In Lawyer-Land, if you shoplift but the surveillance cameras are busted and you get out of the store without the alarm going off, you’re innocent. No evidence, no crime. It doesn’t matter what is true or false, it only matters what can be proven in court. It’s the basis for our “innocent until proven guilty” system of justice, and it’s a good system. It means prosecutors must prove their case by following a procedure designed to prevent relying too much on circumstantial evidence or allowing prejudicial assumptions to sway emotions. But most people still understand that taking something that doesn’t belong to you is called stealing.
The infamous lawyer Roy Cohn was known for the three D’s of litigation; “deny, deflect and delay.” Despised by many, he was indeed a man of dark talents. Perhaps best known for his role during the Army/McCarthy hearings in 1954 led by Senator Joe McCarthy, his image is etched into the public consciousness as the beady-eyed gnome ever at McCarthy’s side. Today the “deny, deflect and delay” approach is a staple in such things as business-related lawsuits and ethics investigations involving politicians. Most people would regard such tactics as dirty pool when it comes to everyday life, but it’s become the primary strategy of the “abortion is a social good” cheerleading squad. Roy Cohn, vilified particularly by the holier-than-thou left, isn’t just spinning in his grave, he’s laughing his head off in it.
The three D’s are prominent in abortion propaganda. For instance, the “abortion is healthcare” trope “deflects” from the reality that a baby is being killed by only recognizing one life and “denying” the existence of another, while counting on the incessant drum beat from abortion sympathizers in the media and The White House to “delay” the common sense of ordinary people from catching on to the disingenuous semantics.
The disingenuous semantics angle is a bottomless well of stagnant wisdom. Case in point: A few weeks ago, while I was parked in front of my television set, munching on potato chips and watching the news, footage of an abortion rights demonstration came onscreen. Placards-wise all the usual suspects were there: Abortion on Demand, No Apologies; Abortion is Health Care, et cetera. Mid-munch my eyes flew open at the sight of a new entry in the placard plethora. It read: Forced Pregnancy is Immoral. What? If they’re talking about rape, it’s not only immoral but a crime. But they’re not talking about rape, and to give a truthful description of their gripe, well, they’re gonna need a bigger placard.
They’ll need a bigger sign to explain what they really mean, which is: “Having made the choice to engage in relations, with the belief that what I need is all that matters, it’s immoral for anyone to tell me that now that I have made a new life I am somehow responsible for it.” Now, if the message is that pregnancy is forced when a woman is bullied by a selfish man into having relations when she’s reluctant to do so, because she knows it’s a time in her cycle when she is likely to get pregnant, then by all means have that conversation, because it’s an issue truly crucial to reproductive rights. But that’s not the issue they want to shout about. They’d rather “deflect” by “denying” the personal responsibility part and instead push the magical thinking that pregnancy is unconnected to one’s behavior and happens all by itself. Sort of like a tumor—which makes it healthcare. Then, once again count on the idea that saying what you think people want to hear will “delay” common sense, and with it the incontrovertible truth that the only kind of forced pregnancy is the result of a rape.
A friend of mine, who was studying law at the time, once told me: “Don’t ever get a lawyer ticked off at you because they can make your life hell in 100 different ways, and every one of them will be legal.” So, it would appear that a courtroom skill set can be put to use in a number of different ways that have nothing to do with seeking justice or fair administration of the law; it can be used to settle petty personal accounts, and—relevant here—the deny, deflect, delay argument process can be used so fuzzy logic can sell an obvious snow job. It’s combining two professions into one; law and advertising. In popular culture we have hybrid descriptions of celebrity couples, such as Brangelina and Bennifer. Maybe this hybrid profession should be called Lawvertising.