Obama Warned Us, but We Elected Him Anyhow

By | June 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

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Do you recall that during the presidential campaign of 2008, both candidates – Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain – were interviewed by prominent Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren? Do you recall a key point in that interview?

Rick Warren: At what point does a baby get human rights, in your opinion?

Barack Obama: I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is, you know, above my pay grade.

John McCain: At the moment of conception.

I believe the answers to this one question told us much about the qualifications of Barack Obama to be president. But to understand what the answers told us, we need to delve a little deeper.
● Obama may have misunderstood the question. Pastor Warren did not ask, “When does an unborn baby get a soul?” This may be the theological question Obama alluded to. The Catholic and Evangelical Protestant belief is at conception. Others have different beliefs. But this was not the question.
Pastor Warren also did not ask, “When does an unborn child get human rights?” This may be what he was driving at, but it was not what he asked. We assume that Warren would refer to an unborn child as a “baby” rather than a “fetus.” But “baby” also includes any small child up to the age of at least a year, when we begin to call a child a toddler.
So Obama could have answered, “A baby gets human rights at the moment of birth.” But he didn’t.
“Wait a minute,” you protest; “the question clearly implies unborn children and abortion. Any fool knows that a born baby deserves the same legal protection, and has the same human rights, as an adult. Any fool knows that if you find an abandoned newborn, you keep it warm and call the paramedics.”
No, not any fool knows that. Obama doesn’t. As a state senator, he opposed “born alive” bills to require medical treatment for babies born alive after botched abortions. He did so three times. He voted against a bill identical to one that passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. Obama’s beliefs can be called many things, but “mainstream” is not among them.
If you are asked when a baby gets human rights, you should at least reply, “At the moment of birth.”
If Obama could not voice even such a minimal affirmation of the value of human life, we should have paid close attention. Then we would not have been surprised when, as president, Obama declared that the elderly should get expensive treatments only if “experts” told doctors that it would “save money.” Then we would not have been dismayed when he announced that maybe the elderly would be better off not having the operation but taking the painkiller. Would you want to spend years lying in bed taking pain pills, or walking on your new artificial hip or knee?
● This raises the question of how to act when we are in doubt. Most of us would say, “Very carefully.” If Obama truly does not know at what point a baby gets human rights, prudence dictates that he should favor severe restrictions on abortion. If we risk killing a human being, surely that risk should be minimized. On the contrary, Obama was as pro-abortion as one can be and still remain a viable candidate. Logic? Consistency? Not so much.
● If the question of human rights for babies was above Obama’s pay grade, what is his pay grade? Among the issues politicians must decide are questions involving abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. In addition, the deficits in Social Security and Medicare must be dealt with − which necessarily raises the question of rationing health care. When candidate Obama raised the question of his “pay grade,” we should have suspected what ObamaCare would mean for the elderly or the disabled.
We hoped ObamaCare would mean Medicare for everyone. But it looks like ObamaCare will mean Veterans Affairs health care for everyone. Have a nice day.
How severe must a disability be before treatment is stopped for a child or an adult? And if active treatment is stopped, will comfort care be mandatory, or will we let the unfortunate victim die slowly of dehydration and starvation? That is, will we accord innocent babies, disabled adults, and the elderly the same rights we accord convicted murderers? But before you object that this is alarmist thinking, recall that we all stood by idly for 13 days while brain-damaged Terri Schiavo was dehydrated and starved to death.
These issues involve the same human rights that Pastor Warren asked about. If when babies become “persons,” deserving of the protection of the law, is above Obama’s pay grade, we should have wondered whether his pay grade is also too low to enable him to decide when the disabled or the elderly cease to be “persons.”
And we should have wondered whether Obama would have a sufficiently high pay grade to make critical decisions even if he became president, or would he remain indecisive? A senator may attempt to please partisans on both sides of an issue by speaking alternately for one, then the other. But the president must lead, not follow. He must decide, not waffle and flip-flop.
When Russian troops invaded Georgia, a U.N. member, the Associated Press reported, “Republican John McCain said Russia should withdraw its forces. Democrat Barack Obama condemned the violence and urged the two sides to show restraint.” Obama was unable to distinguish aggressor from defender. Arguing both sides of a dispute is useful training in law school, but no help at all in the White House.
Why were we surprised when Obama’s “red line” regarding Syrian dictator Assad’s use of poison gas turned out to be drawn in disappearing ink?
Why were we taken aback when Obama’s waffling emboldened the Iranian leaders to continue developing nuclear weapons?
Why were we dismayed when Obama’s indecision encouraged Putin to start ingesting Ukraine piece by piece?
Why were we distressed when our consulate in Benghazi was attacked, and four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens were killed, but Obama couldn’t decide what to do, so we didn’t even try to do anything.
Why were we distraught when Obama released five top Taliban commanders in return for one soldier who almost surely deserted and may well have collaborated with the enemy? Obama was reluctant to call the Boston Marathon bombers “terrorists,” and his administration called the Fort Hood mass murder “workplace violence.” If the president has difficulty using the word “terrorism,” we should have suspected that he has difficulty understanding the concept of terrorism in the first place.

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The president can’t pass a problem “upstairs” for a decision. Ambivalence may be appropriate in an academic seminar, but not in the Oval Office. “Seeing both sides” may make interesting dinnertime conversation, but it can be fatal when we are under attack. The president must see our side − and act resolutely to preserve, protect, and defend it. That is the job description for his pay grade. We should have known.
● Obama told us he wanted the elderly not to have the surgery but just to take a pain pill. Does that sound like a mainstream liberal, or a radical proponent of reducing excess population?
● Obama told us he opposed requiring medical treatment for babies born alive after “failed” abortions. Does that sound like a mainstream Christian, or a radical advocate of “choice”?
● Obama told us his goal was “fundamentally transforming” America. Does that sound like a mainstream Democrat, or a radical socialist?
● Obama told us he wanted the price of electricity to “skyrocket.” Does that sound like a friend of working families, or a radical environmentalist?
● Obama told us he wanted America to no longer be the world’s dominant power. Does that sound like a mainstream American, or a radical “citizen of the world”?
● Obama told us difficult decisions were “above his pay grade.” Does that sound like a resolute leader, or an indecisive politician with the skill to get elected – but not the competence to govern?
We had the information we needed. We were warned. We didn’t think. We emoted. We saw a handsome, educated young man who talked smoothly, but we didn’t listen to what he was saying. What could possibly go wrong?
Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

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