It appears that Barack Obama has survived a tough couple of weeks. In the words of some, he's shown that "he can take a punch."
But, frankly, I think Senator Obama is still getting kid gloves treatment from a press corps that tilts left.
Despite the hounding about his "bitterness" remarks, and the ongoing story of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, there's been hardly 10 seconds of attention about his incredible statement that he wouldn't want his daughters "punished with a baby" if they "make a mistake."
This in a discussion about HIV/AIDS in which he said that contraception should be included alongside of abstinence in sex education.
Regarding his two young daughters, Obama said, "I am going to teach them first about values and morals."
First? What are values and morals if there is a second? Faith, of course, includes forgiveness. But values and morals are absolutes. There is a world of difference between forgiveness and teaching alternative paths.
There have been questions, appropriate questions, about how Barack Obama could have been sitting in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years and suddenly, today, realize he does not agree with him. How so?
We have a good possible answer here. Religion for Senator Obama is not something too serious. It may satisfy some social needs and provide intellectual and emotional salve. But it doesn't translate into behavioral absolutes.
The arena for addressing life's dilemmas for Obama is politics not religion. So, in this sense, Pastor Wright had it right. His former congregant is first and foremost a politician.
In answering a question about abortion while campaigning in Iowa last year, the always deliberative Obama said: "I think the American people struggle with two principles: There's the principle that the fetus is not just an appendage, it's potential life ... They also believe that women should have some control over their bodies ..."
The fetus is "potential life?"
Shortly after the Supreme Court's decision last year upholding the constitutionality of the ban on partial birth abortions, Obama spoke at a Planned Parenthood conference in Washington, D.C. Condemning the court's decision, he said that it was part of "a concerted effort to steadily roll back" legal abortions.
Criticizing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion in the case, Obama said, "Justice Kennedy knows many things, but my understanding is that he does not know how to be a doctor."
Of course, Kennedy's job is not to be a doctor, but to be a judge. And in doing so, he included in his opinion testimony of a nurse who participated in a partial birth abortion procedure:
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