Thomas Sowell had an interesting comment in a column he wrote last week on the "torture" debate:
Dear Leader is not serious about abortion.There is a big difference between being ponderous and being serious. It is scary when the President of the United States is not being serious about matters of life and death, saying that there are "other ways" of getting information from terrorists.
This is his take on the abortion debate in this country:
What got overlooked is that, in all the applause lines, there is not a serious statement among them. Perversely, even obscenely, he is casual about a decision he acknowledges is not made casually, and even as he acknowledges the moral/spiritual dimensions to that decision, he declines to articulate the how and the why of his moral and spiritual views on the matter. His solution to the debate is to dodge the debate, even as he acknowledges the central issue that drives the debate: abortion as a form of birth control.That's when we begin to say, "Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions.
So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let's reduce unintended pregnancies. (Applause.) Let's make adoption more available. (Applause.) Let's provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term. (Applause.) Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women." Those are things we can do. (Applause.)
President Bush, when he opted to restrict funding for embryonic stem cell research in 2001 to 60 lines of stem cells created from already-destroyed embryos, had this to say:
Whether one agrees or disagrees with Bush's stance or his conclusion, one cannot argue that his is a serious statement on the moral dimensions of stem cell research: the benefits of medical research using destroyed embryos vs the destruction of human life. It is a serious statement because he directly confronts the moral conflict at the center of the debate. It is a serious statement because he states simply his position--it is a serious statement because he takes a serious stand. Indeed, Bush's entire stem cell speech is a serious statement on the moral debate on stem cell research.My position on these issues is shaped by deeply held beliefs. I'm a strong supporter of science and technology, and believe they have the potential for incredible good - to improve lives, to save life, to conquer disease. Research offers hope that millions of our loved ones may be cured of a disease and rid of their suffering. I have friends whose children suffer from juvenile diabetes. Nancy Reagan has written me about President Reagan's struggle with Alzheimer's. My own family has confronted the tragedy of childhood leukemia. And like all Americans, I have great hope for cures.
I also believe human life is a sacred gift from our creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your president I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world.
And while we're all hopeful about the potential of this research, no one can be certain that the science will live up to the hope it has generated.
Eight years ago, scientists believed fetal tissue research offered great hope for cures and treatments, yet the progress to date has not lived up to its initial expectations. Embryonic stem cell research offers both great promise and great peril, so I have decided we must proceed with great care.
As a result of private research, more than 60 genetically diverse stem cell lines already exist. They were created from embryos that have already been destroyed, and they have the ability to regenerate themselves indefinitely, creating ongoing opportunities for research.
I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines, where the life-and-death decision has already been made.
Dear Leader did not give a serious statement on abortion--he gave a set of throwaway lines, a regurgitation of standard liberal applause lines, and he used them solely to garner applause.
In his "More Perfect Union" speech during his campaign he threw his grandmother under the bus to construct a long-winded apologetic for his pastor's virulent anti-American racism. At Notre Dame he threw the unborn under the bus for cheap applause.
Sowell is right.....it is scary when a President is not serious about serious things.