Monday, April 14, 2008

Clinton, Obama and the clingers to religion

Yesterday Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had a non-debate, responding to questions one after the other at a “Compassion Forum,” at some place called Messiah College, which I guess is a trade school for messiahs. McCain didn’t show.

Hillary again accused Obama of “mak[ing] comments that do seem elitist, out of touch and, frankly, patronizing,” even going out of her way to include the information that he made the comments in... gasp... San Francisco. Obama, of course, backpedaled furiously; some of his best friends are God-botherers.

Hillary said that in the past, Gore and Kerry were falsely portrayed as disdainful of the proles, therefore bringing this up is “a legitimate political issue.” That is, because people mischaracterized Gore and Kerry, it’s legitimate for her to mischaracterize Obama. Or something like that.

DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT SHIT IN THE WOODS? “I have had the experiences on many, many occasions where I felt like the holy spirit was there with me as I made a journey. It didn’t have to be a hard time. You know, it could be taking a walk in the woods. It could be watching a sunset.”

Asked if life begins at conception, Obama said he had no idea. Hillary made the completely meaningless statement that “I believe that the potential for life begins at conception.” (Update: I phrased that badly. I meant that she gave an anodyne statement that the most ardent pro-choice or anti-abortion supporter could agree with. The question was designed to get at the philosophy underlying her views on abortion, and she gave them a basic biological fact.)

The questioners represented different religions:
Q: As-Salamu Alaykum, Senator Clinton.

CLINTON: Thank you.
That just strikes me as kind of funny. Just me? Okay.

Asked why God lets the innocent suffer, she said she “can’t wait” to ask him. Yeah, do that and report back to us, wouldja?

On abortion, Obama insisted that there is “common ground.” Just keep thinking that, Barack, and see where it gets you. He said finding that common ground “requires us to acknowledge that there is a moral dimension to abortion.” I presume that means acknowledging that abortion is morally icky and at least a little shameful, which I for one do not intend to “acknowledge.” He said “in this difficult situation it is a woman’s responsibility and choice to make in consultation with her doctor and her pastor and her family.” No, choice is a right which inheres in the woman and the woman alone. She can make it in consultation with a Magic Eight Ball if she wants, that’s what being a right means.

He brought up the fact that he believes in evolution without even being asked.

He also believes that Al Gore won the 2000 election (not that that has anything to do with evolution; quite the reverse, actually). I think he’s said that before, but isn’t it remarkable that the possible next president is willing to say that his predecessor was not legitimately elected? And it’s not even a blip.

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