Monday, August 18, 2008

Barack Obama's artful dodge on abortion

I must be slipping, because someone had to tell me what Barack Obama had said during a debate on abortion: "Whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade." Obama is pro-choice, and he even said so on that debate. Thus, stating that he's pro-choice is ALREADY a specific answer on when he believes life begins: He believes that it begins at birth. I think Obama made a mistake trying to sound like he's trying to have it both ways. If he equivocates like that, it makes it sound like he either doesn't really support the pro-choice view, or that he's trying to say anything to get elected. Since he's pro-choice, he should argue from that perspective. Simple as that.


blackink said...

J.P., we were getting along so well. Come on.

Obama said "I'm pro-choice. I support Roe vs. Wade." There's no equivocation there.

What Obama went on to do is give a nuanced take on a complex question that no mortal has an answer to. Being pro-choice isn't all about figuring out when life begins.

It's about taking a look at issues beyond the birth and the reproductive rights of a woman. There's no clear answer there, you know?

And Obama's answer reflected the complexity of the issue, I think.

John P. Araujo said...

And there's no reason that we can't continue to get along well. We can agree to disagree and still get along well. Not the issue, amigo. :-)

In truth, Obama’s response was not unexpected. It's what most prochoice folks say in regards to the question of when life begins. Plain and simple, the truth is that such folks believe that life begins at birth, and that’s all Obama needed to say. For someone to truly say AND mean “I don’t know” or “It’s for greater minds to decide”, they’d have to have NO position on abortion until they’ve resolved the issue in their minds. Since Obama already has a stand on the abortion issue, he’s already resolved what he believes about when life begins.

What really disappoints me about Obama is his definition of "change". What’s “change” about a Democrat being prochoice? That’s what all the previous Democratic candidates for president have been for decades. And I’ll make a no-brainer prediction: He’s going to nominate a prochoice candidate as a running mate. His running mate is going to be like all the other Democratic running mates in being prochoice – just as it has been for decades. For me to believe his promises of change, he’d have to truly startle me with a prolife pick for a running mate.

Oh, and as for John “I believe that life begins at conception” McCain, if he picks a prochoice running mate, he would prove that he’s a hypocrite. If J-Mac does that, I’m voting 3rd party this time around. No doubt. I won’t be swayed by “throwing your vote away” arguments this time.