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Obama's answer on abortion

August 21, 2008

Re "Good and evil and Obama," Opinion, Aug. 19

Jonah Goldberg's twisted analysis of Barack Obama's moral philosophy reminds me of absurdist painter Rene Magritte's painting of a pipe, which bears the label (in French): "This is not a pipe."

To deal at all with Obama's comments at Saddleback Church, a critic must acknowledge and then engage in the breadth and depth of the candidate's views. Instead, Goldberg seizes on the candidate's reluctant support for abortion as Obama's moral weakness. Wedge politics are the refuge of politicians (and columnists) who lack moral vision. This is not Obama.

John Rude

Pasadena

Part of Goldberg's case is based on a stated decrease in the number of abortions between 2000 and 2005 -- a decrease from 1.31 million to 1.21 million that he attributes to "the pro-life policies of Bush."

In Goldberg's world, there is no recognition of the good work done by advocates of contraception and their efforts to teach young people about the costs of early pregnancy or of the benefits of the morning-after pill. Goldberg doesn't want to acknowledge that his lies of omission are just as misleading as other lies that fall so lightly from his pen.

One statistic not addressed in the Saddleback meeting was that of spontaneous abortion, also known as miscarriage. I wonder if Rick Warren and John McCain believe that such abortions (and there are many) are God's roll of the dice?

Sheldon J. Baer

Woodland Hills

Asked directly when life begins as a legal matter, Obama punted, insisting the answer was "above my pay grade."

What other issues and matters that demand leadership are above his pay grade? And does he believe that the American public is hungering for a president who will punt when faced with decisions that often are black and white in this world?

Answering that question is not above my pay grade: absolutely not. This mini-episode speaks volumes beyond the abortion question. Obama would lack the conviction to make tough decisions in difficult times. And these are difficult times, if he hasn't noticed already.

Scott Anderholt

Calabasas

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