Bench Memos

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Today’s Little Giant from Illinois


The Little Giant, of course, was the moniker of Stephen A. Douglas, he of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.  We can well imagine him saying this during a press interview in 1860 when he was Lincoln’s opponent for the presidency:

“What I do know is that slavery is a moral issue, that it’s one that families struggle with all the time.  And that in wrestling with those issues, I don’t think that the government criminalizing the choices that families make is the best answer for reducing the number of slaves.”

Change the italicized slavery here to abortion, and change the number of slaves to abortions, and this is exactly what Barack Obama told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week in a taped interview aired this morning.  This was his self-described “Christian” answer, given with more “humility,” to the “tough question” that he had answered too flippantly by saying it was “above my pay grade” a few weeks ago in the Saddleback Forum.

Leave it to Democratic senators from Illinois, whether in 1860 or 2008, to confuse humility with moral relativism.  Douglas was called the Little Giant by his admirers.  We who see through Barack Obama might well call him the Moral Midget.


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