Can’t land a decent punch on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee?
Coordinated protests not really doing the trick?
Well, why not release some doctored footage of Brett Kavanaugh?
That’s at least the thinking behind the latest stunt by Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris of California — who really should have just used the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings to announce she was running for the presidency, given all her obvious posturing. Since Kavanaugh didn’t say anything disqualifying during the hearings, Harris decided to edit some footage, omitting several key words.
According to The Daily Caller, the key incident involved a question from Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, regarding Kavanaugh’s dissent in the case of Priests for Life v. U.S. Department of Health. In that case, Priests for Life argued that an Obamacare opt-out form for mandatory contraception coverage was onerous and still violated the group’s First Amendment religious rights.
“It was a technical matter of filing out a form in that case,” Kavanaugh said. “But they said filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they were, as a religious matter, objected to.” (emphasis added)
Harris, meanwhile, decided to tweet this clip of Kavanaugh’s answer (note that the words “they said” are missing):
Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control. He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake – this is about punishing women. pic.twitter.com/zkBjXzIvQI
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 7, 2018
“Kavanaugh chooses his words very carefully, and this is a dog whistle for going after birth control,” Harris tweeted.
“He was nominated for the purpose of taking away a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own health care decisions. Make no mistake – this is about punishing women.”
Except it wasn’t a dog whistle and it wasn’t about punishing women. That video’s been viewed over one million times by this point and almost no one watching realized that, by chopping off the words “they said,” Harris had made it look like Kavanaugh was stating his own opinion.
First, if that was what Kavanaugh said, it wouldn’t even be a dog whistle. I mean, let’s start there. If that’s what he believed, he was saying it right out in an open hearing. This would have made headlines everywhere. The fact that it didn’t ought to have told Harris’ supporters something.
Second, is this what we’ve come to? Selectively editing out words from the answers of Supreme Court nominees to make it look like they’re saying something they’re not?
Naturally, abortion protesters were a big part of the disturbances that tried to derail Kavanaugh’s hearings last week. Check out a few examples here:
Harris wasn’t the only liberal who decided to twist Kavanaugh’s words. Planned Parenthood also issued a news release in which the words “they said” were removed from Kavanaugh’s remarks on the case.
At least that group eventually acknowledged the “error,” according to CNN. Meanwhile, Harris’ video is still proudly up on Twitter. However, she did issue a clarification video that included Kavanaugh’s full statement, though she still called it a “dog-whistle.”
Here is Kavanaugh's full answer. There's no question that he uncritically used the term "abortion-inducing drugs," which is a dog whistle term used by extreme anti-choice groups to describe birth control. pic.twitter.com/PMbZzu8DqD
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 8, 2018
Aside from the fact that it’s a typical non-apology apology, Kavanaugh’s full answer shows he was merely restating the arguments of a pro-life Catholic organization in a First Amendment Obamacare case. There’s no universe in which this could be considered an attack on birth control.
For all the stunts we saw this week, Brett Kavanaugh will make it on to the Supreme Court, and likely do so easily.
In terms of making presidential hopefuls out of anybody, though, this might not have been as ludicrous as Democrat Sen. Cory Booker’s “Spartacus moment.” But Harris disgraced herself nontheless.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.