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What is your female empowering equivalent to these songs?

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Obama sure talks purty

"My fellow TelePrompters"

"My fellow TelePrompters"

President Obama read another speech off his TelePrompter last weekend and (surprise, surprise!) the Obamafluffers are getting all gooey about his unmatched-in-history  eloquence and bold leadership in “facing down” anti-abortion protesters.

Horsepuckey!

Here is the portion of the official TOTUS transcript that dealt with the subject of abortion:

Nowhere do these questions come up more powerfully than on the issue of abortion.

As I considered the controversy surrounding my visit here, I was reminded of an encounter I had during my Senate campaign, one that I describe in a book I wrote called The Audacity of Hope. A few days after I won the Democratic nomination, I received an email from a doctor who told me that while he voted for me in the primary, he had a serious concern that might prevent him from voting for me in the general election. He described himself as a Christian who was strongly pro-life, but that’s not what was preventing him from voting for me.

What bothered the doctor was an entry that my campaign staff had posted on my website – an entry that said I would fight “right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.” The doctor said that he had assumed I was a reasonable person, but that if I truly believed that every pro-life individual was simply an ideologue who wanted to inflict suffering on women, then I was not very reasonable. He wrote, “I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”

Fair-minded words.

After I read the doctor’s letter, I wrote back to him and thanked him. I didn’t change my position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my website. And I said a prayer that night that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me. Because when we do that – when we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do – that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.

That’s when we begin to say, “Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions.

So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

Please note that Obama never actually states his position on the issue.  He states that a campaign staff member posted something on his website but he never said he agreed with what was posted, even if the “right wing ideologues” part was changed to to “anyone.”  Will Obama fight anyone who wants to take away a woman’s right to choose?  We don’t know because he didn’t say.  We know we can’t rely on what his staff says, because they frequently get his positions wrong.

His references to reducing unwanted pregnancies, making adoption more available and providing care and support to pregnant women are nothing new, both parties have been using those talking points for decades.  His reference to the “spiritual” dimension of choosing to have an abortion should raise red flags for anyone who doesn’t think women first need to get permission from their minister, priest or rabbi.

Obama’s endorsement of the conscience clause is not a pro-choice position – the clause was intended to make it more difficult for women to obtain the medical services necessary to safely terminate a pregnancy.  Like parental notification laws and so many other rules the anti-abortion crowd keeps coming up with, their goal is to chip away at Roe v. Wade until they can persuade SCOTUS to reverse it.

So far Obama’s pro-choice record consists of repealing the global gag rule, which doesn’t help women in this country.  If his other executive orders are any indication, look for the rule to be quietly reinstated with cosmetic changes in the wording.

Obama also offered this bit of rhetorical fence straddling:

The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm. The gay activist and the evangelical pastor may both deplore the ravages of HIV/AIDS, but find themselves unable to bridge the cultural divide that might unite their efforts. Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in an admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.

Those words would make a nice preamble to an policy announcement but that would require Obama to take a stand on a controversial issue. Take out the flowery language and it’s just another way of saying “There’s two sides to every story.”

If you want to see bold leadership then Barack Obama is the last person to watch. Robert Kennedy was a bold leader. When Bobby Kennedy was running for President he spoke out against college deferments from the draft. Kennedy believed they were unfair because they forced the poor and working class to bear the burden of fighting the war in Vietnam.

But Bobby Kennedy didn’t speak out against college deferments to the people whose sons went to war instead of college. He went to college campuses and spoke directly to the students who were enjoying the deferments. They may not have liked what they were hearing, but they knew Bobby was right.

When Martin Luther King was assassinated Bobby Kennedy was in Indianapolis. Kennedy didn’t call his political handlers and tell them to run some polls and focus groups so he could decide what to do. Even though the chief of police told him he could not provide protection Kennedy went out and made an impromptu speech at a rally in a predominantly black neighborhood.

Kennedy spoke for less than five minutes, talking about his brother JFK’s assassination and calling for racial reconciliation. He asked people to go home and pray for King’s family and for the nation. There were riots in 60 American cities in the wake of King’s murder, but Indianapolis grieved without violence.

That’s bold leadership.


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