Friday, May 15, 2009

Transcending the Culture War

In my general perusal of the news this morning, I came across an article in the NYT titled, "On Abortion, Obama Is Drawn Into Debate He Hoped to Avoid." This is said because Obama is going to be giving a commencement address at the University of Notre Dame and because he's in the process of finding a replacement for a Justice Souter.

According to the NYT, President Obama "has pursued a careful two-pronged strategy on abortion, enacting policies that secure a woman's right to the procedure while vowing to move beyond the culture wards that have divided the nation on the issue for more than three decades." I'll say! Obama, in his less than four months in office has done the following:

• repealed the Mexico City rule (which prohibited funding of abortions overseas with tax dollars)
• reversed the decision on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research
• stripped funding for abstinence-only sex education
• is currently seeking to reverse regulation allowing doctors protection if the refuse to perform abortions
• is consistently naming abortion rights advocates to top jobs

As the NYT so aptly put it, he has "delighted abortion rights advocates." 

The president would like us to think that he's a highly nuanced individual. Tilting his head just so for the camera, looking ultra-presidential (even if decidedly practiced), he says that "culture wars are so '90s" and that knowing when life begins is "above my pay grade." Of course, abortion is "a moral and ethical issue" but it's an issue "best left to women and their doctors." Or, considering the fact that he's even against parental notification, perhaps we should rephrase that to "best left to women, children, and their doctors." Seriously, anything goes as long as his daughters aren't faced with having made a mistake and being "punished with a baby." 

I just think it's so interesting that Obama sees himself as somebody who can just rise above a culture war by talking. It seems to me that no matter what he says to try and make people think he's "nuanced," he has picked a side in the culture battle. He says that he "respects life" and that he views abortion as a "moral tragedy." But, frankly, this statement just doesn't mesh with a person who so adamantly advances the destruction of life. When someone is murdered in the street, this is also a moral tragedy... and one for which there is justice, be it ever not so swift. Why is it good enough for the unborn to simply acknowledge that their death is a moral tragedy while ensuring the continuation of such travesty?

The author of the NYT article believes that conservatives are "frustrated by what they regard as Mr. Obama's skillful efforts to paint himself as a moderate." I'm not so much frustrated by Obama's skill - since I don't think he's been all that effective in painting himself in such a way. I am frustrated by the media's attempts to cover up Obama's lack of character. 

And, certainly, I'm frustrated by the left's attempt to declare the "culture war" over simply because they have their guy in office at this moment. It's not possible even for Barack Obama to rise above the abortion debate by pretending he's something that he's not.

No comments: