Submitted By Todd on May 18th at 6:46pm
at Notre Dame.
Confronting the nation's deep schism over abortion, President Obama on Sunday called for greater understanding on all sides and "open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words" on the issue as he spoke to graduates at one of America's premier Catholic universities.This is The Celebrity President at his best - stepping into the middle of a swirl of emotion, and being a voice of calm. Playing leader, and calming the opposition - while making his base swoon anew.
"Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature."While the masses are being calmed by his fog of reasonableness, Barack pulls a classic bait and switch, pushing the positions of a classic liberal.
He has named abortion rights advocates to top jobs; Dawn Johnsen, a former legal director of Naral Pro-Choice America, is his pick to run the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. He has repealed the so-called Mexico City rule, which prohibited tax dollars from going to organizations that provide abortions overseas; lifted Mr. Bush’s limits on embryonic stem cell research; stripped financing for abstinence-only sex education; and is seeking to undo a last-minute Bush regulation giving broad protections to health providers who refuse to take part in abortions. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said she told allies that their movement was emerging from “eight years in the wilderness.”He sounds reasonable on the topic, suggesting that we all work to reduce unwanted pregnancies (wink, wink), while at the same time suggesting nothing on a policy level that would confirm his centrist pose.
Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, an advocacy group, said that if the president really wanted to forge consensus, he would advocate rules allowing parents to be notified if their teenage daughters sought an abortion and banning the procedure known as partial-birth abortion. As an Illinois state senator, Mr. Obama voted “present” on such initiatives, enabling their defeat.The game is a simple one.
“Moderate rhetoric, hard-left policies,” said Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, a vocal abortion opponent, assessing Mr. Obama’s approach.The President plays the healer, while behind the scenes, the troops are training for assault.
Douglas W. Kmiec, a constitutional scholar and former Notre Dame professor who was an outspoken critic of abortion when he worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush, said he had been advising the White House to use the speech at the university on Sunday to tackle the controversy head on, with the president making the case that “we already have agreement, we both respect life, we both view abortion as a moral tragedy.”It's a nice trick, having a foot on both sides of that fence, but we know the President doesn't believe at all.