Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wishful Revisionism

Here's how the President answered the question:

You know, the -- my view on -- on abortion, I think, has been very consistent. I think abortion is a moral issue and an ethical issue.

I think that those who are pro-choice make a mistake when they -- if they suggest -- and I don't want to create straw men here, but I think there are some who suggest that this is simply an issue about women's freedom and that there's no other considerations. I think, look, this is an issue that people have to wrestle with and families and individual women have to wrestle with.

The reason I'm pro-choice is because I don't think women take that -- that position casually. I think that they struggle with these decisions each and every day. And I think they are in a better position to make these decisions ultimately than members of Congress or a president of the United States, in consultation with their families, with their doctors, with their doctors, with their clergy.

Here's how I wish he had answered the question:

Look, I'm the President. I lead the executive branch. My job is to execute and implement the laws passed by the legislature and to uphold the Constitution as construed by the courts.

The current law of the land on the issue of abortion has been expressed by the US Supreme Court in Roe v Wade. My job is to enforce and uphold that law. My personal or moral judgments should have nothing to do with it.

Next question.

Labels: ,


Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

I wish he'd said:

"I wonder about folks who think women undergo abortion casually, or for trivial reasons.

Mainly they're men, and I wonder of the women in their lives--wives, mothers, sisters, etc--know in what LOW regard their men hold them, to believe something like that about other women.

But he's really gutless.

By the way: 3rd Bloggi-Versary at the Pond.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Avedon said...

Woody, they're not all men. Some of them are women, some of whom even have abortions - but think that their reasons are better than the reasons of other women. And still oppose legal abortion.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa at Shakespeare's Sister has a great takedown of Obama's reply to the question about abortion: "Obama Still Not Getting It on Abortion."

The question itself never asked him whether he supports the current state of law on abortion. It asked him whether he will fulfill a campaign promise to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act, a law which will clearly protect a woman's right to not only choose and also to effect her choice free of hindrances.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. In a couple of weeks, you're going to be giving the commencement at Notre Dame, and as you know, this has caused a lot of controversy among Catholics who are opposed to your position on abortion.

As a candidate, you vowed that one of the very first things you wanted to do was sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which, as you know, would eliminate federal, state and local restrictions on abortion. And at one point in the campaign, when asked about abortion and life, you said that it was above -- quote, "above my pay grade."

Now that you've been president for a hundred days, obviously your pay grade is a little higher than when you were a senator. (Laughter.) Do you still hope that Congress quickly sends you the Freedom of Choice Act, so you can sign it?
The part of his answer which actually addresses the question is this, which offers thin gruel those who support the right of women to make a choice and to implement that choice safely:

Obama: Now, the Freedom of Choice Act is not my highest legislative priority. I believe that women should have the right to choose, but I think that the most important thing we can do to tamp down some of the -- the anger surrounding this issue is to focus on those areas that we can agree on. And that's -- that's where I'm going to focus. (Melissa's emphasis, with which I fully concur, plus my own)I'm glad he didn't resort to the Bush formulation of "presidents must enforce the law as it exists" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge to the anti-choice crowd). At least he didn't do that.

But he surely did not stand on his own previous words nor stand for the legislation.

To some, this is a surprise; to others, not so much. WORMs and such....


11:59 AM  
Blogger hipparchia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:07 PM  
Blogger hipparchia said...

apologies for the bad formatting, trying again...

what the actual question was:

Do you still hope that Congress quickly sends you the Freedom of Choice Act, so you can sign it?what obama's answer should have been:


8:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home