Friday, September 19, 2008

Obama and Abortion

I've mentioned before how much I appreciate the careful thinking of Jeremy Pierce, a PhD candidate in philosophy at Syracuse. He is a wise thinker who seeks to be fair and careful.

In this post on Obama and Abortion he tries hard to put all of Obama's statements about abortion into one coherent framework. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to do:
I've tried hard to make sense of Barack Obama's various statements, stumbles, votes, and explanations related to abortion. With many of them, I haven't succeeded. I've come to the conclusion that he simply hasn't thought hard about the issue and that he's grossly unaware of many of the important background facts, both about the legal background and the general philosophical conversation about this important issue.
Read the whole thing. Here's the conclusion:
Some people called John Kerry inconsistent on abortion, and I defended him against those charges. I'm willing to be charitable to those I disagree with if they leave a way to take them seriously in all the things they say. I disagreed with one of Kerry's fundamental premises, but he had a consistent view, and I pointed that out to counter the many who refused to do that with him. This is different. Barack Obama has basically declared himself incompetent to make any judgments on one of the key issues of our day, and I have to say that I agree with him. The statements he's been making show that he's either hopelessly ignorant on some very important policy matters or deliberately contradicting himself in order to pretend to two opposing groups that he's on both their sides. That means he probably should have a job where these issues really are above his pay grade. There are a lot of such jobs. Unfortunately for him, the job of U.S. President (not to mention U.S. Senator, Illinois State Senator, or constitutional law professor) would not be in the list.