RUSH: It takes me to a story, a column actually, by a good friend of mine, Andy McCarthy, posted at The Corner today. And remember, I proffered the theorem last week that the gay marriage issue was lost the moment we surrendered the language. The moment we allowed modifiers to marriage, opposite-sex marriage, heterosexual marriage, gay marriage, once we allowed that, then for all intents and purposes we lost the issue because marriage is none of those things. Marriage is one thing. Look it up. Marriage means one thing. But by not holding steadfast to that and allowing the language to change dramatically, we lost the issue. And Andy's building on that theorem in this column.
"My friends at the American Freedom Law Center (I’m on the advisory board) have filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court urging the justices to reverse a Colorado state court ruling --" get this, now, "-- that bans public display of 'gruesome' abortion images on the remarkable ground that pictures of children who have been aborted might ... offend children."
They're not children. That's exactly right. If they've been aborted, they are not children. They are nothings. They're unviable tissue masses. If they are unwanted they are not children, no matter what the pictures say. If they're unwanted, that's not a heart that's beating. That's a Bible thumper that didn't make it. So what's happening here? The American Freedom Law Center has filed an amicus brief, US Supreme Court, urging the justices on the Supreme Court to reverse a Colorado state court ruling that bans public display of gruesome -- there are some people that want to illustrate what abortion is by posting pictures of it.
Colorado court banned the pictures because it's too offensive and it's scary for kids. And the amicus is asking the Supreme Court to overturn that ban. They said, let 'em post the pictures, let people find out what's really going on here.
"Imagine if we had told the anti-war Left that photos of the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison could not be publicly displayed. You know, 'We’ll just describe the whole thing as "enhanced detention" -- or, maybe, "choice" -- no need to get more graphic than that.' How long do you suppose that would have been tolerated?" They wanted the pictures at Abu Ghraib displayed, and why? Well, because they were trying to humiliate Bush. They were trying to engineer a defeat in the War on Terror for the United States, and they figured if they get those pictures published, that it would make it harder for Bush because of the mistreatment of prisoners. Everybody knows the power of optics. So Andy's point is, imagine telling the left, "You can't post pictures of Abu Ghraib." They'da gone bat nuts.
"In this instance, pro-abortion activists filed a lawsuit against anti-abortion protesters, claiming that the display of graphic images of first-term abortions amounted to an actionable nuisance. The Colorado courts agreed. As the AFLC amicus brief explains, this flies in the face of First Amendment precedent holding that the Constitution does not permit the suppression of legitimate political expression 'solely to protect the young from ideas or images that [the government] thinks unsuitable for them.'"
Meaning, the First Amendment exists, and you cannot defy it. You cannot ban pictures like this on the grounds that you don't think children should see them. "Given that we are not living in a sharia state, moreover, political argument may not be prohibited merely because it expresses ideas that members of society may find 'offensive or disagreeable' -- as the Supreme Court reaffirmed in the 2011 case of Snyder v. Phelps." So just because something's disagreeable doesn't mean you can ban it.
"Here’s hoping the justices have the good sense to take the Colorado case. And here’s hoping that we learn an important lesson on the right: As we’ve seen in countless contexts (abortion becomes 'choice,' marriage becomes '[hyphenated-]marriage,' tax becomes 'revenue,' spending becomes 'investment,' etc.), the Left is simply better at the language game than we are. That is the nature of the beast. Progressives are trying to transform, we are trying to conserve; they are forever thinking of strategies to move the culture away from its traditions, we are standing athwart, yelling, 'Stop!' The system works only because of liberty. Free speech gives us the ability to react vigorously with effective arguments that expose the weakness and, at times, misdirection of the other side’s claims.
"If, at the front end, you’re going to concede the Left’s clever use of language to establish the terms of the debate, and then, on the back end, you’re now going to concede the Left the capacity to limit or even suppress your response, you are guaranteed to lose -- which means, lose everything." Now, in this instance what he's talking about, abortion. Abortion's become choice. The people who engage in abortion could not have nearly the success if there were pictures of what actually happens, particularly partial-birth abortion. They fight tooth and nail to make sure those pictures are not seen, too troubling for young children.
We say First Amendment. We're not talking about choice. We're talking about abortion. Abortion is the taking of a life. "No, it's not. It's reproductive freedom. You don't have any right to say anything about anyway 'cause it's not your body." So we concede the loss of the language, abortion becomes choice, and all the other languages that we agree to and surrender to. And then in the back end, we stand by while they tell us what we can't say at the same time. Because we want to be shown as understanding, compassionate, we don't want to upset people.
So when it comes to abortion, the gruesome aspect of it is only to be done but never spoken of, never seen. Can't have that. That's not fair. That would unfairly prejudice people against it. And the left is not gonna permit that.
RUSH: Speaking of gruesome photos, folks, what about all the pictures the government puts out about smoking to show the ravages of lung and mouth and throat cancer? How about all these gory commercials? "This is your brain on drugs." Even as we speak and are in the midst of all of this, the US Centers for Disease and Control are posting ads showing people who have been mangled because of smoking. It's a $54 million ad campaign, and the ads feature a woman who lost her voice box, and a man who lost his leg. A throat cancer victim appears in a commercial where she's shown putting on a wig, inserting false teeth, and covering the hole in her neck with a scarf.
But we can't show aborted children. See, the government can do all that and the government can run ads like that. The government posts pictures to scare you into doing things they don't want you to do, except actually they do. They want you to keep smoking, if the truth be known, so you pay taxes for children's health care programs. (That's another story.) Let a private group decide to run some ads showing pictures of aborted fetuses, and all hell breaks loose, but we can show pictures of what happened at Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib or whatever all day long, can't we? So the left knows. They just do not allow it to be used on them, which they get away with.