Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen is better than a stopped clock: He’s right more than twice a day. But even as a thoughtful liberal, he bears the burden of knowing many things that are not so.
Ten years ago, he wrote a painfully honest column on Partial-Birth Abortion. He described this horrific killing procedure and said it made him shudder. He wrote powerfully that he shuddered at the people who do not shudder.
That was then. In the last election go-round, Cohen did not shrink—or shudder—at supporting Sen. Barack Obama for President. Not only did Barack Obama support Partial-Birth Abortion, as an Illinois state senator he was even unwilling to protect the child who survives an abortion. Richard Cohen didn’t shudder; he shrugged. Cohen is no single issue man.
Cohen was introduced to Sen. John Edwards by Sen. John McCain several years ago. It tells us volumes that McCain was chumming in the Senate Dining Room with the very liberal Cohen. Cohen writes that Edwards made a strong first impression. After smiling his way through the initial pleasantries, Edwards strode off, probably to stroke his well-coiffed forelock. “Keep your eye on him,” McCain said.
Cohen did. And he was in time to be appalled by the tawdry tabloid person that is called John Edwards. This man could have been President, Cohen reacts today, and shudders.
What did we really know about John Edwards, Cohen asks now. Well, Edwards is finished. But Barack Obama is not finished. And Cohen asks the same question:
What do we really know about him? “Let Obama be Obama,” some of Cohen’s liberal friends are saying. They know that he was always supposed to be their Reagan. Now, Cohen asks, what does that mean?
Very much to Barack Obama’s credit, no one dreams that he is anything but a dutiful and devoted husband and father. This is something very important to know. It will give him great strength to face the storms in which he now finds himself. The Post also reports that Barack Obama confides seriously in his wife, Michelle.
Our First Lady has made it a point to meet frequently and in-depth with military families. She is said to have far better access to these families than the President has to ordinary Americans. She is therefore a good sounding board for him. I doubt very seriously that military families are urging her to tell the President to pursue the ultra-liberal policies he has pressed on us all this past year.