- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Post-birth abortion

Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek notes that Texas Democratic state Rep. Jessica Farrar has “quite a resume,” including an award for Planned Parenthood and opposition to ultrasound legislation. But that’s not what Mrs. Stanek ran with last week.

Ms. Farrar “is also sponsoring the first legislation of its kind in the nation, known as ‘The Infanticide Bill,’ HB 3318.”

The bill passed out of a state legislative panel Thursday, a vote that Texas “Homestead Momma” blogger Susan McNiel Godfrey called “absolutely unbelievable.”

Mrs. Stanek explained that the bill would “decriminalize infanticide of babies under 1 year old from being a capital murder offense, punishable by life in prison or the death penalty, to 180 days to 2 years in jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000, for mothers found to be suffering, in the court’s opinion, severe post-partum depression. A defendant would be eligible for this sentence if her ‘judgment was impaired as a result of the effects of giving birth or the effects of lactation following birth,’ wrote Mrs. Farrar in her legislative analysis,” according to Mrs. Stanek.

The pro-life former nurse, whose whistleblowing brought about the Illinois “born-alive act” that yielded votes that haunted Barack Obama during the campaign, concluded that “while I empathize with mothers suffering this malady, it does not extend to dehumanizing their babies so killing them is any less heinous in the eyes of the court than killing older children. After all, depression extends throughout the life spectrum. Why should infanticide be set apart as a more tolerated crime? … This is a veiled attempt to portray pregnancy as an illness … and to blur the line between abortion and infanticide.”

“Apparently to Rep. Jessica Farrar and some members of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, life outside of the womb is no longer worthy of the highest protection,” Mrs. Godfrey agreed.

Conservative feud I

A major conservative blog feud has been ripped into the open in the last couple of weeks, surrounding Little Green Footballs, the popular and hawkish anti-jihad blog by Charles Johnson that, among other scoops, played a major role in exposing the forged “Rathergate” documents about George W. Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard.

But in recent weeks, Mr. Johnson has harshly criticized such conservative bloggers as Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, for their involvement in a European conference on Islam and immigration that involved Euro-right figures Mr. Johnson denounced as leaders of hate groups. At the end of April, he also said that “maybe it’s time to start taking the gloves off” with regard to Michelle Malkin, one of the most popular conservative bloggers.

Indeed, the majority of the posts at the Little Green Football’s front page early Monday afternoon were in some way critical of conservatives, creationists or anti-jihad efforts. And there was an ad at the head of the main column for muslima.com, which describes itself as “The International Muslim Matrimonial Site.”

Donald Douglas at American Power Blog cites conservative bloggers such as McClatchy Watch, Always on Watch and commenters at both his own site and that of Ms. Geller’s as having being banned from Little Green Footballs.

“This story is about Charles Johnson losing his mind,” Mr. Douglas wrote. “If you check Robert Spencer’s response to LGF yesterday, ‘Charles Johnson’s latest libels answered,’ you’ll find that Johnson has blocked the outgoing hyperlinks coming from Jihad Watch. As Robert suggests, ‘paste the link into your address bar and it will work.’ So much for the free exchange of ideas and debate? It’s one thing to disagree with others on the issues, and to defend your positions vigorously. It’s quite another to have some psychological syndrome that demands the elimination of competing information that might cause cognitive dissonance. Charles Johnson’s a bloody tyrant.”

Conservative feud II

Several of the most prominent conservative bloggers went at it hammer and tongs last week over the defection of Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania from the Republican Party to the Democrats.

It didn’t get ugly, but the central dispute was over conservative efforts, specifically those by the anti-tax Club for Growth, to unseat Mr. Specter and other liberal Republicans in Republican Party primaries.

Firing the first shot was Ramesh Ponnuru, who wrote at National Review’s Corner, “My initial reaction on hearing the news was that, after generating a bunch of Democratic House seats, the Club for Growth has now produced its first Democratic senator. I assume that Specter’s votes will now move leftward.” The next day he reiterated his support for the club and for its anti-Specter candidate, former Rep. Patrick Toomey, while noting that his criticism had “centered on whether the club had picked its battles wisely in recent years. You don’t have to be a ‘RINO’” — Republican in name only — “to think not.”

Added Michael Barone in his syndicated column: The Club for Growth strategy “arguably made good sense when Republicans had majorities in Congress and needed reliable votes to pass major legislation. It makes much less sense now that Republicans have beleaguered minorities in Congress and are trying to stop things.”

Red State’s Erick Erickson hit back hard, saying he had “no problem with a big tent. I welcome Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. I welcome Rudy Giuliani. I’m fine with Charlie Crist as long as he stays where he is because a real conservative could actually win the Florida Senate seat. I’m fine with John McCain,” and with more liberal Republicans in states and districts where true-blue conservatives will have difficulties.

“But here’s the thing: If you are going to wring your hands, save it for someone worthwhile. If you can get worked up about [former Rhode Island Sen.] Lincoln Chaffee or Arlen Specter, you’ve lost your moorings. Exactly what good does it do for the Republican Party, which has a serious credibility problem right now with voters over losing its way, to keep in positions of power those people who caused us to lose our way? … No one will be clamoring for a Republican Party in November 2010 that has not found its way back to fiscal discipline. And the GOP is incapable of finding its way back with Arlen Specter in senior leadership.”

Fill in the blank

Thomas Peters of American Papist was cheering the “excellent question” asked by Ed Henry of CNN during President Obama’s prime-time press conference last week. Mr. Henry began, “In a couple of weeks, you’re going to be giving the commencement at Notre Dame. And, as you know, this has caused a lot of controversy among Catholics who are opposed to your position on abortion.”

While Mr. Henry’s direct question was, “Do you still hope that Congress quickly sends you the Freedom of Choice Act so you can sign it?,” Mr. Peters highlighted something else in Mr. Obama’s answer: “Do note, however, that Obama makes no comment about the Notre Dame scandal.”

Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com

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