Tuesday, September 19, 2023


We all know that Donald Trump is the world's most shameless liar, a man who's in a class by himself, the LeBron James or Shakespeare or Mozart of dishonesty. Here's a lie he told in his Meet the Press interview with Kristen Welker, as debunked by Judd Legum and his team at Popular Information:
... Trump claimed that former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) supports killing babies "after the baby is born." ... But Northam did not support infanticide. He expressed support for an existing Virginia law that allows for third-trimester abortion when three doctors certify that carrying the pregnancy to term would "likely" kill the mother. He also said he would sign legislation to reduce the number of doctors required to make the certification from three to one. During an interview, he said the decision of whether to attempt to resuscitate a non-viable infant after birth would be a discussion between the mother and the doctor. Welker, however, allowed Trump's specific claims about Northam to go unchallenged.
(Emphasis added.)

Trump has lied about this before. After Northam spoke, Trump told the Daily Caller,
“Do you remember when I said Hillary Clinton was willing to rip the baby out of the womb? That’s what it is, that’s what they’re doing, it’s terrible.”
In his 2019 State of the Union address, Trump said,
And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.
Trump, the world's worst liar, has lied about this for the past four years. But so have many other Republicans.

After Northam spoke, Senator Marco Rubio published an opinion piece in which he wrote,
The definition of infanticide is “the crime of killing a child within a year of birth” ... Allowing a baby, born just moments prior, to die on a table because the mother requested an abortion is nothing short of infanticide. Sadly, Virginia Democrats have a new message for any mother thinking about killing their baby after birth: request an abortion just before the baby is delivered and suffer no consequences.
Senator Ben Sasse told National Review,
“In just a few years pro-abortion zealots went from ‘safe, legal, and rare’ to ‘keep the newborns comfortable while the doctor debates infanticide.’ I don’t care what party you’re from — if you can’t say that it’s wrong to leave babies to die after birth, get the hell out of public office.”
Tennessee congressman Mark Green, a physician, issued a press release in which he "condemned Virginia Governor Ralph Northam for endorsing infanticide."
“Like a scene from a science fiction movie, our elected officials are casually floating infanticide on the airwaves. Are we going to allow this affront to our civilization to happen unchecked? If so, we’ve lost our soul. I am appalled,” said Rep. Mark Green, M.D. “Killing a baby once born is infanticide. Plain and simple.”
A Daily Caller headline read, "VIRGINIA GOVERNOR ASKED ABOUT ABORTION UNTIL BIRTH. HE FLOATS INFANTICIDE." The headline at LifeNews.com was "Virginia Gov Ralph Northam Defends Infanticide." Gateway Pundit's headline was ""SHOCK: Democrat Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Endorses the Murder of Babies — AFTER THEY ARE BORN!" The Federalist's headline was "Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Just Called For Legalizing Murder Of Newborn Babies."

Ben Shapiro tweeted:

This became one of the right's greatest hits, a tune many Republicans added to their set list. Here's Senator Ted Cruz in a 2020 speech:
"We’ve seen far too many Democrats embrace extreme positions on abortion: abortion up until the moment of birth and even, horrifically, after that," Cruz said, before highlighting a radio interview Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gave in 2019 about a bill in the Virginia House of Delegates regulating third-trimester abortions.

"This bill was allowing a mother in labor, in the process of delivering a child, this bill would allow a doctor to kill that child instead of delivering that child in the midst of labor," Cruz said. "The idea of killing a child while the mother is in labor instead of delivering the infant is horrifying beyond words."
Republicans now describe this as the default position of Democrats. Here's Senator Marsha Blackburn earlier this month:
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) made a false and extremist claim on Fox News’ Faulkner Focus, saying the Democrats running for her seat in 2024, “have supported abortion up to the last minute before — and after — birth.”

“And I know that there are three that are running against me. They’re all leftist socialists. They would make Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer look like moderates,” Blackburn said on Friday’s show. “And I know that they have supported abortion up to the last minute before and after birth.”
And here's Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith earlier this year:
Hyde-Smith said that Senate Democrats have “a truly extreme position on abortion — through all nine months, up to the moment of birth and even perhaps after,” adding that she looks forward “to working with my colleagues to build consensus for protections for the unborn, in contrast with the extreme and shameful position embraced by pro-abortion proponents.”
What actually happened in 2019 to set this in motion? That year, Democrats in the Virginia legislature introduced HB 2491, which would make the requirements for physician approval of a late-term abortion less strict. A Democratic legislator, Kathy Tran, inadvertently misstated what was in the bill, as Vox reported at the time:
... in a committee hearing ... [Tran] was questioned about the bill by fellow delegate Todd Gilbert, a Republican.

“How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion if he indicated it would impair the mental health of the woman?” Gilbert asked.

“Through the third trimester,” Tran responded. “The third trimester goes all the way up to 40 weeks.”

“Where it’s obvious that a woman is about to give birth,” Gilbert then asked, “would that still be a point at which she could request an abortion if she was so certified? She’s dilating.”

“My bill would allow that,” Tran said.

HB 2491 would not actually change the time limit for receiving an abortion in Virginia, Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, told Vox. It would change the number of physicians required for approval, and broaden the health circumstances under which an abortion would be allowed.
Northam was subsequently asked about this on a radio show. He talked about what would happen if a woman delivered a non-viable baby:
... the first thing I would say is this is why decisions such as this should be made by [healthcare] providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved. There are -- you know when we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of, obviously, the mother, with the consent of the physicians, more than one physician by the way. And it's done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus that's non-viable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that's what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.
What Northam was talking about was, in effect, a do-not-resuscitate decision if a baby is certain to die shortly after birth. Most of the Republicans who attacked him for this statement understand that. And they lie anyway, because it wins them votes.

You may believe that the level of Republican dishonesty would decline significantly if Donald Trump were driven from politics. In reality, it wouldn't decline by much.

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