When Mitt Romney was confronted at last Saturday’s Republican Presidential debate whether he believes that the states have the right to ban contraception, he was Stephanopoulized. This is a new word that describes the persistence of prominent media personalities to create controversy where none exists. I expect to see the definition in the next edition of Webster’s Dictionary along with a picture of ABC’s George Stephanopoulos all tied up in knots while he is trying to corner some poor soul with his “gotcha” line of questioning.
George was trying to elicit from Romney a declaration that the Supreme Court was wrong in its 1965 decision, Griswold v. Connecticut. The court voted 7 to 2 against a state law that banned contraception. Romney perplexedly responded by stating that no state has proposed banning contraception, so it is not an issue. Poor George kept on insisting that Mitt answer the question directly regarding a state’s right to ban contraceptives. In the end, Stephanopoulos looked like a complete fool by trying to gin up a controversy that does not exist.
Because of Griswold v. Connecticut, many people in this country believe that the Constitution contains a “right to privacy” clause. It does not. Justice William O. Douglas declared this right was in the various constitutional protections. It was citations in this case that ended up disqualifying many state laws regarding sexual behavior and abortion when they reached the Supreme Court.
Lucky for George, he now has his place in the history of English language. Now when someone tries to question you using a ridiculous premise. you can say you were Stephanopoulized.
Here is the YouTube link to Stephanopoulos versus Romney: http://youtu.be/6pxyzAjk72U