August 21, 2008

Frantic desperation time? What should Obama do? Say what he actually thinks?

This clip includes the subject addressed in the first post today, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. When you think about the exasperation Obama showed when asked about a subject he characterized as already dealt with and needing to be put behind us, consider that Bob Wright — someone who follows politics very closely — seemed never to have heard of the subject.


Bob said...

He should describe it as a "distraction" and go back to talking about hopenchange.

mwaaaa haaa haaa!

PJ said...

There has always been a gap between what popular pro-choice theory says a prospective mother is uniquely entitled to -- removal of the fetus from her body -- and what the prospective mother seeking an abortion usually wants -- avoidance of motherhood. In most cases, there's no problem because it's a package deal. But in the "unsuccessful abortion" situation, the prospective mother (arguably) gets what she's entitled to but not what she wants. With improving medical technology, this situation seems likely to arise more often.

I can't tell whether the Professor is voicing her own opinion, or merely a suggestion for what Obama's position might plausibly be, when she posits that the prospective mother is uniquely entitled to make the life-or-death decision even after the fetus has been removed from her body. But that position strikes me as very problematic, and I would be interested in seeing a more complete elaboration of it. Any suggestions?

XWL said...

Let's go really old school with this then, fetuses/infants have no legal rights until they can speak their own name. Until then, they're property of their mother, property that a mother may treat as well or as poorly as they wish, or trade to someone else, without recrimination.

vbspurs said...

Okay, I'll take a pass on this video. I think I understand what Christy said about not liking the divving up of the segments.

I have to agree, though on paper it sounds like a great idea. But it's a little fatiguing.

Theo Boehm said...

A candidate has to do a better job of explaining his or her positions than Sen. Obama has so far.

I have a high standard about this.  I'll tell you why:

Yesterday, I was very happy to meet Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) when she toured my company.  Her presence reminded me of her late husband, Sen. Paul Tsongas.

Sen. Tsongas was my favorite politician, and I still get emotional thinking of his tragic early death.  If he had lived, we would have had a man of integrity and sense in the Senate, and perhaps the White House, instead of John Kerry, who replaced Tsongas when he died.  As a result, we also might have been spared George Bush.

Those are might-have-beens.  I can't help remembering what was.

Paul Tsongas had an outstanding talent for explaining his reasoning and his positions on difficult or controversial issues without giving offense, and in such a way that you inevitably respected his thinking even if you disagreed in the end.  He didn't dodge issues and wasn't indecisive or wishy-washy, but he inevitably presented his case in such a way that left open the possibility of dialog.

He had principles, but he wasn't doctrinaire. This quality enabled him to work effectively across party lines on such things as The Concord Coalition with former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-NH).  Tsongas was frequently accused of being too pro-business and fiscally conservative, but his point was that we should focus on economic growth, and that the Government shouldn't squander the public's money.

Implicit in the way Tsongas communicated and presented himself was the realization that there are difficult choices in public life, but that we need to face them honestly, keep open minds about the best courses of action while making decisions, make them, and do something in the end.  Endless, paralyzing debate or thoughtless, precipitate action are the twin enemies of the public good.

I greatly admired that man for his pragmatic honesty, his knowledge, and his true liberality and generosity of spirit.  My wife was a student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at the time, and she had the opportunity to spend some time with Sen. Tsongas on several occasions when he visited the school.  She came to the same conclusion.

She also had a similar opportunity later with Sen. Kerry.  She came to a very different conclusion, but that is another story.

Sen. Obama resembles Sen. Tsongas in some superficial ways.  But Sen. Obama could learn a thing or two from the memory of Paul Tsongas about presenting his ideas in depth without an air of patronizing superiority or meandering thinking-out-loud. 

Sen. Obama: Speak to the issues.  Identify the choices.  Tell us what your positions are and why.  And do it in such a way that we don't have the sense your feeling pestered by us, or of your delivering some diktat pronounced from on high for the benefit of us lower creatures.  And we don't even mind a few stretchers told for political effect, as long as they aren't too outright or too pointless.

Otherwise, despite all your money, Sen. McCain is going to pound your ass.

Jill said...

Here's a link to yet another explanation by Obama regarding why he voted against it. Too bad it's another lie.