shameful and embarrassing. But it also is of no real public import. It’s between him, his wife, his rabbi and his God.

In fact, it remains true even now that nobody has shown Weiner’s actions had any legal or public implications whatsoever.

The should-we-care-about-politicians’-infidelities debate is an old one, and it’s no surprise an unprincipled hack like John Guardiano takes the side of indifference. In my opinion, of course a politician’s affairs are politically relevant – they reveal whether he likely to keep promises, whether he takes trust seriously, whether he has self-control or is a narcissist, etc. And in Weiner’s case, it definitely sounds like not all of Weiner’s pen pals were interested in show & tell. Again, does the phrase “sexual harassment” mean anything to John? How pathetic is the state of American politics that we can’t even agree that swapping causal sex talk and photos with complete strangers is conduct unbecoming a congressman, and that it reveals that someone lacks the judgment we should expect out of the people making decisions that affect our lives and liberties?

Guardiano goes on to make himself look like even more of a moron:

Some have argued that, by sending explicit photos to a women he barely knew, or had just met online, Weiner made himself susceptible to blackmail. I suppose that’s technically true, but it’s also rather farfetched and unrealistic.

Weiner’s politics are well known; his congressional votes are well publicized; and so it’s hard to see how, in our open and democratic society, he could be blackmailed into changing his political stripes.

Saying Weiner made himself susceptible to blackmail is no more convincing than saying that corporate campaign contributions “buy” a congressman’s vote. In truth, campaign contributions follow a congressman’s vote; they do not direct it.

By the same token, Weiner was pursuing these women for his own personal purposes; they were not political types pursuing him for partisan or financial gain.

This is so ridiculously obtuse I barely know where to begin. First, I doubt Weiner would change his political stripes, either, but it’s incredibly ignorant and simplistic to suggest that’s the only conceivable kind of blackmail. Not all votes are a question of ideology, and there are plenty of other ways a congressman can be useful, such as pulling strings with various federal, state, and local agencies. Second, it’s even more absurd to limit the pool of blackmailers to Weiner’s known partners/victims – the point is, Weiner was so indiscriminate that he didn’t care what kind of people were getting this material, and that there’s no telling whose hands it could ultimately fall into (again with the judgment thing). Third, it doesn’t matter how unlikely blackmail is in any particular case of impropriety. Public servants are supposed to avoid even the appearance of being compromised, to maintain the public’s faith in the process.

As a political junkie, I often find myself asking one question: is Person X simply dishonest, or is he really this stupid? With John Guardiano, I honestly don’t know. Does the American Spectator, an otherwise-serious conservative publication, know how badly their association with this guy reflects on them?

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How Not to Discredit Pro-Choicers

Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek has been critiquing a Salon blogger, Mikki Kendall, who claims she almost died because of a doctor who refused to perform an abortion. Stanek raises some good, important questions about the credibility of Kendall’s story, but she undermines her own work by claiming to have found a smoking gun that’s anything but.

Stanek first highlights this quote from Kendall’s original piece:

I don’t know if his objections were religious or not; all I know is that when a bleeding woman was brought to him for treatment he refused to do the only thing that could stop the bleeding. Because he didn’t do abortions. Ever.

Then Kendall’s follow-up quote:

Some say I should name and shame the doctor that refused to do the procedure. If I knew why he refused I might have done just that, but since I know that there are many possible reasons that he did not do it? I’ve left him to deal with the internal procedures in place.

Stanek’s reaction:

Excuse me? Kendall’s entire Salon story was built upon her accusation that a heartless, negligent, anti-abortion doctor was willing to let her hemorrhage to death rather than provide a life-saving abortion.

And she has now admitted her story was a big, fat, fabricated lie.

Except the quote shows nothing of the sort. At most, Kendall’s latest words admit she doesn’t know the doctor’s motives, whereas she earlier implied that she knew the doctor had personal objections to abortion. That “inconsistency” is shaky enough, but the main problem is that it does nothing to show Stanek’s allegation that Kendall’s story “was a big, fat, fabricated lie.” It doesn’t change any of the much more germane details of the story, like what Kendall’s condition was, whether the doctor did in fact refuse, or whether the incident occurred at all.

Jill Stanek, as well as the folks at NewsBusters who re-posted her piece, simply can’t afford to be so careless when it comes to ensuring the evidence backs up their arguments.

Liberal Lies About Political Violence – Another Needed Reminder

Hat tip to Eternity Matters for this post at Verum Serum, which reminds us that the Left’s evil, libelous exploitation of death is nothing new:

  • They couldn’t deny that Joe Stack (who flew his plane into an IRS bldg.) quoted the Communist manifesto favorably and disliked George Bush, but labeled him the “Tea Party terrorist” anyway.
  • They couldn’t deny that Richard Poplawski’s only connection to Glenn Beck was that he was disappointed in Beck’s debunking of a conspiracy theory he believed in. They continue to suggest Poplawski was a fan.
  • They couldn’t deny that Pentagon shooter J. Patrick Bedell was a registered Democrat and a 9/11 Truther who disliked Bush, but they wanted him to be a Tea Partier as well.
  • They couldn’t deny that Clay Duke was a leftist inspired by a left-wing movie produced during the Bush years, so they mostly said nothing at all.

I’m leaving out a bunch more. The census worker’s death who was blamed on the right, but which turned out to be suicide. The “right-wing” shooter at the Holocaust museum who turned out to hate Christianity and Fox News. And now the latest on the Giffords shooting is that Loughner may have been anti-Semitic and targeting her because she is Jewish. Generally speaking which party is more supportive of the Jews and Israel and which one is regularly accused of being beholden to Jewish interests? The group Loughner is believed to have been part of also supports SB1070, but Giffords was known to be tough on border control, so how would shooting her advance that agenda? Once again, we’re not supposed to look that closely or ask if any of it makes sense. We’re just supposed to feel outrage at the right targets.

With every new incident the left launches into a fresh public fury and then when the facts come in they never step back or apologize, they just move on to the next “fake but accurate” story. The meme they are pushing survives by leap-frogging from lie to lie, often stealing unearned outrage from cases that could more easily be called left-wing violence. I appreciate the calm voices on the right that want to avoid politicizing this or any tragedy, but frankly I don’t know how they do it in the face of this sort of endless propaganda effort by the left.

Obama: The Pro-Infanticide Candidate

Covered in my latest letter to the Fond du Lac Reporter:

After an Illinois hospital left a newborn who survived an abortion to starve to death in a closet, the state senate considered legislation protecting the rights of babies born alive during attempted abortions (SB1082) in 2001. Barack Obama opposed it. Now he says he would have voted yes if the bill included language guaranteeing it wouldn’t be used someday to undermine Roe v. Wade.

He’s essentially saying that newborns dying of starvation matters less than the legal standing of Roe, which is horrible enough (remember, reversing Roe would NOT ban abortion—it would just restore the people’s right to vote on abortion policy). But incredibly, the story gets even worse: we now know Obama is lying about his motivations.

In 2003, Illinois lawmakers tried again, now with the very language Obama claims was the original dealbreaker (Senate Amendment 001). At the time, Obama chaired the health committee, which unanimously added the language—only for Obama to vote no anyway, killing it before it reached the senate floor [PDF link]. It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that he recently told Pastor Rick Warren that figuring out when people have human rights was “above his pay grade.”

This is every bit as evil as slavery. It’s shocking that a United States Senator could so callously disregard both his first duty (“to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men”), and basic human decency and compassion—and appalling that a mainstream political party could nominate such a man for the presidency. All Americans—liberal, conservative, and independent—who have any sort of conscience should be utterly disgusted by this man. Obama doesn’t want to heal the sins of the past—he just wants to trade them for brand-new ones in the future.

Aside from his above lie, Obama and his apologists have deployed a full-blown revolving door of excuses for his vote.

They claim Illinois law already had sufficient protections in place for born-alive infants. But that’s not true; the law in question, as Ramesh Ponnuru notes, said only fetuses of “sustainable survivability” would be protected, so any fetus deemed “pre-viable” would not be protected—SB1082 was intended to clear up any ambiguity.

They have argued that there was no evidence what Jill Stanek alleged actually happened. But according to a US House Judiciary Committee report, another Christ Hospital nurse, Allison Baker, gave consistent testimony, and the committee found:

When allegations such as these were first made against Christ Hospital, the hospital claimed that this procedure* was only used ‘‘when doctors determine the fetus has serious problems, such as lack of a brain, that would prevent long-term survival.” Later, however, the hospital changed its position, announcing that although it had performed abortions on infants with non-fatal birth defects, it was changing its policy and would henceforth use the procedure to abort only fatally-deformed infants.

* meaning, as described by the report: ‘‘induced labor’’ or ‘‘live-birth’’ abortions, a procedure in which physicians use drugs to induce premature labor and deliver unborn children, many of whom are sometimes still alive, and then simply allow those who are born alive to die.”

The Illinois Department of Health and Human Services failed to act on the charges not because they thought they weren’t happening, but merely because “abortion procedures” and “the rights of newborns” were beyond the scope of their office.

According to the National Right to Life Committee:

Obama’s defenders now (August 19, 2008) insist that the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was not needed because, they claim, Illinois already had a 1975 law “that requires doctors to provide medical care in the very rare case that babies are born alive during abortions.” They fail to mention that the law covered only situations where an abortionist decided before the abortion that there was “a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb.” Humans are often born alive a month or more before they reach the point where such “sustained survival” — that is, long-term survival — is possible or likely (which is often called the point of “viability”). Moreover, this already-weak law was further weakened by a consent decree issued by a federal court in 1993, which among other things permanently prohibits state officials from enforcing the law’s definitions of “born alive,” “live born,” and “live birth.” To read or download the consent decree, click here.

Obama has also expressed indignation at the implication inherent in the legislation that doctors would ever do such a thing to a newborn. This is an idiotic reason to oppose a law—society makes laws precisely because some people will do wrong; one might as well be offended at speed limits in school zones because they imply a driver would ever drive irresponsibly with children present. But it’s also meaningless because, again, Christ Hospital admitted it, and the Committee report also found evidence of similar incidents elsewhere in the US and in other nations. Clearly, not everyone licensed to practice medicine is a saint.

They say bills Obama opposed had language “clearly threatening Roe.” That language? “A live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law” (emphasis added). Come on, nobody with any self-respect can parrot this one with a straight face. It specifically refers to children who have already been born, which is exactly where most pro-choicers tell us they draw the line anyway.

They have also said that “even if the federal and state versions had identical language, they would have very different consequences. The federal government doesn’t have a law regulating abortion, so Congress could pass a ‘born alive’ measure without actually affecting anything. But Illinois has an abortion law that would be muddled by changing the definition of a person with full rights.” Please, do we really have to go over how transparent and stupid this one is?

They claim the bill was part of a package deal which went further, but as NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson notes, “Obama confuses these bills, which were entirely separate. They had sequential numbers, but they were not in any way linked. To call them a package is a tactic to try to reach out and grab issues in an attempt to divert attention from this one.”

And then, of course, it’s kinda hard to get past what Obama said at the time.

Further coverage:

Jill Stanek’s blog
Life with Obama” and “Life Lies” by David Freddoso
Why Obama Really Voted for Infanticide” by Andrew McCarthy
Dead Weight” by the National Review Editors
Red State
FactCheck.org: Obama and ‘Infanticide’ (though it should be noted that Fact Check does not devote the same level of detail to the claim Illinois already protected newborns as it does to Obama’s dishonesty, which they have confirmed is false)

These will be ignored or decried by the shameless propagandists whose ideological bias is so deep that not even infanticide can reawaken their consciences, but cries of “right-winger” or “theocon fundie” are no substitute for providing and refuting facts.

Facts are stubborn things. The evidence is clear, and the bottom line is this: Barack Obama was presented with the scenario of live, newborn, babies being starved to death by the very doctors who delivered them—and decided the continued possibility of this happening was preferable to a nonexistent threat to the logic of Roe v. Wade.

Tell a Lie Loud Enough and Often Enough….

The New York Times has a celebrated history of shame, up to and including disclosing government secrets, and their latest editorial is another disgusting affront to journalism:

We know that operatives in modern-day presidential campaigns are supposed to say things that everyone knows are ridiculous — and to do it with a straight face.

Still, there was something surreal, and offensive, about today’s soundbite from the campaign of Senator John McCain.

The presumptive Republican nominee has embarked on a bare-knuckled barrage of negative advertising aimed at belittling Mr. Obama. The most recent ad compares the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton — suggesting to voters that he’s nothing more than a bubble-headed, publicity-seeking celebrity.

The ad gave us an uneasy feeling that the McCain campaign was starting up the same sort of racially tinged attack on Mr. Obama that Republican operatives ran against Harold Ford, a black candidate for Senate in Tennessee in 2006. That assault, too, began with videos juxtaposing Mr. Ford with young, white women.

Mr. Obama called Mr. McCain on the ploy, saying, quite rightly, that the Republicans are trying to scare voters by pointing out that he “doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills.’’

But Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, had a snappy answer. “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” he said. “It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.’’

The retort was, we must say, not only contemptible, but shrewd. It puts the sin for the racial attack not on those who made it, but on the victim of the attack.

It also — and we wish this were coincidence, but we doubt it — conjurs
[sic] up another loaded racial image.

The phrase dealing the race card “from the bottom of the deck” entered the national lexicon during the O.J. Simpson saga. Robert Shapiro, one of Mr. Simpson’s lawyers, famously declared of himself, Johnny Cochran and the rest of the Simpson defense team, “Not only did we play the race card, we dealt it from the bottom of the deck.”

It’s ugly stuff. How about we leave Britney, Paris, and O.J. out of this — and have a presidential campaign?


There’s no secret racist message in
McCain’s ad, implicit or otherwise. The intent was to call Obama vapid and his hype overblown, nothing more. If you’re looking for vapid, overrated celebrities, you’d be hard-pressed to find more worthy examples of any skin color. Is there really any doubt that if the campaign had used images of, say, Halle Berry instead, that would have been called a clue to the Right’s deep-seated yearning for segregation?

And the supposed OJ allusion? To say it was deliberate is wishful speculation at best, and “dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck” seems to accurately describe both situations: a minority figure invoking race victimhood to divert attention from the real issue.

The Times has no evidence for their thesis other than that
Barack said so (speaking of which, if that was Obama “call[ing] Mr. McCain on the ploy,” why did he initially try to deny it? And if his comments were in response to McCain, why did he say them back in June, too?). There’s no lie the Left, and their propagandists in the media and blogosphere, won’t tell or spread in the pursuit of power.

The Obama Future: Haven’t We Been Here Before?

No matter how you try to parse it, there’s no way to make Barack Obama’s history with Reverend Jeremiah Wright look good. On March 14, Obama told Fox News’ Major Garrett, “none of these statements were ones that I had heard myself personally in the pews” (which becomes “I knew about one or two statements” later in the interview). To buy Wright Spin 1.0, you’d have to believe that the sound bites we’ve heard were all isolated incidents outside of which Wright’s message was totally different, and that Obama never caught wind of any of it, either in person or from fellow congregants, even though this was the kind of thing the church made available on video, and his wife sure as heck was paying attention. So the best case scenario is that Obama is Jacques Clouseau. Now there’s presidential material!

As unflattering as “inattentive buffoon” is, Obama could have settled for it. But no, in his
“A More Perfect Union” speech, he said “Did I ever know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.” Make no mistake: this is an admission that Barack Obama, the new-style politician of hope who is going to restore our ability to believe in the process, lied to the American people just days earlier.

But that’s not all Messiah has to offer. He continues to maintain that, deep down, Reverend Jeremiah—who’s like an uncle to him—isn’t so terrible: even though he made “mistakes” (you mean the CIA didn’t invent AIDS? Whoops, my bad), there was enough talk of love and Christ and helping the poor amongst the lies, demagoguery and insanity to justify regularly exposing his kids to this man and his message. I don’t buy it—especially not after Wright’s
flattering appearance on Hannity & Colmes last year. (By the way, this would happen to be the same Barack Obama who called for Don Imus to be fired and for Trent Lott to resign, each for considerably less. What a fraud.)

Then there are the cheap shots towards Geraldine Ferraro, who “some have dismissed…as harboring some deep-seated racial bias” (not Barack, of course; he just, y’know, thought you might be curious about what people are saying), “politicians [who] routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends,” and “talk show hosts and conservative commentators [who] built entire careers unmasking bogus cases of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality.” Nice. And let’s not forget Obama’s charming reminiscence about Grandma. As Ann Coulter
writes this week:

Discrimination has become so openly accepted that—in a speech meant to tamp down his association with a black racist—Obama felt perfectly comfortable throwing his white grandmother under the bus. He used her as the white racist counterpart to his black racist “old uncle,” Rev. Wright.

First of all, Wright is not Obama’s uncle. The only reason we indulge crazy uncles is that everyone understands that people don’t choose their relatives the way they choose, for example, their pastors and mentors. No one quarrels with the idea that you can’t be expected to publicly denounce your blood relatives. But Wright is not a relative of Obama’s at all. Yet Obama cravenly compared Wright’s racist invective to his actual grandmother, who “once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

Rev. Wright accuses white people of inventing AIDS to kill black men, but Obama’s grandmother—who raised him, cooked his food, tucked him in at night, and paid for his clothes and books and private school—has expressed the same feelings about passing black men on the street
that Jesse Jackson has. Unlike his “old uncle”—who is not his uncle—Obama had no excuses for his grandmother. Obama’s grandmother never felt the lash of discrimination! Crazy grandma doesn’t get the same pass as the crazy uncle; she’s white. Denounce the racist!

And finally, the heart of his message is fundamentally contradictory. Sure, he throws in the obligatory scolding of Wright’s “profoundly distorted view of this country,” and admits that “all too often [anger] distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change.” But in the same breath, Obama perpetuates the distraction by saying he could no more sever ties with Wright than with the black community, thereby identifying the two as one and the same. Give to bigotry no sanction…unless the bigot in question talks about nice stuff, too. I don’t think so, Barack.