The second republican debate featured some memorable moments and statements from the 11 candidates. While Trump entertained, while Rubio, Christie and Carson were solid, and Bush showed a bit of increased energy, only one candidate stood out in my opinion – Carly Fiorina.
The highlight of her performance was an impassioned challenge to Hillary Clinton and President Obama to view the now famous Planned Parenthood videos.
“I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes, watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation. And if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.”
I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of her statement. I am pro-life and believe Planned Parenthood’s actions to be both legally and morally deviant. Fiorina stood out among the other candidates for her passion on this issue. However, she also stood for her lack of precision in what she stated.
I’ve watched the videos, particularly the one in question. While Fiorina is correct in saying that practices represented in the video are actually occurring, her description does not take into account that the footage in the video is not of the event she is referencing. It is disturbing footage to be sure, but is added in order to provide a visual representation of the experience being described by a former employee of StemExpress while she was visiting a California Planned Parenthood clinic. That particular section of video was not footage from the undercover project. Florina also conveyed as a quote from that employee the following statement, “someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain,” a statement not found in any dialogue on the video. The frustration for pro-life supporters like me is that Fiorina’s error provides an escape route for Planned Parenthood defenders to get off on a technicality.
This raises at least two important points regarding the interdependence of passion and precision.
- Proper research requires one to correctly cite their supporting source in both content and context.
Planned Parenthood defenders are right to point out the inaccuracy in Fiorina’s description. However, they are wrong to proceed as if Fiorina’s misspeak somehow dismisses the issue. What Fiorina described is in fact occurring every day, even if it technically did not occur in the way she described the particular portion of the video. This is like a convicted criminal being released on a technicality. Their guilt is not in question, but the process by which they were found guilty was flawed. Such is a miscarriage of justice, not a triumph. That the left is fixated on the technicality indicates a failure to either grasp or address the focus of what the videos are exposing.
- That one misspeaks in the delivery of source material does not necessitate a collapse in the strength, accuracy, or importance of one’s overall position.
Fiorina’s defenders are correct to point out the atrocities of the videos, as well as to expose the inconsistencies and outright lies Planned Parenthood has spread in their efforts to bury the fact that they are engaged in the trafficking of human body parts, which are harvested from viable fetuses. These facts alone should be enough override political talking points. However, Fiorina and her defenders are wrong to ignore that her description, as accurate as it may be in the overall narrative of this issue – being based on confirmed accounts by former and present Planned Parenthood personnel, is not directly and technically represented in the video she references. Her present failure to correct her description could weaken the impact of future statements. It also offers to her opponents, be they pundits, opposing candidates, or a media that continues to carry water for Planned Parenthood, the very misdirection needed to keep her and pro-lifers running defense over her technical error instead of running forward with her overall message, where she is most certainly correct.
As we stand up and speak out, may we endeavor to be as precise as we are passionate.
For information on the Planned Parenthood scandal, begin with the links below:
First Things highlights this situation as well – http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/09/fiorina-stumbles-onto-the-truth-the-media-ignores