Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Hillary, Wilton, and product placement

By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 31, 2006

Washington Post columnist Dan Balz had a column yesterday depicting Hillary Clinton -- sorry, a column in which Hillary Clinton is depicted as a centrist. Says Brent Bozell, "Balz is not so much reporting a news story as reproducing a sales pitch. It really ought to have the word 'advertisement' above it in capital letters." That's not a compliment.

Balz made it all the way through his Clinton story without ever referring to the voting scores kept by ideological groups. In the last five years, the American Conservative Union has reported that on its key Senate votes, her annual record was 12 percent conservative, 10 percent, 10 percent, zero percent in 2004, and then 12 percent again last year. Her career average is a score of 9 percent. How in the world does that number suggest an "unclear platform," something impossible to categorize?

Now take the liberal counterpart. Americans for Democratic Action found her to be 95 percent liberal on its key votes in her first four years, and she achieved liberal nirvana (100 percent) in 2005. Those "Senate hero" votes included voting against judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown, voting to repeal Ronald Reagan's "Mexico City policy" preventing federal tax money from going to international abortion providers, and voting for Chuck Schumer's amendment that would forbid abortion protesters to declare bankruptcy to avoid fines or court judgments for their clinic protests. Some absence of a rigid ideology, that.

Balz reported that Hillary is "depicted as seeking the middle ground on abortion." Yes, she's "depicted" that way by liberal reporters like Dan Balz, but her voting record is no middle ground. Hillary Clinton has received a perfect 100 percent score from NARAL Pro-Choice America every year, and right now she is leading their fight to force the Food and Drug Administration to make the "Plan B" morning-after pill available without a prescription.

My own reading of Balz provided me with the lovely euphemism "spacious language." Spacious language is that kind of language which, when used in normal circumstances, is called evasive, or hollow, or equivocal, or slippery. (It also has shorter names.) Balz:

Asked whether there is anything that connects her different interests and positions, she answered in spacious language: "What's framed all the work I've done in the Senate and all the years before that is my belief that our most important obligation is to take care of our children ... and that as a nation, America should remain as a symbol of freedom and hope around the world."

It's doubly interesting to the OTR gang that Hillary has taken a page from Wilton Gregory's playbook: when you get a particularly tough question, whatever subject it concerns, just answer, "It's about the children." But won't our ever-vigilant media find that answer at odds with her championing NARAL and the Plan B pill?

Let the Archbishop answer. Spaciously.

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