The days have long passed . . .

. . . when you could publish a blatant lie in a major newspaper and not have someone catch it and publicize it. Jonathan Adler of National Review Online caught Kate Michelman’s Anti-Alito Lie, a column in the San Francisco Chronicle, in which Mrs. Michelman wrote:

(Samuel Alito) patronizingly believes that the state needs to assist women in recognizing the moral dimensions of their decisions — not only abortion but the forms of birth control, such as the Pill and the IUD, that are the most effective ways to prevent unwanted pregnancy. He sought to uphold abortion restrictions that would have treated a grown married woman no differently from a child, forcing her to notify her husband in all circumstances, including abuse and rape, before obtaining an abortion. (Emphasis mine.)

By saying that Judge Alito “sought to uphold abortion restrictions,” Mrs. Michelman is referring specifically to his decisions from the bench, not simply some personal belief (to which Judge Alito has not testified). Further, Mrs. Michelman said that Judge Alito’s decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, in a decision in which Justice Sandra O’Connor wrote:

Women do not lose their constitutionally protected liberty when they marry.

That means Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Unfortunately for Mrs. Michelman, it also specifies the law that Judge Alito voted to uphold, and, surprise, that law did contain exceptions under which a married woman did not have to notify her husband, including rape and abuse along with a couple of others.

Now, people can make mistakes: they can write about things of which they are not informed. But Mrs. Michelman, as Mr. Adler pointed out, was the former President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. To believe that Mrs. Michelman did not know that what she wrote was factually incorrect, one would have to believe that the President of NARAL was uninformed about the issues in which the organization specialized.


So, I guess that Mrs. Michelman really could have just made an honest mistake.

Thanks to Patterico for pointing out Mr. Adler’s article. One of the commenters, and frequent Patterico contributor, who styles himself The Angry Clam, wrote:

A lie told often enough, particularly to an uncritical audience, becomes true to them.

Exactly. And the lie was certainly repeated to an uncritical audience, as Georgia10 repeated it on the Daily Kos, including putting Mrs. Michelman’s false claim in boldfaced emphasis.

That the audience was uncritical becomes apparent if you read the comments by registered Daily Kos readers.

How can we expect our friends on the left to ever come to reasonable conclusions when they lie even to themselves?


  1. The answer to your question is both obvious on the one hand, and evocative of another similar question on the other.

    First, we really can’t expect reasonable conclusions from those who lie to themselves. We can only expect they will lie to us as well. We should take note of that, and respond accordingly.

    Next, the question is, how should we respond to those who lie to themselves and others as well? Should we pretend they have an argument and debate them, or should we dismiss the lies and ignore the liars?

    I think you know what I’m talking about.

  2. Yes, indeed, hope springs eternal, but you can’t correct a problem till you’re willing to acknowledge you’ve got one. Blu ain’t there yet.

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