Obama et Biden s’enfoncent sur la question de l’avortement

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En matière d’avortement, il n’y a décidemment rien à attendre d’Obama et de Biden sinon que, pour défendre l’indéfendable, ils
sont prêts à toutes les contorsions. Obama botte en touche sur la théologie ; le “catholque” Joe Biden croit aussi intelligent d’avancer, pour la défense de sa thèse, une petite
phrase de saint Thomas, que l’avait imaginé la “catholique” Nancy Pelosi en citant une autre petite phrase de saint Augustin ! Entre le Vice Président du “ticket” démocrate
et Madame Speaker, les enchères théologiques sont ouvertes. Ils parlent comme des perroquets mais sont sourds : pourtant quarante millions d’enfants avortés aux États-Unis crient.
Ils s’en f… Voilà ce qu’on appelle un “ticket gagnant” ! La Catholic League a fait paraître aujourd’hui ce roboratif communiqué :

« On a demandé au sénateur Barack Obama, invité hier [dimanche 7 septembre] dans l’émission This Week sur ABC-TV, de commenter le récent mot d’esprit qu’il a fait en
disant qu’il était incapable de dire quand la vie commençait car c’était
« au-delà de ses compétences ». Il a qualifié cette réponse de « trop désinvolte », précisant : «
Ce que je voulais faire passer c’est que je ne puis présumer être capable de répondre à ce type de questions d’ordre théologique ».
Dans l’émission Meet the Press d’hier, on a aussi interrogé le sénateur Biden sur l’avortement.
« Je suis disposé à accepter les enseignements de mon Église » a-t-il
déclaré. Biden a insisté sur le fait
« qu’en matière de foi », il acceptait la position que « la vie commence à la conception » mais qu’il n’entendait pas imposer sa position
religieuse aux autres. Il a également fait référence à saint Thomas d’Aquin en disant que ce grand théologien ne croyait pas que la vie commençait avant les premiers mouvements du fœtus, quarante
jours après la conception ».

Bill Donohue, président de la Catholic League réagit à cela aujourd’hui :

Obama et Biden ont embourbé davantage encore le problème de l’avortement en faisant comme si il n’était pas, d’abord et avant tout, un problème de droit humain. La réponse à la
question de savoir quand la vie commence a été réglé par la science, et cette réponse est indubitable : la vie commence à la conception. C’est pourquoi des athées, comme Nat Hentoff, sont
contre l’avortement : tout simplement parce qu’il tue ! En se défaussant de la question de l’avortement sur la religion, Obama et Biden tentent de transformer un problème
d’importance universel en une querelle de paroisse.
Biden ferait mieux de ne pas invoquer l’Aquinate pour venir au secours de ses opinions. Il est vrai que saint Thomas croyait que l’effusion de l’âme ne se produisait qu’au
quarantième jour après la conception, mais il n’a pour autant jamais cherché à justifier l’avortement : il savait que c’était une faute grave.
Obama qui se prétend chrétien a fait référence hier à sa « foi musulmane ». On ne sait pourquoi il a dit cela, mais ce qui est indiscutable c’est que le catholicisme et l’islam sont dans
le vrai quant à savoir quand la vie commence. Il est temps qu’Obama et Biden considèrent l’avortement pour ce qu’il est : le problème de droit civique fondamental de notre temps
».

9 comments

  1. Marie

    Pourrait-on savoir qu’elle a été exactement la phrase dans laquelle Obama a fait mention de sa foi musulmane ?
    La chose serait assez intéressante, et susceptible de soulever bien des interrogations chez les électeurs américains…

  2. Castille

    Le candidat démocrate se nomme Barack Hussein Obama. De nous jours cela ne suffit pas toujours. L’onomastique n’avait pas prévu cette mondialisation du nom. Mais quand même….”Y en a”, comme on dirait chez Audiard.

  3. Sebaneau

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122108935141721343.html?mod=Commentary-US
    Obama Can’t Win Against Palin

    By KARL ROVE,  11
    September 2008

    Of all the advantages Gov. Sarah Palin has brought to the GOP
    ticket, the most important may be that she has gotten into Barack
    Obama’s head. How else to explain Sen. Obama’s decision to go
    one-on-one against “Sarah Barracuda,” captain of the Wasilla High state
    basketball champs?

    It’s a matchup he’ll lose. If Mr. Obama wants to win, he needs to
    remember he’s running against John McCain for president, not Mrs. Palin
    for vice president.
     

    Michael Dukakis spent the last months of the 1988 campaign calling
    his opponent’s running mate, Dan Quayle, a risky choice and even ran a
    TV ad blasting Mr. Quayle. The Bush/Quayle ticket carried 40 states.

    Adlai Stevenson spent the fall of 1952 bashing Dwight Eisenhower’s
    running mate, Richard Nixon, calling him “the kind of politician who
    would cut down a redwood tree, and then mount the stump and make a
    speech for conservation.” The Republican ticket carried 39 of 48 states.

    If Mr. Obama keeps attacking Mrs. Palin, he could suffer the fate of
    his Democratic predecessors. These assaults highlight his own
    tissue-thin résumé, waste precious time better spent reassuring voters
    he is up for the job, and diminish him — not her.

    Consider Mr. Obama’s response to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who asked
    him about Republican claims that Mrs. Palin beats him on executive
    experience. Mr. Obama responded by comparing Wasilla’s 50 city workers
    with his campaign’s 2,500 employees and dismissed its budget of about
    $12 million a year by saying “we have a budget of about three times
    that just for the month.” He claimed his campaign “made clear” his
    “ability to manage large systems and to execute.”

    Of course, this ignores the fact that Mrs. Palin is now governor.
    She manages an $11 billion operating budget, a $1.7 billion capital
    expenditure budget, and nearly 29,000 full- and part-time state
    employees. In two years as governor, she’s vetoed over $499 million
    from Alaska’s capital budget — more money than Mr. Obama is likely to
    spend on his entire campaign.

    And Mr. Obama is not running his campaign’s day-to-day operation.
    His manager, David Plouffe, assisted by others, makes the decisions
    about the $335 million the campaign has spent. Even if Mr. Obama is his
    own campaign manager, does that qualify him for president?

    A debate between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Palin over executive experience
    also isn’t smart politics for Democrats. As Mr. Obama talks down Mrs.
    Palin’s record, voters may start comparing backgrounds. He won’t come
    off well.

    Then there was Mr. Obama’s blast Saturday about Mrs. Palin’s record
    on earmarks. He went at her personally, saying, “you been taking all
    these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you are the
    champion anti-earmark person.”

    It’s true. Mrs. Palin did seek earmarks as Wasilla’s mayor. But as
    governor, she ratcheted down the state’s requests for federal dollars,
    telling the legislature last year Alaska “cannot and must not rely so
    heavily on federal government earmarks.” Her budget chief directed
    state agencies to reduce earmark requests to only “the most compelling
    needs” with “a strong national purpose,” explaining to reporters “we
    really want to skinny it down.”

    Mr. Obama has again started a debate he can’t win. As senator, he
    has requested nearly $936 million in earmarks, ratcheting up his
    requests each year he’s been in the Senate. If voters dislike earmarks
    — and they do — they may conclude Mrs. Palin cut them, while Mr.
    Obama grabs for more each year.

    Mr. Obama may also pay a price for his “lipstick on a pig” comment.
    The last time the word “lipstick” showed up in this campaign was during
    Mrs. Palin’s memorable ad-lib in her acceptance speech. Mr. Obama says
    he didn’t mean to aim the comment at Mrs. Palin, but he deserves all
    the negative flashback he gets from the snarky aside.

    Sen. Joe Biden has now joined the attack on Mrs. Palin, saying this
    week that her views on issues show she’s “obviously a backwards step
    for women.” This is a mistake. Mr. Obama is already finding it
    difficult to win over independent women and Hillary Clinton voters. If
    it looks like he’s going out of his way to attack Mrs. Palin, these
    voters may conclude it’s because he has a problem with strong women.

    In Denver two weeks ago, Mr. Obama said, “If you don’t have a record
    to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run
    from.” That’s what he’s trying to do, only the object of his painting
    is Sarah Palin, not John McCain.

    In Mrs. Palin, Mr. Obama faces a political phenomenon who has
    altered the election’s dynamics. Americans have rarely seen someone who
    immediately connects with large numbers of voters at such a visceral
    level. Mrs. Palin may be the first vice presidential candidate since
    Lyndon B. Johnson to change an election’s outcome. If Mr. Obama keeps
    attacking her, the odds of Gov. Palin becoming Vice President Palin
    increase significantly.

    Mr. Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

  4. Elise B.

    En réponse à Marie, voici ce que j’ai trouvé:

    The Democratic presidential candidate appeared on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, which aired Sunday morning.

    Obama was — ironically — addressing the false rumors that he is Muslim. He suggested that Republican rival John McCain was behind them, according to ABC News.

    Obama was reminded that McCain denied spreading the rumors.

    “You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith,” Obama said, before being corrected by Stephanopoulos.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/1150540,CST-NWS-faith08.article#

     

  5. Sebaneau

    http://chat.anncoulter.com/phpBB3//viewtopic.php?f=27&t=68336
    OBAMA: LUCIFER IS MY HOMEBOY
    Ann Coulter
    ,  17 September 2008


    It’s
    another election season, so that means it’s time for Democrats to start
    uttering wild malapropisms about the Bible to pretend they believe in
    God!


    In 2000, we had Al Gore inverting a Christian parable
    into something nearly satanic. Defending his nutty ideas about the
    Earth during one of the debates, Gore said: “In my faith tradition,
    it’s written in the book of Matthew, where your heart is, there is your
    treasure also.” And that, he said, is why we should treasure the
    environment.


    First of all, people who say “faith tradition”
    instead of “religion” are always phony-baloney, “Christmas and
    Easter”-type believers.


    Second, Jesus was making almost the
    exact opposite point, saying: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures
    on Earth,” where there are moths, rust and thieves, but in heaven,
    because, Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be
    also.”


    I guess that’s the kind of mix-up that can happen when your theological adviser is Naomi Wolf.

    Then
    in 2004, Democratic presidential candidate and future Trivial Pursuit
    answer Howard Dean told an interviewer that his favorite part of the
    New Testament was the Book of Job. The reporter should have asked him
    if that was his favorite book in all three testaments.


    And now
    in 2008, we have Democrats attacking Sarah Palin for being a Christian,
    while comparing Obama to Jesus Christ. (And not in the sarcastic way
    the rest of us do.)


    Liberals have indignantly claimed that
    Palin thinks the founding fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, which
    is Olbmermannic in the sense that (a) if it were true, it’s trivial,
    and (b) it’s not true.


    Their claim is based on a questionnaire
    Palin filled out when she was running for governor of Alaska in 2006,
    which asked the candidates if they were “offended by the phrase ‘under
    God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance.” Palin answered: “Not on your life.
    If it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for
    me, and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.”


    As
    anyone can see, Palin was not suggesting that the founding fathers
    “wrote” the Pledge of Allegiance: She said the founding fathers
    believed this was a country “under God.” Which, um, it is.


    For
    the benefit of MSNBC viewers who aren’t watching it as a joke, the
    whole point of the Declaration of Independence was to lay out the
    founders’ breathtaking new argument that rights came not from the king,
    but from God or, as the Declaration said, “Nature’s God,” the
    “Creator.”


    That summer, in 1776, Gen. George Washington — a
    charter member of the founding fathers — rallied his troops, saying:
    “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether
    Americans are to be freemen or slaves. … The fate of unborn millions
    will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of the army.”


    So
    Washington not only used the phrase “under God,” but gave us one of the
    earliest known references to the rights of the “unborn.” That’s right!
    George Washington was a “pro-life extremist,” just like Sarah Palin.


    There is no disputing that a nation “under God” was “good enough” for the founding fathers, exactly as Palin said.

    Meanwhile,
    on the House floor last week, Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee
    compared Palin to Pontius Pilate — and Obama to Jesus. Cohen said:
    “Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus, who our minister
    prayed about. Pontius Pilate was a governor.” Yes, who can forget the
    Biblical account of how Jesus got the homeless Samaritan to register as
    a Democrat in exchange for a carton of smokes!


    Rep. Cohen would be well-advised to stay away from New Testament references.

    As
    anyone familiar with the New Testament can confirm for him, there are
    no parables about Jesus passing out cigarettes for votes, lobbying the
    Romans for less restrictive workfare rules or filing for grants under
    the Community Redevelopment Act.
    No
    time for soul-saving now! First, we lobby Fannie Mae to ease off those
    lending standards and demand a windfall profits tax on the
    money-changers in the temple.


    David Freddoso’s magnificent new book, The Case Against Barack Obama describes the forefather to “community organizers” like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — the famed Saul Alinsky.

    Alinsky
    is sort of the George Washington of “community organizers.” If there
    were an America-hater’s Mount Rushmore, Saul Alinsky would be on it. He
    tried to hire Hillary to work for him right out of Wellesley. A
    generation later, those who had trained with Alinsky did hire Obama as
    a community organizer.


    In Freddoso’s book, he quotes from the dedication in the first edition of Alinsky’s seminal book, “Rules for Radicals,” where Alinsky wrote:

    “Lest
    we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very
    first radical: From all our legends, mythology and history (and who is
    to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is
    which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the
    establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own
    kingdom —
    Lucifer.”

    I suppose it could have been worse. He could have dedicated his book to George Soros.

    Even
    liberals eventually figured out that they shouldn’t be praising Satan
    in public, so the Lucifer-as-inspiration paragraph was cut from later
    editions of Alinsky’s book. (But on the bright side, MSNBC adopted as
    its motto: “Who is to know where mythology leaves off and history
    begins — or which is which.”)


    That’s exactly what happens to
    most Democratic ideas — as soon as they are said out loud, normal
    people react with revulsion, so Democrats learn to pretend they never
    said them:

    I was NOT comparing Palin
    to a pig! I did not play the race card! I did not say I would meet with
    Ahmadinejad without preconditions!


    Sarah Palin might be
    just the lucky break the Democrats need. As a staunch pro-lifer, Palin
    could give Democrats an excuse to steer away from topics they know
    nothing about, like the
    Bible, and onto a subject they know chapter and verse, like abortion.

  6. Sebaneau

    Joe Biden loses Barack Obama the Catholic vote
     
    By: Gerald Warner <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/gerald_warner> at Sep 19, 2008


    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/gerald_warner/blog/2008/09/19/joe_biden_loses_barack_obama_the_catholic_vote

    More, as promised, on Senator Joe Biden (why should Sarah Palin get
    all the coverage?). Remember, you read it here first: on September 11
    this blog reported a mounting backlash from Catholic bishops against
    Biden, Barack Obama’s “Catholic” pro-abortion running mate. At that
    time I estimated eight bishops had come out to denounce Biden; the
    total is now 55. Beyond that, Biden is being trashed across every state
    of the Union by Catholic newspapers, TV and radio stations, and blogs.
    It is a tsunami of rejection.


    Joe Biden has really put his foot in it with the Catholics

    The story has now hit the secular media. Last Saturday Time magazine asked: “Does Biden Have a Catholic Problem?” By Wednesday the issue had moved onto the front page of the New York Times. Joe the Jinx has blown it, big time. Biden has only himself to blame:
    he started this war, with his notoriously undisciplined mouth. He knew
    the dangers. Last August, Archbishop Raymond Burke, former Archbishop
    of St Louis and now Prefect of the Apostolic Segnatura in Rome, said
    communion should be denied to pro-abortion politicians “until they have
    reformed their lives”.

    Archbishop Chaput of Denver had already announced Biden should not
    receive communion because of his pro-abortion views. Defiantly, Biden
    took communion in his home parish in Delaware in late August. On
    September 2 the Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania (a crucial swing
    state) banned him from communion in his diocese. That is effective
    excommunication. Then came the crucial provocation. On NBC’s Meet the Press programme on September 7 Biden grossly misrepresented the Catholic
    Church’s teaching on abortion and audaciously cited St Thomas Aquinas
    in his own cause.

    That did it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had already done the same
    thing on the same programme, in her instance citing St Augustine. Even
    the torpid US bishops could not have false doctrine glibly broadcast by
    public figures, misleading their flock. So the counterattack described
    here last week began, culminating in a statement from the US Bishops’
    Conference. The bishops of Kansas City have also issued a pastoral
    letter on the subject. It is open season on Biden.

    There are 47 million Catholic voters in the United States. One
    quarter of all registered voters are Catholics. At every presidential
    election in the past 30 years the Catholic vote has gone to the winning
    candidate, except for Al Gore in 2000. This year 41 per cent of
    Catholics are independents – up from 30 per cent in 2004. Psephologists
    claim practising Catholics were the decisive factor in the crucial
    swing states in 2004: in Ohio 65 per cent of Catholics voted for Bush,
    in Florida 66 per cent. They were drifting away in disillusionment from
    the Republicans and split 50-50, until Joe Biden worked his magic. This
    is electoral suicide by the Democrats.

    Full coverage of the US Election 2008 <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/>

  7. Sebaneau
    The Weekly Standard

    More Catholic Than the Pope
    by Joseph Bottum,
    Weekly Standard, 09/29/2008, Volume 014, Issue 03

    Joe Biden’s and Nancy Pelosi’s
    ill-fated ventures into theological disputation.

    Do they think this is a debate they’re actually going to win? Do
    they imagine the Catholic theologians of America–from Avery Cardinal
    Dulles all the way to Sister Sara Butler–are suddenly going to whack
    their heads and say, “My God, we never thought of that”? What impulse
    makes Catholic politicians try to argue theology with their own church?

    There it was, at the end of August, when Nancy Pelosi, the Catholic speaker of the House, went on Meet the Press to explain that abortion is not theologically wrong:

    “What I know is,
    over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to
    make that definition. And St. Augustine said at three months. .  .  . I
    don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins.
    As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this.”

    And then, two weeks later, Joe Biden, the Catholic vice-presidential candidate, went back on Meet the Press to add:

    “There is a debate in our church. .  .  . Back in Summa Theologia, when Thomas Aquinas wrote Summa Theologia,
    he said there was no–it didn’t occur until quickening, 40 days after
    conception. How am I going out and tell you, if you or anyone else that
    you must insist upon my view that is based on a matter of faith?”

    With their typical patience, the theologians replied that theology
    has always taken its facts from the biological sciences when talking
    about biological issues–and science these days makes clearer how
    gestation works than it did in the fourth century. For that matter,
    Augustine explicitly condemned abortion at any stage, as did Thomas
    Aquinas, and besides, quickening (the fetal motion that usually occurs
    between 90 and 120 days in a pregnancy) is completely different from
    the Thomistic account of the development of the intellective soul
    around the 40th day, and Speaker Pelosi seems to have confused .  .  .
    while Senator Biden may not have fully grasped .  .  .

    On and on it went, as stylized as a Kabuki performance–until, with his typical impatience, Denver’s archbishop, Charles Chaput, summed up:

    Meet the Press has become a national window on the flawed moral reasoning of some
    Catholic public servants.”

    Fourteen bishops have now issued public
    statements on the Pelosi and Biden gaffes.

    In part, what these politicians are doing is dredging up the
    half-remembered talking points of elections past–the sort of block of
    eroded verbiage that the Catholic John Kerry sometimes used during the
    2004 presidential campaign, as when, for example, he said his position
    on abortion was in line with the liberalism of the (non-existent) Pope
    Pius XXIII and the changes wrought by “the Vatican II.”

    Along the way, however, Kerry established what seems to have become
    a new default position for Democratic Catholics–one of those spots to
    which the minds of politicians, like overstretched rubber-bands, always
    snap back. The default position used to be the one established by Mario
    Cuomo, in a famous talk he gave at Notre Dame in 1984, which claimed
    that Catholic officials may resist Church teaching by being personally opposed to abortion even though they publicly support it.

    Now, however, the position seems to have become the notion that Catholic officials must resist Catholic teaching, since opposition to abortion is inherently
    religious –a matter solely of narrow sectarian definition, like not
    eating meat on Fridays. The fact that the Catholic Church holds a view
    has become the reason that Catholic politicians are required to oppose
    it. As Biden told Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press,

    “I voted
    against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept
    my religiously based view.”

    Perhaps one shouldn’t read too much into those particular comments, for
    the babbling brook that is Joe Biden  often overflows its banks.
    Campaigning in Missouri, for example, he noted the praise that has come
    to Sarah Palin  for her care for her Down syndrome baby, and he demanded
    that Republicans be asked,

    “If you care about it, why don’t you support
    stem cell research?”

    Leave aside the fact that, even back in the 2004 glory days of
    overinflated claims for stem cells, no one seriously claimed they would
    soon cure Down syndrome. Leave aside, as well, the fact that the use of
    embryonic stem cells is what the pro-life community rejects.
    Leave aside, for that matter, the fact that the recent scientific
    breakthroughs with reprogrammed cells taken from adults have pushed
    much of the issue off the political table. Consider just the fact that
    Biden was declaring his own Catholic position on embryonic stem cells
    to be uncaring. As the philosopher Francis Beckwith observed of the
    incident, this is a man who won’t even force his beliefs on himself.

    But Joe Biden–like Nancy Pelosi and other Catholic supporters of the
    Obama campaign–are caught in a bind that is, in many ways, even
    tighter this year than the one that squeezed John Kerry and his
    Catholic followers four years ago. Back in 2002, the Vatican office
    headed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger issued a note about the
    participation of Catholics in political life. Declaring that
    politicians have “a duty to be morally coherent” –an explicit rejection
    of the Cuomoesque attempt to distinguish private from public
    positions– the note insisted that

     

    “a well-formed Christian conscience
    does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual
    law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.”

    Some American bishops took this to mean that Catholic officials who
    support the legality of abortion should not present themselves for
    communion or identify themselves as Catholics. Most of the nation’s
    bishops, however, followed the lead of Washington’s cardinal, Theodore
    McCarrick, who put together what was widely reported as a compromise in
    the summer of 2004. McCarrick’s task force rejected

    “the denial of
    communion from Catholic politicians or Catholic voters,”

    while
    recommending that bishops give private instruction on the life issues
    to the politicians in their dioceses. This is the model apparently
    followed by Biden’s bishop at the time, Michael Saltarelli, and still
    followed by San Francisco’s archbishop, George Niederauer, who has
    asked Pelosi to meet with him to discuss her comments on Meet the Press.

    But things in Catholic circles have changed since 2004.
    To begin
    with, Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, which makes his instructions
    a little harder to ignore. Then, in 2005, McCarrick turned 75, the age
    at which bishops are required to offer their resignations–an offer the
    Vatican promptly accepted. All along the line, the identification of
    Catholicism with the rejection of abortion has hardened into something
    that Catholic church-goers and the general American public all
    recognize.

    American politics, too, has undergone a ch
    ange over the past four years. Here’s a curious fact: Not once was the word abortion mentioned from the dais of the Democratic convention in 2004. That
    convention seemed, at times, about nothing except embryonic stem cell
    research, as speaker after speaker denounced the Luddite Republican
    opposition to all things scientific. But the Democrats at the time
    clearly did not see the defense of Roe v. Wade as a winning issue.

    Then came the Democratic victories in the 2006 midterm elections and
    the collapse of public approval ratings for President Bush–followed by
    polls early in 2008 that suggested anyone from a blind monkey to Che
    Guevara, if he ran as a Democrat, would win the 2008 presidential
    election. Conservative positions were so unpopular, the left decided,
    that concessions (like the one that forced them to support the
    self-declared pro-life Democrat Bob Casey Jr. in the 2008 Pennsylvania
    Senate race) no longer needed to be made.

    And so the platform adopted at their convention in Denver this year
    begins its mention of abortion with the flat sentence:

    “The Democratic
    Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of
    ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or
    undermine that right.”

    For that matter, Senator Barack Obama proclaimed
    his party’s support for legalized abortion in the extravaganza of his
    acceptance speech at the Democratic convention–even though he had been
    widely mocked for appearing astonishingly unreflective about the issue,
    declaring at the Saddleback Church interviews in August that the
    question of when life begins is “above my pay grade.”

    Not helping him at all was South Carolina’s Democratic chairwoman,
    Carol Fowler, who swiped at Sarah Palin by saying the Republicans had
    nominated a vice-presidential candidate

    “whose primary qualification
    seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”

    Nonetheless, early this
    month, the Obama campaign began running radio ads about the evil that
    would follow if the Republicans are elected and “Roe v. Wade is overturned.” All along the line, liberal columnists and party
    activists have been far more vocal about abortion than they were in
    2004.

    So what’s Joe Biden to do? What, for that matter, is any Catholic
    supporter of Obama to do? The ledge on which they are trying to stand
    is crumbling beneath their feet. Douglas Kmiec, a former legal counsel
    in the Reagan administration, has gotten the most publicity for his
    Catholic praise of the Democratic ticket. Indeed, he’s made a new
    career for himself out of being a Catholic Republican who supports
    Obama: pouring out op-eds, delivering speeches, and penning a
    just-released book, Can a Catholic Support Him?–Asking the Big Question About Barack Obama.

    The title is a tease, as you might expect. “What’s wrong,” he
    writes, “is for Republican partisans to claim” that support for
    abortion is Obama’s position.

    “It’s not. Rather, Obama believes there
    are alternative ways to promote the ‘culture of life,’ even given the
    law’s sanction of abortion.”

    The trouble, of course, is that Obama has
    given little indication he believes anything of the sort, and, in the
    months Kmiec spent writing the book, the Democrats have systematically
    undermined its premise by explicitly endorsing Roe v. Wade and refusing any concessions that abortion might be even a necessary evil.

    In response to it all, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden were reduced to
    the idiocy of trying to argue theology on the Sunday morning shows, and
    Kmiec’s claims have dwindled down to a kind of old-fashioned
    double-effect argument: The Republicans are so wrong about other
    issues, especially the Iraq war and the economy, that Catholics should
    vote for the Democratic party and accept the Democrats’ support for
    legalized abortion as an unintended consequence.

    Who’s likely to be convinced by such a position? Republicans have
    occasionally tacked away from pro-life voters. There’s a solid argument
    to be made that the fact of Sarah Palin’s nomination, together with the
    visual presentation of her family at the Republican convention, made as
    strong a pro-life argument as it’s possible to make. Still, in the
    convention’s acceptance speeches–an hour and a half of speechmaking
    from McCain and Palin–the issue was explicitly mentioned only once,
    with the brief phrase “a culture of life” coming in a laundry list late
    in McCain’s speech. And pro–lifers have been made nervous by McCain’s
    recent answer to a science group’s questionnaire, in which he affirmed
    his support for

    “federal funding for embryonic stem cell research,”

    though he insists on unspecified limits. His campaign has announced
    that it is airing radio ads about stem cells. Embryonic? Adult?
    Reprogrammed pluripotent cells? The ad doesn’t say, but the fact of the
    ad is not reassuring.

    Still, here is where the doctrine of double effect might actually
    have some purchase. Abortion is so grave an evil that some errors from
    McCain might be acceptable. Polls over the last few elections
    consistently show much weaker Catholic opposition to embryonic stem
    cell research than to abortion.

    As it happens, those same polls consistently show little that can be
    identified as a uniquely Catholic vote, once the presidential election
    has narrowed down the choice to the two parties’ candidates. The
    Democratic primaries did seem to reveal a Catholic identity among some
    voters: Hillary Clinton won 70 percent of Catholics in Pennsylvania,
    and she beat Obama by 10 percentage points or more among Catholics in
    two-thirds of the states where exit polls asked for religious
    identification. But those numbers precisely matched her victories among
    white voters with lower-middle-class incomes and blue-collar jobs in
    the old Rust Belt. For that matter, they mostly came at the end of the
    primary cycle, when a backlash against Obama was setting in. Once
    Catholic Republicans are added, in the broader setting of a national
    campaign, the likelihood is that Catholics will vote much the way the
    rest of the nation votes.

    And yet, there remains that question of abortion. Things have
    tightened over the last few years, the Catholic position is firmer in
    the public’s mind–firmer in the Catholic mind, for that matter. McCain
    was a long way from the pro-lifers’ first choice for a Republican
    nominee, but the Democrats this election cycle are determined to force
    the issue. They’ve pushed, and they’ve pushed, and they’ve pushed,
    until Catholics are falling off the cliff. Poor Doug Kmiec and his sad
    question, “Can a Catholic Support Him?” As a matter of good conscience,
    the answer looks increasingly like no, a Catholic can’t support Obama.
    And as a matter of political fact–well, that’s starting to look like
    no, as well, isn’t it?

    Joseph Bottum, a contributing editor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, is editor of First Things.

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