August 22, 2008


Ms. Noonan is back from her hols and evidently reading us Llamas again because her column today picks up on the same vibe I mentioned yesterday:

Why is it a real race now, with John McCain rising in the polls and Barack Obama falling? There are many answers, but here I think is an essential one: The American people have begun paying attention.

It's hard for our political class to remember that Mr. Obama has been famous in America only since the winter of '08. America met him barely six months ago! The political class first interviewed him, or read the interview, in 2003 or '04, when he was a rising star. They know him. Everyone else is still absorbing.

This is what they see:

An attractive, intelligent man, interesting, but—he's hard to categorize. Is he Gen. Obama? No, no military background. Brilliant Businessman Obama? No, he never worked in business. Famous Name Obama? No, it's a new name, an unusual one. Longtime Southern Governor Obama? No. He's a community organizer (what's that?), then a lawyer (boo), then a state legislator (so what, so's my cousin), then U.S. senator (less than four years!).

There is no pre-existing category for him.

Add to that the wear and tear of Jeremiah Wright, secret Muslim rumors, media darling and, this week, abortion.

It took a toll, which led to a readjustment. His uniqueness, once his great power, is now his great problem.

And over there is Mr. McCain, and—well, we know him. He's POW/senator/prickly, irritating John McCain.

Yes, indeedy.

Peggy also can't resist delivering an almost Buckley-like jab at the Obamessiah over his abortion dodge-and-weave:

But on abortion in particular, Mr. McCain seemed old-time conservative, which is something we all understand, whether we like such a stance or not, and Mr. Obama seemed either radical or dodgy. He is "in … favor of limits" on late-term abortions, though some would consider those limits "inadequate." (In the past week much legal parsing on emanations of penumbras as to the viability of Roe v. Wade followed.)

As I watched I thought: How about "Let the baby live"? Don't parse it. Just "Let the baby live."

As to the question when human life begins, the answer to which is above Mr. Obama's pay grade, oh, let's go on a little tear. You know why they call it birth control? Because it's meant to stop a birth from happening nine months later. We know when life begins. Everyone who ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins.

To put it another way, with conception something begins. What do you think it is? A car? A 1948 Buick?

If you want to argue whether legal abortion is morally defensible, have at it and go to it, but Mr. Obama's answers here seemed to me strange and disturbing.


As they say, read the rest.

Posted by Robert at August 22, 2008 08:32 AM | TrackBack

Actually, the nation as a whole at least heard his name quite a long time ago. There is an old episode of ER that features a clearly out of her mind patient yelling that she is being discriminated against, and that she was going to call Obama. I'd assume the original air date was sometime during his community organizer days.

Posted by: Diane at August 22, 2008 11:44 AM

Everyone who ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins.

I actually never thought of it that way. But, when I do think of it I have to say the man is right...

Having said that, I support abortion up to the point of a viable fetus.I do this because I think that our society is inherently bias against women. We expect them to make their way in the world financially but don't give them appropriate tools to do so if they become pregnant.

You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: Babs at August 22, 2008 04:18 PM