Friday, August 12, 2005

The Roberts Attack Ad That Went Too Far

There are many reasons to be concerned about the corporate lobby legal background of John Roberts on behalf of the coal industry to gut clean air and antistrip mining rules. But another organization concerned about Roberts nomination has gone way too far.

NARAL, the proabortion organization had sought to sidetrack Roberts with an ad they planned to air on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and CNN with a $500,000 advertising campaign. Only CNN accepted a $125,000 the advertising campaign from NARAL. The problem is that the NARAL ad against Roberts is blantantly false. The other networks rejected the ad, but CNN decided to run the ad even though they knew the ad was blantantly false according to one source.

In 1991, Roberts and some other attorneys helped to write a legal brief for a Supreme Court case that limited actions of an abortion clinic to limit protestors. The clinic sought to use a 1871 law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act to limit protests at their clinic by protestors, however the Supreme Court rejected the use of this law to be applied in this manner. But the antiRoberts ad by NARAL used images of an abortion clinic bombing which occured 7 years later, and claimed that Roberts was responsible for the violence. Eric Rudolph and other extremists with no connection in any way to Roberts have been convicted of abortion clinic bombings. It can be argued that Roberts has helped to keep the channel for protests open, against war, or other controversial topics with his efforts in the 1991 case, limiting the use of the 1971 Ku Klux Klan Act. Had the clinic prevailed, antiwar, antiWal-Mart, and other protestors could be charged with serious crimes for constitutionally protected protests.

There are plenty to reasons to be concerned about Roberts. Will he be a disaster for court cases regarding consumers, the environment, and be too probig business. But NARAL's blatantly false ad proves the way not to campaign against Roberts, or anyone else for that matter. There should be zero tolerance for false advertising for or against political issues and candidates. The 2004 Swift Boats Ads are another example, two veteran's who praised John Kerry's Vietnam efforts during a veteran's event a few years earlier that were recorded on camera made strong charges of just the opposite on behalf of the Swift Boats campaign in 2004. Were they lying at the veteran's event or in the Swift Boats ad? "Bearing False Witness", is not only is against the Ten Commandments standard, but is rotten scorched earth politics as well that poisons politics. An honest debate on the Roberts nomination, not a mere smear, or a mere rubber stamp should be expected. And 527's such as the Swift Boats Veterans should be be held to the same standards of the NARAL ad, where advertising where contrary evidence exists should be judged whether the ad is truthful or blantantly false.