3/11/09

The moral incoherence of the Obama administration

First, I confess that the "moral incoherence" thing is lifted from columnist Michael Gerson's article in the Washington Post. In his article, Gerson notes that there is "one common thread" running through President Obama's pro-choice agenda: "the coercion of those who disagree with it." Gerson's article is about the manner in which the Obama administration runs roughshod over human life, relegating it to the status of what is politically convenient. Gerson notes, "It is the incurable itch of pro-choice activists to compel everyone's complicity in their agenda. Somehow, getting "politics out of science" translates into taxpayer funding for embryo experimentation. "Choice" becomes a demand on doctors and nurses to violate their deepest beliefs or face discrimination."

Obama is attempting to provide religious cover for his agenda by nominating Roman Catholic Kathleen Sebelius, currently governor of Kansas, to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. She will be responsible for implementing the government's policies on human embryonic stem cell research - you know, where we take "leftovers" and poke 'em and strip them of cells for research, killing them in the process. I can't help but wonder where PETA is in all this, but that's another story. It's interesting to note that Sebelius, claiming to be a practicing Catholic, maintains that "my Catholic faith teaches me that all life is sacred."

This puts her in the same category as pro-choice extremists House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Biden - Catholics who assert the sanctity of life while defending legal abortion. Sebelius has been rebuked by her archbishop for this, while Pelosi has managed to earn a figurative backhand from the Pope, albeit one genteely delivered. Gerson hits the nail on the head when he writes, "this appointment seems designed to provide religious cover. It also smacks of religious humiliation - like asking a rabbi to serve the pork roast or an atheist to bless the meal."

Another example of "moral incoherence" in this administration is most visible in the doings of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Back before September 2007, Clinton was at best ambivalent about "torture" of terrorist suspects held in military facilities. After that date, she did a flip-flop, coming out against it. She attributed at least in part to a discussion she had had with some retired generals. At that point neither she nor then candidate Obama had signed that American Freedom Campaign petition requesting all presidential candidates oppose torture, and Obama said of Clinton, "There are folks who will shift positions and policies on all kinds of things depending on which way the wind is blowing."

Yah, you betcha (wink). Clinton's lack of a moral compass is nowhere more evident than her even more recent "flip-flop" on human rights. Long a highly vocal opponent of Chinese human rights violations, Clinton said of those human rights violations during her recent visit to the Far East: "But our pressing on those issues can't interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis", leading Amnesty International to express shock and extreme disappointment over that comment. The Washington Post's Monday editorial was even more to the point: "Hillary Rodham Clinton undercuts the State Department's own human rights reporting," in direct reference to Clinton's gushing over Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. The State Department reported on Feb. 25, "the [Egyptian] government's respect for human rights remained poor" during 2008 "and serious abuses continued in many areas." It cited torture by security forces and a decline in freedom of the press, association and religion. Clinton responded to that by saying, "We issue these reports on every country.We hope that it will be taken in the spirit in which it is offered, that we all have room for improvement." The Washington Post responds to that with "Ms. Clinton's words will be treasured by al-Qaeda recruiters and anti-American propagandists throughout the Middle East. She appears oblivious to how offensive such statements are to the millions of Egyptians who loathe Mr. Mubarak's oppressive government and blame the United States for propping it up."

These are odd behaviors for some of the most senior members of the political party that ranted and raved against President Bush over Guantanamo and the so-called "torture" of terrorist suspects. We are already seeing the effects of this groveling before tinpot dictators with the aggression by the Chinese against the unarmed U.S. ocean survey vessel in international waters. Perhaps Chinese President Hu Jintao doesn't care for coffee? Then perhaps President Obama might send President Hu Jintao some DVDs of American movies? If so, I'd avoid including Jackie Chan flicks.

Is this "hope and change?"