I write today in Politico about President Obama’s blatant and, in the press, wholly unremarked extremism on abortion:
From a strictly down-the-middle, neutral perspective, if one side of a debate is “extreme,” the opposite and countervailing side is equally “extreme.” It would never even occur to the media to apply this standard to abortion. Under the guise of upholding abortion rights, Barack Obama could favor denying legal protection to babies after they are born and the press wouldn’t bat an eyelash. In fact—he did.
In the Illinois legislature, he opposed the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act” three times. The bill recognized babies born after attempted abortions as persons and required doctors to give them care. Obama’s stalwart opposition to the bill came up during the 2008 campaign, and his team responded with a farrago of obfuscation and distortions.
The bill was supposedly redundant. Except it wasn’t. Protections for infants who survived abortions were shot through with loopholes, which is why the bill was offered in the first place. (Abortion doctors were leaving infants to die without any care.) The bill was supposedly a threat to abortion rights. Except it wasn’t. Obama opposed a version that stipulated it didn’t affect the legal status of infants still in the womb.
About a year after his final vote against the bill, Obama gave his famous 2004 Democratic convention speech extolling post-partisan moderation. But he couldn’t even bring himself to protect infants brutalized and utterly alone in some medical facility taking what might be only a few fragile breaths on this Earth. Some moderation. The federal version of the bill that he opposed in Illinois passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. Some post-partisanship.