It was some enchanted event. While Dr. Seuss-like journalists lobbed sophomoric softballs President Obama’s way last Wednesday night, Mr. I-Never-Met-A-Teleprompter-I-Didn’t-Need managed to unintentionally juxtapose two polarizing issues in an ironic and upside down way. He was right about what he said. But answer “B” better fit question “A,” and vice versa.
After answering the predictable torture question: “I would not torture in a jail; I would not torture with a pale,” the president later was asked about the issue of abortion. He gave what could only be called a “tortured” response (pun intended). He spoke of how those on the pro-choice side of the issue “make a mistake when they – if they suggest – and I don’t want to create straw men here, but I think there are some who suggest that this is simply an issue about women’s freedom and there’s (sic) no other considerations.” He went on to describe the matter as “an issue people have to wrestle with” and that it is a “moral issue and an ethical issue.”
Or call it a case of selective righteousness.
He’s clear cut and dogmatic on the correctness of his view about not using “enhanced interrogation techniques” even in circumstances that might obtain life saving information from really, really bad people. But he’s “aw-shucks-it’s-a-real-toughie” about ending the life of the most innocent and precious.
He’s got his upside downs all mixed up.
As he talked about the torture issue, President Obama waxed reflective and cited an article he had recently read quoting Winston Churchill during the ferocity of the blitz as saying, “We don’t torture.” The president suggested that “Churchill understood – you start taking shortcuts, over time, that corrodes what’s – what’s best in people. It corrodes the character of a country.”
“Well” - as Ronald Reagan might say while flashing his contagious grin - “There you go again, Mr. President.” Articles and blogs can make good reading (this one, for example), but I suggest that Mr. Obama might be better off spending some time with an actual full-length biography of the rotund Briton. Presumably he’d have to dispatch an aid to a bookstore for such a volume. Likely all Churchill references in the White House during his predecessor’s administration have been sent back to London in a crate marked, “Churchill Bust and Books – Yes, We Don’t Need.”