I had a conversation with a friend many years ago. He said he wasn't going to be able to leave town for a while because he had jury duty and was stuck at the courthouse every day "until we convict this guy."
I scolded him. "You haven't even heard all the evidence yet! How can you have made up your mind?"
told me, "The dude is unemployed. He's been unemployed for years. But
he's sitting there in a $500 suit and $300 shoes and a $700 watch. He
didn't buy those with unemployment checks. Of course the dude is dealing
"But," I said, "Your job isn't to conclude
that he's a drug dealer. Your job isn't to determine that in general he's just a guilty guy. It's to determine whether or not he committed
the particular offense being brought before you."
I have to be honest. I was crushed when the medical examiner found Jennifer Morbelli's cause of death to be amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). AFE is rare, almost impossible to see coming, and stunningly lethal even with the best of care.
It wasn't what I wanted the medical examiner to find.
I wanted the medical examiner to find something more in keeping with all the nasty things abortionists have been caught doing -- something so glaringly appalling that there would be no making excuses any longer. I wanted desperately for the medical examiner to find a smoking gun, something that could be held up before the world as proof that the abortion glitteratzi don't vet their heroes beyond, "Hey, he does late abortions and says all the right things about why."
But the cause of death was AFE/DIC. It's possible, therefore, that the abortion lobby's perception is, in this case, correct -- that (conceding that he meant well in doing the abortion) Carhart did nothing wrong. And there's something wrong in me in that I hate that.
I leaped onto the story with both feet, ready to slam Carhart with blame, ready to assume he'd been spectacularly incompetent and/or negligent. And I'm pissed off. I'm like my friend in the courtroom looking at that perp. Come on! Look at the guy! He's clearly guilty!
What the hell is wrong with me, that a lack of spectacular incompetence and/or negligence is a source of disappointment?
I feel like I have too much in common with the vultures who perched waiting until Rosie Jimenez died. Just waiting for a corpse I could hang around the necks of the evil-doers. Waiting for a chance to pounce and scream, "SEE? This is what you people do! You KILL WOMEN!"
And I'm running away from being angry with myself. I don't want to be angry with myself. I don't want to remind myself to think the best of people and to start with the assumption that Jennifer had just been a victim of the truth that all surgery has risks. That would involve .. I can't even make myself say "Thinking the best of Carhart." I don't want to have a single positive thought about Carhart.
I'm embarrassed and ashamed of how eagerly I wanted to just slam Carhart. I was more invested in wanting to smack down Carhart's admirers than I was in finding out the truth.
I wanted so badly for this to break trust between Carhart and his supporters. Instead it made us seem even less trustworthy.
Part of me still screams out, "It's unfair! They don't vet their heroes." I'm outraged that their faith in him appears vindicated. That our distrust of him appears utterly baseless.
pissed off that facts and truth seem to be so much at odds here. How
can facts ever allow that man to come out smelling like roses? I feel
betrayed. I feel like I was set up -- even as I know that I walked into
it all of my own free will rather than waiting for all the facts to come
So here I sit, simultaneously ashamed and outraged. Ashamed that I wanted him to have done wrong, rather than being relieved that -- in this case at least -- he evidently didn't. And hey, maybe he cleaned up his act! Maybe Christin Gilbert's death made him decide to be more careful in the future. Wouldn't that be a good thing? Shouldn't I be happy?
Yet I'm not. I seem to have Carhart Derangement Syndrome.Just like the liberals who don't want to believe a single non-hideous thing about George W. Bush or Sarah Palin, I don't want to believe a single non-hideous thing about LeRoy Carhart.
I'm so at war with myself here it's not funny.
I'd like to conclude with wisdom, to say that I've learned the error of my ways and will be more careful to vet my conclusions in the future. Which (I hope) I will. I've done it in other situations. Why should it be so hard to do it in situations where the abortionist is somebody that I hold a special grudge against, and who is a particular darling of the abortion lobby?
I'd be so much more credible, after all, if I consistently said, "Okay, we know that a woman died, but let's remember we don't have all the facts yet. Maybe she died of food poisoning or bee sting or something."
At any rate, pray for me.