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posted Mar 1, 2010, 6:08 AM by Robert Alexander   [ updated Mar 1, 2010, 11:39 AM ]


By: Mike Prunty


Why on earth is the Virginia’s Republican Delegate Bob Marshall receiving so much attention? Could it be because he is so staunchly pro-life on the abortion issue? Perhaps… but on the other hand, so are lots of other people, even including a few Democrats.
Could it be because he is guilty of labeling children born with certain abnormalities of mothers who had previous induced initial abortions as “punishments from God?” No, it is not. Well, you could certainly make the case that he is getting attention from being “accused” of saying that, but not because it is in any way true. After all, facts must not be allowed to get in the way of an attempt at political assassination, should that turn out to be the case.
The transcript of his actual statement, which unfortunately took four days from the time of the news conference at the state capitol to become available to prove his innocence, gave Marshall’s political enemies ample time to run ready and viral with a deliberately distorted inference, or rather, a re-interpretation of his actual statement as reported by a non-professional journalism student at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Communications named Kelsey Radcliffe.
Oddly however, aside from the absence of clarification as to the amateur status of this so-called reliable “news source,” little mention has been made that the other established news media organizations present, including ABC News Channel 8, CBN, The Washington Post, The Richmond Times Dispatch, The Virginian Pilot, The Associated Press and others never made any such report of this interpretation of Marshall’s statement by their considerably keen and…well…professional observations.
Despite this absence for the next two days, that upon the third day after-the-fact the entire world of journalism was then ready to explode nationwide with accounts of outrage and condemnation upon the unsuspecting subject of the story, Bob Marshall, without once questioning the veracity of the initiator of the controversy. That is, Kelsey Radcliffe. So much then, I suppose, for the news media.
Could the real issue behind the issue actually be about healthcare? Bob Marshall’s landmark legislation known as HB-10, The Healthcare Freedom Act, has in fact been drawing a great deal of national attention of late because of its bringing forth the use of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The case has thus been made here that the federal government has no legal right whatsoever to impose, among other things, individual mandates forcing Virginia citizens to purchase healthcare insurance, through either a government run plan, or a “government approved” private plan.
I must say that I've noticed on several occasions in the previous days and weeks, both in local and national media such as on FOX News, World Net Daily's "Radio America" and other places, certain Republicans and others had been appearing and discussing this bill and its positive ramifications for the nation in great detail without once mentioning Bob Marshall's name, or crediting him whatsoever for being the author of this legislation. In light of wide speculation of a possible attempt at the U.S. Senate, one can only speculate upon motivation. Yet I have noticed the warp speed with which some fellow Republicans have bolted to condemn Marshall over this issue well before presentation of the transcript and video evidence as it was being sought by Marshall.
Most notable among those is our new Governor, Bob McDonnell. Interestingly, Marshall and McDonnell have been working with each other for nearly twenty years with what could easily be observed as a friendly and respectful relationship. Yet the Governor, along with a number of other Republicans, were trigger ready to accept without question a distinctly debatable, inaccurate and curiously long (3 days) after-the-fact inference by the aforesaid journalism student at V.C.U., and rush to the most extreme course of action… the public disavowing of a twenty year veteran fellow legislator.
Did the Governor or the other Republicans even hesitate to take a brief thoughtful moment to contact one of their own, who up to that point was a long and reliable ally, and offer him the minimum courtesy of first seeking his side of the story? In McDonnell’s case, he took spontaneous direct aim at one the fiercest advocates of much of his own agenda.
This is horribly wrong and misguided. I cannot help but wonder whether this may have possibly portrayed to many observers an overt attempt at deliberate character assassination, emerging not only from the left by Planned Parenthood, but perhaps even by a few dark souls within Marshall’s own ranks.
The theory I offer here is that the real reason Marshall has been getting so much attention…is that he was beginning to get so much attention. Daily it is becoming easier to believe that both his natural predators on the left were at work to stop his star from rising, quite likely with a lot of help from his so-called friends, all on the hunt deep inside the same political jungle.
Stopping the taxpayer funding of abortions was and still is the right thing to do. For maintaining the courage of his convictions and taking the heat without backing down, my hat is tipped to Delegate Bob Marshall. This is rare in today’s politics. It should be celebrated. Yet we see role of leadership punished with a lonely existence.
Once again sadly, while frozen with paranoia obsessing over endless “third party” conspiracy theories, Republicans stubbornly persist in continuous oscillation between eating their own and forming their firing squads in a circle.



Mike Prunty is President and Founder of The American Freedom Project based in Yorktown, Virginia. You can email him at MPRUNTY@AFPCSF.COM.